It all starts with IT

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People and devices on a round table

Unlike many other children, I never wanted to become an astronaut or rescue a princess. My dream was to work at the bank. Yes, really! I figured it would be fantastic to work at an organisation that manages money for hundreds of thousands of people. A trip to the bank with my parents was the highlight of the week for me as a child. As such, I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on this IT starter trajectory.

I use IT data to predict ways in which the bank can improve to attract and retain customers. Ashwin van der Kamp Ashwin van der Kamp Business Analyst

The best of both worlds

Taking into account that I have a Bachelor’s in Management, Economy & Law, my resumé does not identify me as an obvious IT starter. However, the IT starter trajectory is just right for me. I started as a Business Analyst, which is a job that truly offers the best of both worlds. A good analyst finds the ideal balance between theory and practice. I use IT data to predict ways in which the bank can improve to attract and retain customers. It's fascinating!

IT as the starting point

IT plays a central role in all of our operational processes. That becomes apparent when we follow a so-called customer journey. That journey describes the steps a customer takes during actions such as transferring money. The customer journey provides us insight into any small annoyances or confusing moments that the customer experiences during the action. We subsequently adapt our apps, systems, and processes to make the user experience more customer-friendly. IT is the starting point, not a goal in itself. Making an adjustment shows just how many disciplines are actually involved in a single process. For every substantial change we implement, we have to measure the effect, brief customer service, inform the customers, and more.

Help in project management

Currently, I am studying applications to manage internal projects. For now we are working with a tool we developed ourselves, which we have regularly adapted to our procedures over the years. Nowadays many tools are available that are based on tried and tested methods. My current job is to take stock of how we work, how our current system works, and which tool (and corresponding method) would be most suitable for us. That tool will help us manage our projects within the bank even more efficiently and consistently.

Learning social skills

I have already been involved in so many projects that I don't feel like a starter at all. Except that I do still receive a lot of personal coaching. I regularly sit down with my team leader to discuss what is going well, what could improve, and how I will approach and tackle that. For example: I would like to become better at discussing things with people. As a highly result-oriented person, I tend to come across as a bit formal and too much to the point. While some people enjoy getting down to business right away, others prefer starting with a little small talk. I want to get better at assessing which way to go with the person I’m talking to.

Cultural differences between companies

In addition to my regular responsibilities, I have four hours a week available to work on side projects. I am now the coordinator of the ABN AMRO-initiated project Functions Culture Board. With my project team, I study company culture at the IT companies we work with. Our team and the company’s own staff work together on this. The next step is to check which cultural differences we can bridge in order to improve cooperation. That's the beauty of working for ABN AMRO: I can really pursue my personal interests and make my dreams come true. I started as an intern at ABN AMRO MeesPierson. Now I am a starter and, if all goes well, I will be able to call myself medior one-and-a-half years from now. It's exactly how I've always pictured my career. Some childhood dreams come true!

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