Via an accelerated route to the strategic cockpit
"I never thought I’d be working for a bank! I studied Business Administration and Information & Knowledge Management, and during my studies I mainly worked in e-commerce. That's how I ended up in the data world. I didn't mind the idea of a career in IT, but pictured myself in more of a commercial position. Until a recruiter put me in touch with ABN AMRO, where I was told I could start in a fairly technical role – basically, designing software."
Keen on a challenge
"I thought: well, why not? The financial sector actually did attract me because it’s so dynamic. For a start, think of the disruptions caused by challenger banks – those new, small banks which are mainly active online and sometimes overtake the established banks in that environment. I wanted to see how ABN AMRO was responding to such developments. And to be perfectly honest, I was also keen to challenge the status quo. So I applied for the job – and was hired."
Joining the data team
"I started in the Data & Analytics department, so in a fairly technical role. Later I moved more towards the business side, where I acted as a linchpin between what my data colleagues were developing and what the rest of the bank needed. I was mainly involved with data management issues, i.e. how to share data securely within the organisation and where to store everything in a responsible yet locatable way."
Women to the top (faster)
"One day I found myself nominated for the Female Accelerate Career programme, which is designed to get ambitious women to the top of the bank faster. It was a real honour to be put forward! In order to qualify, I also had to write a letter of motivation and dust off my CV. I made the effort because I thought ‘If I succeed, it really would be something.’”
"I was eventually selected with 19 other women. I was given a sponsor and got to know the right people in the bank for my career. This enabled me to take my next step – towards the strategic side of the business – sooner.”
In the strategic cockpit
"I’ve recently been appointed a Strategy Consultant in the Execution Office, the ‘cockpit’ from which ABN AMRO's revised strategy is managed and monitored. That strategy involves ABN AMRO wanting to become a personal bank in the digital age. And making a lasting environmental and social impact, otherwise formulated as: ‘Banking for better, for generations to come’.”
"This strategic direction of course affects the entire organisation. It means changing our products and processes, as well as our digital infrastructure. We’ll need new people for new roles, and some of our colleagues will need to be retrained. From the Execution Office, we monitor how this strategy is being picked up across the bank, where things can be speeded up and where extra support is required. Our department brings it all together."
"The best thing about my job? That I get to resolve difficult strategy issues every day with a group of highly diverse, ambitious people. And that I’m given the scope to develop myself further. You have to take the initiative yourself, of course, but if you do, a lot is possible within ABN AMRO."