20 September, 2021
#7 Portret van een vrouw in de financiële sector: Laura Lumingu
Working in banking was something that I had never considered. Even my closest friends cannot fathom that I am working in the banking sector. But, opportunities strike when you least expect it.
As a young student working towards getting my Master's degree in Communications, I was triggered by the potential of the tech field. I had laid out a concrete plan for myself: graduate and start a new Bachelors programme in IT. This was until I received an email in my school inbox promoting a job in IT for young Masters without an IT degree or IT experience. As a student with a scholarship, this seemed like a win-win situation. I would be retrained to become fully-fledged IT professional AND I was going to get paid for it. I couldn’t turn this opportunity down. After a couple of stages of tests and activities, I thought I had made to the final stage: the interview. I walked into the interview room, fully prepared to answer daunting questions, just for the exact opposite to happen. I was presented with an offer to start working immediately! KBC had had seen my potential and were willing to give me full support.
“Mom, you will never believe what just happened? I got offered the job at KBC! However, I can’t take it. There is no way I can work in a bank.” I exclaimed to my mother through a phone call. She told me that I was absolutely crazy. She made me realise that I was in an extremely lucky situation where an amazing opportunity fell into my lap and that I should 100% take it. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, she said. I did what every good daughter would do and took her advice. It turned out to be one of the better decisions I made at that age. Contrary to my previous expectations, I recently celebrated my 10-year work anniversary at KBC.
There is so much more to banking than what meets the eye. The sector is so diverse and there are endless possibilities of what you can do. As a young child, I always dreamed of working in television and presenting. I must say that – in a bizarre way – I am fulfilling that childhood dream of mine, just in a different context and with a different audience. I come up with new ideas, create storylines around them and I get to present it to a lot of people.
I have been able to thrive in these environments through the support I received from my managers. At the beginning of my career, I was shy about expressing what my goals and ambitions were. I learned to voice what I really want and they helped me in the process of growing into my potential. Most importantly, I was able to do all of this by being my most authentic self. Young women, you don’t have to change aspects of yourself to mesh into a certain environment. If you don’t like it, change the environment, not yourself. But first put yourself out there and try new things, you’ll never know what the world has to offer.
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