Many, many years ago, when I finished high school, one thing was sure to me: I was going to be a doctor! Well, that actually turned out to be quite a challenge with the Dutch lottery system. Thus, instead of being a doctor, I chose to do something entirely different, and signed up for business economics and economics of taxation in Groningen. During my studies, I noticed that I loved the finance courses: to dive into all the conceptual stuff and do some number crunching! My master was therefore a clear choice to me; it was going to be Finance. Concluding, I can state that choosing for the economics and finance path is something that I have never regretted, because it led me to both where I am and who I am now.
First career step: Learn how a bank works
Directly after my studies, I joined a midsized Dutch bank, where I took part in a finance traineeship. It was an awesome experience to start with a young group of people and to work on different kind of projects, and at the same time to learn how a bank works! I ended up in the Risk department for two years, after which I thought it was time to see a different type of company.
Second career step: Make an impact at multiple financial institutions
I have been working at Deloitte in Asset and Liability Management (ALM), Market & Treasury Risk team for over half a year now, and the experience so far has been great. I have already worked on three different projects at an insurer, a wealth manager, and a bank. The projects ranged from model validations, calculations around derivatives, to impact assessments of pricing choices for mortgages. At all these projects, I immediately gained client exposure, and the projects were all discussed at board level. My work was definitely making an impact!
In a model validation, we investigate different aspects of a model (e.g. the setup of the model, the methodology, and any underlying assumptions) and identify adjustments to the models if required. We help the client to rank the adjustments according to the level of importance and help setting appropriate timelines to repair them. The board subsequently discusses these results, and monitors whether the adjustments are implemented on a timely basis.
Besides working on projects, I investigate new technologies and innovations, to see whether they might be of added value for our clients. Deloitte is definitely at the frontier of new developments, which is awesome to be a part of
Training hard and soft skills
Deloitte offers broad learning and development opportunities. Trainings are planned on the most important topics in Financial Risk all the year, and trainings on any programming language of your liking are offered. Already in my first week I followed a Python course, which came in handy when I had to work with another programming language (R) on one of the projects. Next to these ‘hard skill’ trainings, there is also ample opportunity for soft skill development. Mostly, you learn soft skills directly on the job: I have for example already given several trainings on derivatives and a number of presentations on projects that I worked on. In addition, also specific (pre-)manager journeys are designed which you can adjust to your needs. For next month, I am signed up for a pre-manager journey that focuses on our Mindset; how can we change our mindset to achieve our goals?
Last but certainly not least, I also have an awesome group of colleagues, who are always eager to share their knowledge. And on top of that, they are also awesome to have drinks with after work! And not only drinks, but the team weekends, sport events (yes, I actually have ran the Dam-tot-Damloop, which I never considered to be possible beforehand!), and ski-trips have been great.
Concluding, I can state that choosing for Deloitte as a second step in my career path is something that I am never going to regret.
My name is Esther, I am 28 years old, and I live in Amsterdam for a few years now. I studied Finance and Economics of Taxation in Groningen, and followed a traineeship at a midsized Dutch bank afterwards. A few months ago, I thought it was time for a new challenge, which I found at Deloitte Financial Risk Management!