I wrote my graduation thesis at ABN AMRO, and I enjoyed the experience so much that it was only logical to sign up for a traineeship. I was fresh out of university, one of a group of eleven other trainees. ‘Take a good look around you,’ we were told, ‘you’ll be making friends for life here.’ I did not believe it at the time, but they were right.
A traineeship demands a significant investment in your personal development. You are forced to look at matters that you do not learn at university.
Omar el Khamlichi Head of Digital Marketing, Private Banking International
From sales to IT
I had a degree in Business Information Technology with a minor in Economics, and so my initial idea was to work in IT. During my traineeship I discovered that I wanted something else: I wanted to be in sales. I started working as an account manager for SMEs. In that job I was dealing with clients every day. It gave me a sense of satisfaction whenever I managed to achieve a result for them. That job also helped me to develop as a person. Two years later I was ready for a new challenge. That was around the time that the rumours first started circulating about mergers and takeovers of ABN AMRO. I thought it would be exciting to experience that up close, so I transferred to Group IT. My department was soon involved in the bank’s demerger. My new job was nothing like my previous one. Before, I spent all day dealing with clients, and as an IT project manager my work involved much more analysis and planning.
Traineeship as a career booster
You learn a great deal during the traineeship: not only about the bank but also about yourself. A traineeship demands a significant investment in your personal development. You are forced to look at matters that you do not learn at university: how others perceive you, for example, and how best to talk to people. I firmly believe that without my traineeship it would have taken me much longer to become Head of Digital Marketing at Private Banking International. My tip: never hesitate to walk into someone’s office and plug your ideas. Do not be afraid to experiment and be daring. ABN AMRO gives you the opportunity.
Career growth meter:
- 2001–2006: Business Information Technology, VU University Amsterdam
- 2006–2007: Traineeship at ABN AMRO, SME Account Manager
- 2007–2011: Board member, Stichting Tans
- 2008–2011: IT Project Manager
- 2011–2013: Business Project Manager, ABN AMRO
- 2013–2015: Business Manager, Global Products & Solutions
- 2015–present: Head of Digital Marketing, Private Banking International