Research Assistant at ABN AMRO

"COM is one of the most relevant programmes that I could have applied for"

Sonia-COM-testimonialnieuwSonia Plaszewska, aged 24
Graduated in 2011 
Research Assistant at ABN AMRO

What do you do for a living?
I work for ABN AMRO as a research assistant in the business-to-business department. I am responsible for the acquisition of new sponsors for the business events. I qualify and recruit new clients, and match them with the needs of our current investors. On a daily basis I track news about trends in the investment market. My main specializations are emerging markets and alternative investments.

What do you really like about your job?
What I like about this job is the international exposure and professional, highly motivated and energetic business environment. I deeply value the opportunity to develop new skills and extend my knowledge.

How did you find your job?
I found the job through the job search portal and after passing all stages of selection process I was selected!

What aspects of your job relate to the Master’s programme you followed at VU University Amsterdam?
COM is one of the most relevant programmes that I could have applied for. The knowledge that I gathered about globalization and localization, and shifts in the arena of the global market helps me understand the needs of our sponsors from emerging countries. It helps me in negotiations and brings the conversations on a higher level.

Did having this Master’s degree help to get your job?
The choice for this programme and the work experience that I gained during my studies combined to a huge advantage to get an employment. Nevertheless, in contemporary society, mere degree is not a guarantee of employment. Students have to understand how competitive the market is and what prospective employers require from applicants.

Why did you choose this Master’s, and what job did you expect to find with this degree?
I chose COM because I aim to become an organizational consultant or to open my own consultancy company. I didn’t expect to get a job in that field right after graduation. I came to understand that I need to build up more on my resume to be fitted.
Shortly after I completed my thesis I went to India for a management traineeship. There I learned a lot about the consultancy practice and I could fully adapt and challenge my knowledge of organizational life and management. I had a chance to study organizational behavior, track the merging problems and plan for an intervention strategy. During this managerial practice I could take a full advantage of my degree and specialization.

What should (prospective) students expect of life after graduation?
Life after graduation as for international students in a foreign country is very challenging. While entering the big world, an international alumnus must come to realize the legal requirements of residing in a foreign country.

Do you have any recommendations for (prospective) students for their education or careers?
Prospective students should always follow the programmes which match with their nature, personality and interests. Standing in line for employment, the chances stands for those who are really passionate about the role they have been studied to take.