28 February, 2022
#19 Portrait of a woman in finance: Khanh Diep
“Learning is a long journey...”
With my diploma in the pocket, I started my career in Management Consultancy company. The combination of interesting missions for multinational clients and travelling around the world, meeting people of different cultures was for me the good mix at that time. My goal is to learn, to help others, to be happy in my daily work.
For my job, I was able to travel in Europe and in the US. I really enjoyed it! A few years later, a big turning point in my life: my first son was born. Travelling around Europe and working 14hours a day was not my priority anymore. I wanted to be home every evening and to take time with my son.
As student, I never thought that I would work one day for a bank, it was for me a big and boring institution, with lack of dynamism, lack of empowerment.
BNP Paribas Fortis offered me a nice position, as internal consultant, specialised in Lean & operational excellence. This department was just created with only 5 people, with objective to grow in the Benelux. That’s how I started in BNP Paribas Fortis.
It’s been 18 years now since I’ve started working in the bank. Looking back, my initial thoughts were wrong. Working here has given me the incredible opportunity to develop myself. I had the chance to have a lot of autonomy, empowerment, recognition in all the jobs I got within the bank. I met a lot of people who helped me, who trusted me and guided me. That’s why, it is important for me to be able to give back to the next generation.
Some advice for younger colleagues:
- First, take your life and your career into your own hands, nobody else can do it for you.
- Second, you have the ability to choose what you want to do, when you want to speed up and when you have to slow down. Professional life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s a long journey, so you have to take your time and find the right balance and sometimes to be patient.
- Last but not least, if you fail, try to fail fast and get up again. Think to yourself, “What did I learn?”. It is normal to make errors, don’t blame others. See in yourself what you can do yourself to change and act.
My wish for the future? I would like to continue working in an environment where I love the work that I do, where continuous learning and personal development is the priority.
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