May Lai: "When I joined the Young Professional Program in Corporate Banking, I already worked for Rabobank in Wholesale Banking, which is part of the Corporate Finance domain. That's where I got the chance to participate in this program and get a broader understanding of the bank. When the opportunity knocked, I welcomed it with open arms."
Building on a broad foundation
“Before starting this program, I was an analyst on a Rabobank team that focuses on acquisition financing for clients who are being taken over by private equity firms. These investment companies want to put a lot of equity capital into acquiring a majority share in a particular business. Rabobank can help them with financial resources. Acquisition financing is comparable to a mortgage, except it’s for businesses. It was an interesting position that I learned a lot from. But I’m so glad that I’m doing this program now, because I’m discovering how much more Rabobank has to offer Young Professionals like me. The program is helping me build a stronger foundation so I can become a versatile corporate banker.”
Professional and Personal Growth
“Besides getting to know Rabobank better and getting broad work experience, I’m also getting to know myself better. This combination has helped me take massive leaps as a Young Professional. After all, personal development is at least equally important as professional developoment. During the program you get to work on your soft skills with other Young Professionals. Everything from participating in a training about leadership skills to talking about what you find difficult and which personal goals you would like to work on. I learned what my style of communication is and how to use it to work better in a team. I also discovered one of my weaknesses. I can develop tunnel vision a lot faster than other people. Now that I am aware of this characteristic though, it’s easier to watch out for it.”
What is the program like?
“In the beginning there are several days of introduction so we can get to know Rabobank better. One of the things we learn is what is important to the bank. Because Rabobank focuses on food & agri, during the introduction phase we learn what that means in practice for different departments. For example, granting loans can be linked to achieving sustainability targets. That demonstrates that the bank is more than a lending party; it’s also a valuable partner for companies.”
“Another great thing about the program is that you get to know many other Young Professionals. We participate in a variety of training courses together and we share our experiences. In addition, the program offers the option of doing a rotation in a different department.”
Diverse and Dynamic Work
“I currently work in Acquisition Finance as a credit analyst. My work is diverse and challenging. I have my own portfolio of corporate clients who have loans with us. The value of these clients’ finance packages ranges between a few hundred million to billions of euros; the loans are financed by multiple banks and also partly financed by investors. My clients operate in different sectors, like retail, recruitment, and food & agri. I monitor their financial performance, check the risk profiles, and help the investment managers maintain the client relationship. If something is not right, it is my responsibility to promptly flag it within the bank. What that means in practice is that I do all sorts of applications and draw up reports for our department’s management and the risk department.”
“I also work on new transactions, which is all about bringing in new clients. My job is to work with the deal team to secure internal approval for extending the loan. To do that, I research the new corporate client by reading reports about their business and sector, and I make financial projections based on their financial planning. That way we can accurately assess what the risk will be for the bank. This part of my job has taught me so much about stakeholder mangement because I get to work with so many different internal and external parties. That includes the Know Your Customer department (which is concerned with flagging fraud and money laundering) and the Legal department. I’m also in touch with outside parties like other banks, advisers, and lawyers. In short: this is such a dynamic environment.”
What is the supervision like?
“I have monthly meetings with the young talent manager who supervises me. We talk about how things are going at work, during trainings, and how my development is coming along in terms of my personal goals. The diverse group of Young Professionals also provides a valuable form of supervision. With so many different backgrounds, ambitions, and kinds of knowledge in one group, it enriches your existing network and expands it instantly. I wouldn’t want to miss out on this program for all the money in the world. I definitely see my development progressing, but I’m not yet sure what position I’d like to end up in. Thanks to the program, I have the opportunity to develop a good foundation as a banker while I also have access to the tools I need for further growth. That way, I can make better choices when it comes to my career.”
Questions for the recruiter?
Would you like to find out more about the Young Professional Program in Corporate Banking? Don’t hesitate to contact our recruiter.