Word from former president Gijs Romer
Could you tell something about yourself ?
Since the beginning of my studies in Rotterdam 6 years ago, I have been trying to make the most of my time as a student. I would recommend everyone to use the freedom you have at hand as a student (cliché, I know), by meeting many new people, party as much as you can, and mostly to find out what makes you tick – both professionally and personally. After several years I wanted to find out what master specialization suited my ambitions most and what career I wanted to pursue. Being a board member at FSR contributed the most in finding out how you want to shape your career, by talking to many academics, students and companies. Recently I have started a new phase of my career by moving to Amsterdam and by starting to work at my first full-time employer. Many will recognize this step, given the many jobs in the financial sector at Amsterdam-based companies.
What career path did you took ?
In 2010 I started my Bachelor in Business Administration, which I obtained in 2014. By August 2016 I finished my masters in Financial Economics and Financial Law. Even before I finished my masters I already signed a contract at ABN Amro to start as a trainee at the Debt Solutions department.
Why did you choose for the FSR board and the specific function?
In 2013 I applied for the position of chairman at the FSR for two reasons. At the end of my bachelor’s I wanted to confirm my interest in finance, but within the financial sector I wanted to know more about all possibilities. So the first reason for me to apply was to know what job I wanted to go for. Second, I wanted to enhance my capabilities in working together and to improve my organizational skills.
Are there daily activities at ABN Amro where you use your board experience?
There are a couple of these that directly contribute to you as an employee. First, a board year is a great way to learn by making mistakes. Since my board year I worked more efficient, more precise and more independently. As a board member you make mistakes so you won’t have to make them during your internship or during your first job. Second, you learn to manage expectations and to work with timelines when working with colleagues. Third, I now constantly have my eye on the process and I think about the big picture. Am I working towards the right objective to reach my goal? Next steps?
Why do you enjoy your work?
As a trainee at ABN Amro I enjoy being part of the young trainee group, where it is everybody’s goal to learn as much as you can. I learn from the different placements I work in, from multiple annual training sessions, and by talking (and listening!) to other trainees and colleagues who are further ahead.
What is your most memorable moment in your board year?
There is not one particular thing that comes to mind. I guess it’s the whole package of events, organizing, drinks, responsibility and mostly fun.
What do you miss the most comparing to your study period?
I miss the most to be flexible in managing my time. Meeting friends or family, and time for hobbies all come down in the weekends!
Are you still involved with the FSR?
Yes, I try to help current board members by advising them in the advisory board. Also I give a helping hand in the FSR alumni organization.
What are your future plans in the next 5 years?
The next couple of years are very diversified. I try to learn as much as I can, ultimately to find the direction I want to proceed in. Doing the traineeship of ABN Amro it is not yet clear where you will end up after your first three years, because it is a result of your interest, performance and talent.
What advise would you give to students?
First of all: become active at the FSR (really), if you are not about to finish your masters already. You get a sense of how the interview process works at companies, and what companies actually have to offer. If you are already doing your master, participate in as much inhouse-days as you can to find your field of interest. Then think about what you really want to know more, get in touch with recruiters or employees you met, and try to get some more in-depth information to check whether they may have future career for you