Visa, check. Ticket, check. Ready for the big adventure! It’s now three months since I started working for the Risk Team in the United States. When I arrived in the office, everything had been arranged and I could sit down behind my own new desk. What struck me right away is that the New York office and the Risk Team are much smaller than what I’m used to. The advantage is that lines of communication are shorter, and things get done easier and faster. You notice the distance between New York and Amsterdam most of all because of the time difference. I would email a question to somebody in Amsterdam in the afternoon, and of course I wouldn’t get an answer till the next day.
It feels like you do more with your time when you’re working and living abroad
Tatum Kaptein Trainee
Part of the team in no time
My working days in New York were not so very different from what they were like in Amsterdam. Apart from the fact that they were a little longer, on average. And bringing sandwiches from home was not done. We almost always bought our lunch in town and took it to Bryant Park, to the roof garden on our office building, or back to our desks if we were very busy. There were plenty of other opportunities to socialise, too. For example, we celebrated every team member’s birthday together, there were receptions to go to every now and then, and we formed a running team including many of my colleagues here and participated in a running event through Central Park. So I felt part of the team in no time.
Not much cooking
It feels like you do more with your time when you’re working and living abroad. For example, after work I almost always went for some exercise or met up with colleagues or friends: jogging along East River or eating a simple meal in a restaurant. New Yorkers don’t do much cooking, given how many restaurants there are that serve tasty - and healthy! - food. In the weekends I spent time with new friends I’d made in New York. With eleven of them, I went to the four-day Mysteryland festival, held in the same surroundings where Woodstock used to be. It was an exciting road trip, and we enjoyed the music and sleeping in tents.
Settling back in
After my traineeship in New York was finished, I travelled for another two weeks through California and flew back to Amsterdam from San Francisco. I’m gradually settling back into my old routine here in the Netherlands: the train commute, the green countryside, the canals, the bicycles, the rain and the Amsterdam office on Gustav Mahlerlaan. I’ve already started in my new role at Integrated Risk Management (IRM), where one of the things I’ll be working on is ICAAP (Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process). ICAAP looks at ABN AMRO’s Risk Management Framework and how it deals with capital adequacy assessment and reporting.