The Intern, episode 5

Leaving the nest – again

by Yanniek van Dooren

Every company needs brand ambassadors. You know, those people who follow everything you do and accomplish and spread the word. Who are always the first to try out new products and services, and get others excited about them, too. Before I got accepted for my internship at ING, the social media manager told me that was one of the objectives of the social media team: to get employees excited about changes and communicate about them on their own social media pages. A year later, whilst wrapping up my internship and preparing to move on, I realize I will leave the organisation as one of those ambassadors. Not because anyone asked me to or because I feel like it’s part of my job, but because I truly appreciate the organisation. And here’s why.

First and foremost, this internship allowed me to learn more about myself and the field of communications than I could ever have imagined. I was actively encouraged to choose and follow my own path, to explore my own interests and to work on projects that I was truly excited about. Remember my last blog post, where I wrote about my experience working on a campaign to encourage positive feedback in the organisation? That wasn’t part of my job description, but I was invited to take on this project because my colleagues knew how much this topic interested me. These kinds of opportunities not only helped me explore my drives and career ambitions, but also tremendously increased my work satisfaction.

And then there’s the culture. Imagine working at a bank: static buildings, stern people, steep hierarchy, right? Well, not at ING. If you’ve read my second blog post, you know that ING NL is going through a restructuring to makethe organisation more flat, innovative, and flexible. During my time in the organisation, the restructurCouching was still in full swing, people were getting used to a completely new way of working and my office was rebuilt into a Google-like environment to keep up with the changes. The space on the picture is one of the “living rooms” of our floor. Not what you would expect a bank office to look like, right?

But throughout all this change, everyone I met was incredibly motivated to make it all work. That was very inspiring to me: the motivation and ambition to show the world that a bank can be radically different from what most people think. And it’s the people who work there who create and reinforce that culture every day.

Today was the last day of my internship at ING’s Center of Expertise Communications. I finished all the work I had left, handed over my work laptop and phone, and said my last goodbyes before leaving the office for the last time. And as I stepped through the familiar revolving door into the rainy outdoors, I realize just how much this office had become my home. For the second time this year, I was moving out. But this time, it was with a suitcase full of great experiences, new friends, valuable lessons and a lot of self-confidence.

Goodbye ING, I’m sure we will meet again.