Monetary policy advisor
PhD or DNB?
“I have a Bachelor's in Physics and Mathematics and a Master's in Economics. I'm also a trained musician, and I have played the piano since I was a child. I always found studying to be a breeze, so a PhD seemed like a logical next step after completing my Master's. Then one day I was visiting the ECB in Frankfurt with some fellow students. The place really impressed me. A short while later I went to an in-house day at DNB. That's when I knew for sure: I wanted to work at the central bank. I had found the perfect combination of societal significance, tackling real-world issues from a national and international perspective and lots of scope for personal and professional development. Now, just a few years later, I'm part of that amazing world.
My first job was right on the money.
I started at DNB as a trainee in 2015, going on three rotations of eight months each. I began in the Insurance Supervision Division, where I started learning about the institutional side of the economy. I then moved to the On-Site Supervision and Banking Expertise Division, which investigates risk management by banks on-site. This includes conducting interviews with managers and board members and inspecting the bank's files. I even got to go to Madrid for a month as part of an on-site inspection, which was absolutely brilliant. My final rotation was with the Financial Markets Division, which focuses on the monetary side of the economy, my personal area of interest. Topics include the relationship between interest rates and inflation, money creation and monetary transmission. The Financial Markets Division gave me monetary fever, and that's where I stayed after my traineeship was over.
Buying and selling
In my current position, my team and I are responsible for implementing European monetary policy. We are on the market every day, trading in sovereign and corporate bonds. We have weekly teleconferences with 19 other countries to discuss monetary policy. I don't bat an eye any more when Mario Draghi holds a press conference at the ECB in Frankfurt. It's all part of my workaday world. At DNB, you're part of something really big, and I'm very proud of that. At the risk of sounding trite, I honestly feel that I'm making a valuable contribution to society as a whole and to a stable economy.
Independent with an international perspective
It goes without saying that we must contend with political interests. Bring 19 countries together and they will all have a different perspective on the same subject. Public opinion comes into play as well. The economy is a lot like football: everyone has an opinion about it. Just take the current accommodative monetary policy in Europe – it has both fans and detractors. In the end, though, it's the only economy we have, and we'll never know how the financial crisis would have panned out with a different set of interventions. A colleague once quipped: 'The weather is easier to forecast than the economy.’ But that's exactly what makes our work so intriguing: nothing is predictable, and every day brings a new challenge.
A click with colleagues
The work here at DNB is challenging and enriching, and there are so many ways to engage in personal and professional development. Personally, though, I enjoy the click with my colleagues the most. In fact, that was the biggest and best surprise when I joined. The culture here is warm and informal – not stiff at all – and my division is quite young. You become part of the family here quickly, and the lines of communication are short. DNB has an association for younger employees, JongDNB, and I'm currently on the board. We put together all kinds of great activities, from study trips to seminars to cocktail hours and skiing trips. I really love working at DNB, and I'm sure I'll be here for a while!”
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