The bank as more than just a cash point

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Students sitting on the floor with books and laptop

With Bachelor’s degrees in Public Administration and Political Science and a Master’s in European Governance, I did not immediately expect to work for a bank. Yet I found the dynamics at ABN AMRO so appealing that I nevertheless chose a bank – a decision with which I am very happy. I wanted to find out more about the relationship between ABN AMRO and the regulatory authorities, and about how the bank handles the vast array of Dutch and European laws and regulations. After three months as a trainee at ABN AMRO, I know that the bank is more than just a cash point: it is a broad and immensely diverse organisation that can accommodate any and all profiles.

To me, enjoying yourself, being curious and being inquisitive are the best ingredients for a successful traineeship. Janna Cheretis Janna Cheretis Trainee

Intensive kick off

The introduction week is the perfect way to better get to know the bank, the other trainees and myself too. The main focus during this time is on teambuilding, leadership and personal development. By the end of this intensive week we have been forged into a close-knit unit. We see each other regularly, even though everyone is working on different assignments: at work, during training days and for end-of-the-week drinks. We also meet outside work: whenever someone celebrates a birthday or has a housewarming.

Ingredients for a successful traineeship

As a trainee you sit in on everything and with everyone, no question is too trivial and you are supervised by a number of people. For example, the trainees organise ‘business observation days’, where we take a look behind the scenes at various departments. The possibilities at the bank are almost beyond counting. It is important to be aware of what exactly you want and how you plan to get there. This is your own responsibility, although of course you are assisted by your trainee manager and the assignment supervisors. To me, enjoying yourself, being curious and being inquisitive are the best ingredients for a successful traineeship.

Challenging, topical and never dull

Based my starting specialisation in Policy & Regulations I am completing my first rotation at the Compliance & Conduct department. Policy & Regulations is a broad umbrella term: you might find yourself at Audit, Compliance, Legal or another department. Your job is to monitor the bank’s risks. At Compliance & Conduct I am involved in a number of workgroups tasked with improving compliance within the bank and minimising the compliance risks. For one of these groups I am researching ways to improve ABN AMRO’s various reporting processes and procedures, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Eventually I will need to write a plan of implementation and present it to the management team. Because compliance is always evolving, the work that I do is challenging, topical and never dull. I communicate a great deal with other people at my own department and elsewhere, and I learn something new every day.

Relaxing effort

When I am not working I enjoy myself and relax with physical exercise and playing the piano. My first triathlon is coming up in a few weeks. Swimming, cycling and running: the challenge will be an immense one, but also one to which I am looking forward. I like to set myself ambitious targets and then work to achieve them: not only in sports, but also in my job. At the end of a working day, I find that I can clear my head by working out and by playing the piano, to give myself energy for another working day.


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