Rabobank: Advanced Analytics Young Professional Program - Interview with Mandy van Oosterhout

Dave 't Hart
16 december 2019

On Monday 18 November, I’ve had an interview with Mandy van Oosterhout, who is currently enrolled in the ‘Advanced Analytics Young Professional Program’ at Rabobank. We’ve talked about the transition from the university to working at Rabobank, what the program involves and how you could be working at Rabobank when you’re ready for a challenge!

Could you maybe start by telling us something about yourself?

My name is Mandy van Oosterhout. I’ve studied at the University of Amsterdam where I’ve started the Bachelor ‘Econometrics & Operational Research’ in 2014. During my Bachelor I became a board member of the study association ‘VSAE’ in 2016, but you all know the VSAE of course. I was the Vice-Chairman and was responsible for the External Affairs. Furthermore, I’ve helped organizing the Econometrics Game as coordinator. In August 2019, I’ve also finished my Master’s Degree in Econometrics within the track ‘Data Science & Business Analytics’.

How did you end up working at Rabobank after finishing your Master’s degree?

I was looking for a program were I could develop myself within the company but also on personal skills, so that involves a program where I could gain valuable work experience and attend training courses. There were also job offers were you would start as a junior right away, but I wasn’t looking for that. Finally, I found this program at Rabobank, the ‘Advanced Analytics Young Professional Program’, which totally suited what I had in mind!

Was there an application procedure when attending for this program?

Yes, there was an application procedure. Every April and October a new group of Advanced Analytics Young Professionals starts. The group that started this October consists of 17 people. The first thing you have to do is write a motivational letter and upload your cv. If you are selected, an interview follows. Thereafter you have to do an assessment to test your capacities and to get to know your personality. The last step in the application procedure is a final selection day which consists of a case and a second interview. This last step can result in a job offer. After that you get in touch with the different teams you can work in.

Can you tell us something about these teams?

Everyone from the program has joined a different team. I’m currently in the Retail SME modelling team within Group Credit Models. While working within this team, you get to know a lot about how it is to work at Rabobank. I am applying the knowledge I gained at my studies, for example by writing Pythons codes for different models. The team consists of people that have several years of experience whom you can learn a lot from, as well as people who just started working. A good mixture. Also, the environment is very international.  

So you’re already working fulltime on projects within your team?

From Monday till Thursday, you’re working with your team on projects that were assigned to your team. Then on Friday, you’ll meet with all the people you’ve started the program with to attend several training courses that involve different subjects. You will be working on your skills, such as presenting or how to get better at convincing people. Besides that, we participate in training courses that involve self-development. But on this day you also have a lot of free time to work on things you want to do personally. For example, there are some people who use this personal time to improve their Python programming skills.

You’ve mentioned that you’ve done the track ‘Data Science & Business Analytics’ within you Master. Do you have the idea that this helped you for the work you’re doing right now?

First of all, working is very different from studying. Our study is very theoretical, whereas at work you can apply the knowledge you gained during your studies. Personally I experienced some advantage with the Python programming I’ve learned during my master, as this language is mainly used within Rabobank.

Are you enjoying the program?

Yes, I really enjoy the program. After only a few months now, I am already at my place at Rabobank. I like the training courses that are offered, the self-development that is made possible and working in teams with very clever people that have a lot of experience. I would really recommend the program.

If students are interested, how can they get in touch with the program or read more about it?

Groei in 18 maanden uit tot een expert in analytics en stort je volledig op data analyse, credit modelling, model validation, stress testing of asset & liability management.