Turin to Rotterdam, how Sara became a KYC Specialiston 6 November 2023 for Graduates
Originally from Turin in Italy, Sara Baudetto is a shining example of the potential that awaits those who dare to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new challenges. She wanted more for herself than her native country could offer, so she ventured out. Now, she’s enjoying the perfect blend of her dream job at Rabobank and the continued coaching and training from Exellys.
A quest for specialisation
As her Mediterranean features and expressive hand gestures suggest, Sara was born in the North of Italy, in the city of Turin. She and her boyfriend moved to the Netherlands together after their graduation in 2021. “I studied Economics, which is very broad. I wanted to specialise in something more narrow, something that would have a positive impact on society. I was interested in Policy Economics in particular, which doesn’t exist in Italy but I found at the Erasmus University. I enrolled and got accepted, and that is how I ended up in Rotterdam,” Sara recalls.
It’s a match!
Sara and her boyfriend spent a year immersing themselves in a new culture and educational environment. “Originally, we didn’t plan to stay in the Netherlands indefinitely, but we fell in love with the country and the opportunities it offers to young people. So we decided to give it a try, and I dare say we made the right choice,” Sara says.
Before long, the year had ended and it was time to start looking for work. “Scrolling through the job offers on LinkedIn, I came across Exellys. The vacancy was for a KYC (Know Your Customers) position, which attracted me a lot,” Sara remembers. “I didn’t meet all the requirements – I didn’t speak Dutch, for example – but I still decided to give it a try. I had a first and then a second meeting with Ellemijn, then I met Femke, and I immediately had a good feeling about them. Going through the selection process, I really loved the environment and the people, so I was confident about starting a job here.”
The main thing that made Exellys stand out for Sara, was the strong focus on continued education and coaching. As a young professional transitioning from academia to the corporate world, she had concerns about her readiness for the job market. The opportunity to continue learning while working, coupled with ongoing coaching and feedback, was what Sara needed to feel confident in her abilities. “My coach Femke helped me mainly on a personal level, to believe in myself – we’re still working on that. She helps me distinguish between when I’m being paranoid and when my doubts are legitimate, she also encourages me not to doubt myself, to believe in my abilities and to not overthink everything I do.”
Fighting economic crime
Sara now works as a Business Analyst for Rabobank, in the TMNL team. The five biggest banks in the Netherlands (ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and the Volksbank) have joined forces under the name Transaction Monitoring Netherlands (TMNL). Together, they tackle financial crime by collaboratively monitoring payment transactions for signs that could potentially indicate money laundering or the financing of terrorism. “Personally, I continuously try to improve the data sets that we use for these analytics so that they remain compliant with the requirements of TMNL. I also solve data quality issues, so that TMNL’s data models work as they should.”
Of course, Sara doesn’t do this alone. “I’m part of a Scrum team of 11. We’re 3 business analysts, a bunch of software engineers, the scrum master and the product owner. It’s nice to see the different parts of the projects. I’m not confined to my field of knowledge, I actually can learn a lot from the other team members as well. At the start of my journey at Rabobank, I took a few DevOps courses to understand what my team mates do. It’s nice to have that variety.”
The variety is something that’s also reflected at Exellys. “I love that having both Exellys and Rabobank gives me the opportunity to connect with people, to network. If you only talk to people from Rabobank, you’re only going to have one perspective. And the events that facilitate these connections, like the Mindshift Festival recently, are really nice as well.”
Words of wisdom
Are you at the start of your career and struggling with similar challenges as Sara did a year ago? Here are a few things she’s learnt so far that she would like to share with you as well:
➊ “Believe in yourself. Even if you don’t tick all the boxes in a job requirement, trust in your ability to learn and just go for it. Your passion and commitment can carry you a long way.”
➋ “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Like me, you may be under the false impression that you have to know everything or otherwise your employer might regret hiring you. But this is incorrect. It’s perfectly okay to not have all the answers from the start. Ask for help when you need it, and you’ll find people are happy to help you.”
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