The people I work with make ABN AMRO for me

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Studying at Hotelschool The Hague and doing an internship at a bank: not an obvious combination, perhaps! On the other hand, applying a degree in the hospitality sector to the world of finance struck me as a very interesting option. That's how I came to work at ABN AMRO MeesPierson.

I really love working at ABN AMRO, and felt at home here from day one. That’s entirely down to my colleagues. I can go to them with all my questions, and if I have ideas of my own they’ll listen to what I’ve got to say. Merel van der Sande Client Treatment & Events Intern ABN AMRO MeesPierson

I began my Client Treatment & Events internship with ABN AMRO MeesPierson at the end of April. I help organise events for ABN AMRO MeesPierson clients in the mid-west region, operating out of the office at Koningskade in The Hague. My duties include supervising the invitation process for nationwide events organised by my colleagues at head office. But I mainly work on the events we organise ourselves from this office. Everything from information sessions on Internet Banking and philanthropy to golf and bridge tournaments.

Dynamic work

Organising these events is extremely varied work, which also makes it great fun. You’re never bored! It all starts with defining the aim of a particular event. We establish a designated contact with the client and decide what we want to achieve. How many people will we be inviting? What form will the event take? Obviously, the guests will expect everything to be properly organised down to the last detail. Which means we spend a lot of time on preparation. For example, if we're organising a golfing tournament we have to ensure there are enough golf balls and that teams are put together. But also that there's coffee, tea and cakes when people arrive and that the drinks reception afterwards is well organised and starts on time. And if the weather forecast is bad, we put our wet weather plan into action. All this variety and dynamism is what makes the work such fun for me!

Expecting the unexpected

We always put together a script in which everything is worked out. But one thing is for sure: no event ever runs entirely according to the book. There’s always something unexpected. So you've got to be flexible and able to communicate effectively with clients and partners. And know how you’re going to respond to the unexpected. It’s reassuring to know that my colleagues are always there to help me. Everyone jumps in where necessary. And when the event is over, we evaluate how it’s gone. What went well? What went less well? What lessons could we take away for a future event? Did we achieve the goals we set ourselves in advance?

Growing self-confidence

Working on events is highly instructive. Deadlines are fixed, so there are lots of things you’ve just got to do. No matter how nervous you are. You can't put them off. That’s how I learned to respond to a wide range of situations. Being confronted with unexpected changes or having to give presentations used to make me very nervous. But just getting on with it has helped me overcome my doubts and gain more self-confidence. The support I get from my colleagues is also a huge help.

Broadening my horizon

I really love working at ABN AMRO, and felt at home here from day one.  That’s entirely down to my colleagues. I can go to them with all my questions, and if I have ideas of my own they’ll listen to what I’ve got to say. Although my work isn’t directly linked to finance, I’m also learning a lot about that too. Which is hardly surprising given that I’m working in the financial sector. I may not always understand what’s being discussed, but nobody minds me being there and asking the occasional question. That way, I carry on learning and broadening my horizons at ABN AMRO MeesPierson!

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