Ghislaine Umuhire is one of eight trainees who joined DNB in September 2020. She talks about how this traineeship came her way, what her journey has been like so far and she praises the buddy system.
I knew early on that I want my work to have true impact. I always imagined myself working at a socially relevant company while doing something substantively interesting. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in both Law and Philosophy, followed by a Law & Finance Master’s at the UvA. During my Master’s, I took a class about European legislation with regards to monetary policy, which included a lecture by Frank Elderson: a lawyer who had been the director at DNB for a long time and now held the same position at the ECB. All of this really sparked my interest. Once graduated, this traineeship appeared in my Facebook feed and I decided to give it a shot. I never looked back.
DNB allows you to try a lot of different things. I consider myself a lawyer, but I can do so much more here. The fact that I got selected was difficult to comprehend at first. Just like with any application procedure, every step was nerve-racking. But the second I was ‘in’, I received a pleasant and good level of support. As a trainee, you are coupled with a buddy: a former trainee who just completed their traineeship. I loved the buddy system: you get to share your experiences and hurdles with someone who just went through the same thing. Nine out of ten times, your buddy is able to comfort you when facing such a hurdle. The switch from the lecture hall to a work situation certainly takes some getting used to.
Mini-lecture by colleagues
I am currently working at the international insurance groups department. We supervise international insurers that are operated from Dutch headquarters. Of course, the pandemic has rendered my job remote. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure about working from home instead of at the office. At first, you’re not quite sure what you can and cannot do. At the office, you can see whether or not someone is busy so you can decide if you want to ‘interrupt’ or not. Luckily, my insecurity didn’t last long because I quickly found out that everyone at DNB is happy to help and explain things. Calling someone from my team didn’t just mean getting a calm answer to my question, but often a substantive mini-lecture to boot. Time was not spared to help me out.
Many different activities
In addition to my quick development and personal growth, I enjoy the fact that the pandemic didn’t stop them from organising all kinds of things. Colleagues seek each other out, for example for so-called ‘bila walks’ (telephone calls where both colleagues take a walk), there are many online social events and everyone is involved. And then there are activities with other trainees that focus on personal development rather than the substance. This creates a sense of togetherness, pandemic or not. Looking back, I would definitely sign up for the DNB traineeship again. You are encouraged to step outside your comfort zone and personal development is considered a top priority. What a great way to kick off your career.'
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