“And then having another person do your job for four months? Well, that’s a really great opportunity!” That’s something I heard more and more often when I explained that I would be working in the marketing department for four months.  Partly because of this kind of reaction, it made me realise how great it is for an employer to give you the chance to experience what it’s like to work in different areas of the business. NN offers its employees the chance of taking up an internship in a different department for four months. After three years managing a call team, I got the opportunity to broaden my horizons. It wasn’t an entirely new job, in fact the opposite was the case. It was four months for me to see whether marketing was something for me, to learn how people work in the department and to challenge myself to demonstrate my added value in a different business sector. And after four months? Back to my own team. This guarantee was included and that made it a manageable period to learn and to experience.

The fact that it was marketing made it even more interesting. In my call team, we’re at the end of lots of campaigns and mailings. We’re the ones who see the customer responses. Now that I was able to look behind the scenes at marketing, I was at the start of the process. How do we set up a campaign? How do we select the right customers for a mailing? And what’s the goal behind a campaign? All these issues arose while developing a new campaign directed at people going through a divorce. Using research, I learnt to identify what the customers wanted, to make the information on the website clearer and how to make customer contact as relevant as possible.

Now that I’ve returned to my own team, I’m managing with a different perspective. It’s a new perspective because taking a step back helps and I’ve got more knowledge of the how and why of marketing. As far as that’s concerned there are plenty of opportunities at Nationale-Nederlanden, not by waiting for something to happen, but by creating and grasping those opportunities yourself.

It’s a challenge to make a different at a large employer, to do what you’ve agreed and then just a bit more. What you need is sense, to work effectively and to show that you’re making an active contribution to the goals we strive to achieve.

Rinus Verhart
Unit Manager Call Centre