Maturing fifteen years in the space of fifteen months

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970x404-Blog Sezer Yilmaz

This traineeship is a great springboard. Of course I’ll still have to work hard for my career. But I’m acquiring a tremendous amount of expertise in a short space of time and I’m getting to know so many people at the bank: this will give me an edge.

As my traineeship progresses I’m finding that I have a talent for commercial matters, but that people are my strength. Sezer Yilmaz thumbnail Sezer Yilmaz Trainee

Something extra

I’ve known ever since I was sixteen that I wanted to work for a bank. I studied Financial Services Management at higher professional education level and found a job at ABN AMRO. I worked for a number of different departments: Mortgages, Risk Management, Functional Management. I enjoyed it – so much, in fact, that after eighteen months I wanted more. At some point in the future I hope to head up a team, and I realised that this would mean doing something extra.

Managing yourself

You need to manage yourself before you can manage others: that’s my motto. That’s why I wanted to spend my traineeship working primarily on my personal development. True leadership means knowing where you yourself are in life, what your own standards and values are, how you want to deal with clients and what part of that is important to you. What’s so great about a traineeship at ABN AMRO is that you get to choose your own assignments. This gives you the freedom to go wherever you want. The bank doesn’t decide how you need to develop: you do.

People are my strength

When I first started studying, it was because I enjoy maths and economics. So a bank is the right place to be. As my traineeship progresses, I am finding more and more that I have a talent for commercial matters and a head for numbers, but that people are my real strength. For example, I find that I can sense what a client wants or doesn’t want, or how someone is feeling. This was a real eye-opener to me.

From strategy to implementation

How did I discover this? During my very first period I was immediately thrown before the lions. I was given an assignment for a district of branch offices, and I was told to work with a project leader to develop a strategy for encouraging financial advisers to add more depth to client interviewers. Once we’d thought of the strategy we needed to implement it. It was both a challenge and a learning experience to make other people accept our ideas. I went looking for my next assignment myself, by talking to a number of managers. Eventually I chose an assignment for Private Banking, which offers me the best means to mature as a future account manager.

Crash course

The biggest surprise to me was the supervision. Besides a trainee manager I have a mentor, a supervisor on the work floor and an external coach. All four give me wonderful feedback. That’s great. In part because of this, I think that my traineeship will be a great boost to my further career. I’m getting to know both myself and the bank in a very short space of time. Without this fifteen-month traineeship that might otherwise have taken me fifteen years.


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