Jeroen Wetzels: ” Moving to Maastricht to study International Business after graduating from high school is one of the few conscious decisions I made at the time”. I was interested in the multi-disciplinary approach of the curriculum and the international aspects of the programme: completely in English, many international students and a required study period abroad. But most importantly, the Problem Based Learning approach sealed the deal for me.
My time at Maastricht University exceeded my expectations. The study programme with its small tutorial groups and high quality of education helped me develop my analytical skills, strengthened my oral presentation skills and taught me how to work effectively in diverse teams. In Maastricht I focussed on Organisational Development & Strategy, and my exchange at Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow provided me with additional marketing knowledge.
Maastricht University offered not just a stimulating study programme, it also sponsored various student and study associations. This allowed me to have an active student (and social) life and as a result helped me develop other skills. I was a member of the board of my student association, held part time jobs and was active at the School of Business and Economics within the Examinations Education Committee and the IB educational committee. Most importantly, however, I learned how to make effective choices, both at personal and professional level.
Like everyone nearing graduation, I was faced with a new challenge: where would I start my career? In the end, it was the combination of my study background, the various extracurricular activities and my ambitions to continue to learn, that landed me a place in ING’s Talent Programme. ING Talent Programmes are three to five year programmes for talented graduates, aimed at developing future managers for the ING Group. Seven different tracks allow for a personal choice in functional specialisation, such as Finance or Risk, or for a more general management career within the banking divisions. Not surprisingly, quite a few Maastricht alumni join ING for one of its Talent Programmes.
I joined the programme for the Retail Banking division right after graduating in 2006. My first two assignments were in the Netherlands, working on challenging marketing projects. Starting off with big responsibilities is part of any ING Talent Programme, but I quickly realised that my study period in Maastricht had prepared me well. My third assignment took me abroad: I spent seven months in Seoul, South Korea working as a project manager within the Marketing department of ING Life Korea. Coming back to the Netherlands in September 2008, I chose to jump at the chance to see a different part of ING, and I currently work as a recruiter responsible for the very programme I started out in.
In my current role I can help master’s graduates make their personal choice on how they want to start their careers, and hopefully I will continue to see Maastricht alumni join one of the ING Talent Programmes.
Jeroen Wetzels, alumnus International Business 2006, currently working as Graduate Recruiter, ING, Global Graduate Recruitment, Amsterdam