Studying at VU University Amsterdam was one of the best adventures of my life!

I am Ling Sheng and a graduate of 2011 of the Master’s specialization in Financial Management of VU University Amsterdam. Around two years ago, I decided to apply for a Graduate School in the Netherlands. In the beginning, I was not familiar with the Dutch education system. After some research and getting help from the Neso Office in Taipei, I decided to apply for VU University Amsterdam and it’s scholarship programme VU Fellowship. After gaining admission to the programme, I had to wait till May for the nominations for the scholarship but finally, I received the VU Fellowship Scholarship. It felt like a dream coming true.

Due to the late visa application I was not able to join the first week of classes. At first, I thought it would not make a big difference if I started to follow the courses as from week two of the academic year. However, it resulted to be difficult to catch up, to get acquainted with the new education system and to get used to study in English. It wasn’t easy but after my graduation I was proud of all the things that I have learned and achieved. Finally, after one year of studies and hard work, I graduated from the Master’s specialization in Financial Management of VU University Amsterdam, including with a good grade. Studying at VU was challenging but the quality of the teachers, the courses, and the study environment was great. I developed, improved, and enhanced my professional knowledge and academic skills during only one year of studies.

One day, just before I started to think about my thesis, I was discussing my homework with a fellow student and he told me I could and should apply for the ING Investment Management Taiwan Internship – GSEB Scholarship programme. Two weeks later I applied and by the time I thought I probably didn’t get the job, they told me I got it! As a result, after graduating with almost no energy left, I started to work for ING Taiwan in the marketing strategy department.

In the beginning, I tried to learn a bit every single day. It was my first job in the investment business and as a result, I had to get acquainted with financial product information, including related regulation issues. In the marketing strategy department, I learnt how to develop a product or service for our sales team and/or clients. After 9 months of being a temp at ING Taiwan, in July they offer me a permanent job at ING Taiwan!

During the difficult time in the global financial investment area, our department still tried and tries to do something innovative. This year, I am trying to analyze the possibility of launching a new investment product.

ING Funds 201207_ (1)

Another huge project is a moving knowledge tank platform. We would like our sales team to use an iPad to see their clients with the ING Taiwan knowledge center  As a result, we built a strong knowledge platform for both web and app versions with a strong backup system to upload all sales marketing materials, research materials, internal training calendar etc. In this App platform, our sales team can share all marketing materials, which are sales kits, viewpoints, and pitch-book of ING funds, Investment-Management Press, and etc. with their clients without bringing printed papers or booklets. Additionally they will always have the information updated and accessible within reach when clients ask for more. This Knowledge moving tank will be upgraded in the following projects with the development of more advanced function. We are the first investment business in Taiwan to launch this kind of online Knowledge Platform. We hosted a big conference and currently we are trying to upgrade the platform to a more user-friendly version.

Without the challenging Master’s studies at VU University Amsterdam, I would not be prepared to give my utmost and best performance during my internship at ING Taiwan. I recommend everyone who wants to study Financial Management to choose VU University Amsterdam!

I Hope you all will enjoy your studies at VU University Amsterdam! Best wishes from Taipei, Taiwan.

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