The human side of IT

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Graduating as a HR specialist and then shifting into the IT starter trajectory. Strange move, isn't it? But it makes more sense than you'd think. To me, anyway. After all, IT is also about the people who are involved in it. My manager completely agreed, which is a typical thing for ABN AMRO. If they see something in you and you see something in them, the sky is the limit.

As a starter, I gain specific work experience, while discovering and demonstrating my strengths. Nynke de Vries Nynke de Vries Corporate Business Continuity Officer

Crisis management: where IT meets HR

The IT starter trajectory is a brilliant next step for me as an HR graduate. IT is a very social field: it is connected to and integrated in everything we do within the bank. When we adjust systems and processes, things change for the staff who work with them. This is especially noticeable in the Corporate Business Continuity Management department, where I work on crisis management and account management. 95 percent of the continuity risks within a bank are IT-related. However, that doesn't mean you're done when you fix the IT problem. People need to know what happened, and what needs to happen to make things run smoothly again. When an IT adjustment is made, everybody needs to know what its impact is on the entire organisation. That's where my team comes in. For instance, we provide training in crisis management, and support the crisis management team by maintaining communication about actions and the status of an issue.

All kinds of side projects

As a starter, I work with the same team for two years, which is a great opportunity to really achieve something lasting. Over time, I gain specific work experience, while discovering and demonstrating my strengths. In my position, it's important for me to connect rapidly with the right people, which makes networking a key element. I've been working here for a year now, and already I know so many people in all kinds of positions. Partly thanks to my side projects and activities. ABN AMRO offers all kinds of things to do in addition to your 'regular' job. For example, I am part of a group of young bankers who carry out short-term projects for the top 100 management. I have also organised a number of events for women in our organisation. Twice a year, I do volunteer work for our Foundation, and I participate in the Employee Council. Of course, these things require some of my own time, but my manager gives me plenty of opportunity to participate in activities like this. I'm very grateful for that, since they are incredibly useful in building up my network and boosting my personal development.

Every starter trajectory is different

For my starter trajectory, I receive a number of training courses, most of which are focused on IT skills. While a number of courses are designed to be followed by all starters, you have the freedom to pick and mix your own training programme. The team leader guides and assists starters in choosing a programme. I also participate in peer-to-peer meetings with the other IT starters who enrolled at the same time I did. We learn a lot from each other when we discuss what goes on in our various jobs and what difficulties we encounter. One starter may be a hardcore IT person while the next has a business administration background. I've noticed a wide variety in interests and ambitions among us as well. What interests me personally is the interface where people meet IT, while others can dive deep into IT itself.

No roadmap

Right now, I'm halfway through. After next year I will be finished with the starter trajectory. Based on what I know now, I would like to remain at my current workplace afterwards. I enjoy working in a department where I experience the full range of what's going on in the bank. As for the longer-term future, I don't have a strictly defined roadmap, at least not yet. Time will tell. There are so many ways to go within the bank.


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