Marathon and traineeship: two great adventures

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Marathon

Five months ago, I started my Policy & Regulations Traineeship at ABN AMRO. Previous to that, I studied European Studies and Conflict Resolution & Governance. I was also part of a team doing a research project for Dutch companies in Brazil. You might think: don't you want to enter politics? But working at an international bank with a place in the heart of society seemed the more challenging option – and one that suited my talents better. The most important lesson so far is that you can come a very long way if you fully commit.

I view my traineeship at ABN AMRO as a great adventure, in which I want to push myself to the limits. Jasper van der Ploeg Jasper van der Ploeg Trainee

Make your dreams come true

I view my traineeship at ABN AMRO as a great adventure, in which I want to push myself to the limits. And that perspective is not limited to my life at the office. This year, I started training to run my first marathon. On 16 November, I completed one in 3.08 hours in Istanbul; I take so much pride in that accomplishment! In my spare time I also work together with six young bankers on a strategic assignment for Only Friends. Only Friends is a foundation led by Dennis Gebbink, which helps disabled children engage in sports. It's about making dreams come true, and that's exactly what I want to be doing as well. Both my own dreams and those of others.

Investing in relationships

It's been five months already since I started off on my Private Banking International assignment. This department puts wealthy EU and Asian clients' capital to work through investing, lending, saving, asset structuring and estate planning. The best part of my assignment is that we focus on long-term relationships with our clients. To facilitate that, my colleagues and I are implementing the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) at five ABN AMRO Private Banking offices. The project involves more than just reviewing policies; for instance, I am in close touch with internal departments and local private banks abroad. As we have to take local culture, law and regulations into account, the international aspect is important. I've visited our Antwerp and Frankfurt offices several times to manage the project. I met new business contacts on these trips, which helped me manage everything more smoothly. Especially in this increasingly digital world, one-on-one contact makes all the difference for my work at ABN AMRO.

Getting there together

Being a trainee opens a great many doors, but it's still up to you to step through! I could not overstate the importance of initiative and proactivity. Together with other trainees I participate in a lot of training, about one or two days a month on average. We swap stories and share our experiences with one another, for example about the challenging projects we are working on. I'm glad to feel supported. My trainee manager, assignment supervisor, external coach and co-trainees are all there for me. We also do plenty of fun stuff. I meet other colleagues and trainees during all kinds of informal events, like taking passage on a ship during Amsterdam Sail, or having a trainee lunch with Managing Board Vice-Chair Johan van Hall. It's a great way to learn about the rest of the bank and its departments. I recently learned a key lesson: you can accomplish so much at ABN AMRO, if you are willing to put in the work!

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