‘Spend a year working on different assignments in a company that wants to make the world a better place: that sounded like the best personal development option for me. Although, as a law student I’d always assumed I would work at one of the big corporate law firms on the Amsterdam Zuidas. That seemed the most logical step after a master’s in corporate law and a bachelor degree in Dutch law. But gradually I started looking for development opportunities that were broader than the law. Rabobank gave me that opportunity.’
Have a say in your own development
‘On the Rabobank Global Traineeship you learn an enormous amount in a one-year period. The structure of the program means that you work on different assignments and projects and learn something new each time. Another great aspect is that you have a say in your own development and what you work on. The first assignment is usually related to an area you’re familiar with. In my case that was a project management role at Wholesale. This was a really great experience that also influenced my choice for my first job following the traineeship.
The second is your ‘stretch assignment’. Quite a shift for me. The idea is that you develop completely new skills and competences in a field where you still have a lot to learn as a trainee. I learned what’s involved in managing a team responsible for test-data delivery and personal data anonymization. Something I had never done before; I didn’t have much IT experience either. What struck me most was the impact it had on the team when I was actually on-site in the office. My presence as a sounding board was a huge boost to the team spirit. That was the most surprising take-out for me.
I did my third assignment in the Risk department where I worked on export and project finance and corporate finance. The focus at project finance was on lending for solar power parks and wind farms, for instance. As a credit analyst I learned to read a balance sheet and identify risks to reach a final risk assessment. I also had an administrative role in the credit committee. Through this work I gained experience right across the board and learned an enormous amount.’
From colleagues to friends
‘During the traineeship you learn a lot as a professional, but I think you may learn even more as an individual. The traineeship focuses intensively on who you are and where you want to go in your career. What I liked most is that when you leave college you go to a company that supports and coaches you, with a talent development manager, a mentor and an external coach. And the group of trainees you start out with grows closer too. Especially during the workshops and training courses that you take as a group. You share the entire experience and forge a strong connection. The traineeship is over, but we keep in touch. We still see each other regularly at work and in our free time. For instance, we organize a weekend away each year and we go to festivals together.
Once you complete the traineeship, you have more than enough options to move into a job at Rabobank. That could be an existing role, or one that you create for yourself. I talked to different colleagues about what I was looking for and the opportunities on offer. I started to work as a project manager at Wholesale Rural & Retail. My goal is to work as a business manager in this international environment. I hope that the scope and development opportunities that Rabobank offers will help me to quickly achieve this ambition.’
Are you interested in the Rabo Global Traineeship? For more information on the programme, click here.