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How I know I won’t be replaced by a robot

ORMIT Alumni - Finance Traineeship at BNP Paribas Fortis.

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By Alexandre Tielemans

Relationship Manager Corporate Banking & Innovation Hub at BNP Paribas Fortis

We live in a digital world where technology is developing at ever increasing speed. And there’s one question workers are asking now more than ever: will I be replaced by a robot? Well, not if you have an advantage over them. My secret? A traineeship with ORMIT. Let me explain.

My road to a traineeship at ORMIT

In 2015, after graduating from school, I decided to travel for half a year. I wanted to take my time to reflect on what I wanted to do, career wise. I soon realised I wanted to work in finance, but being stuck in a desk chair all day long wasn’t too appealing. So, when I got a call from a headhunter at ORMIT offering me a traineeship, it sounded like the perfect proposal to me.

A programme where you get to try out different career tracks, test your leadership skills AND get paid? And a contract with BNP Paribas Fortis at the end of the road? Sign me up!

But what really convinced me? The emphasis on developing soft skills. In school, all they really teach you are facts and figures. But nothing about how to interact with other human beings. Funny, because those soft skills are gaining more and more importance.

Can a machine do what you do?

“If a machine can do better, you need to think about it.” Not my words but Jack Ma’s. CEO of Alibaba, one of the most successful e-commerce companies in the world. “Every skill we develop should be different from what a machine can do.” And he’s right.

During my traineeship at BNP Paribas Fortis, I was challenged to test my soft skills in any way imaginable – from role play with actors to studying apes in the zoo (yes, really!). Talking about taking you out of your comfort zone … And it was brilliant! The role play was a great way to test my gut reaction to certain difficult situations. And from studying the apes I gathered insights about group dynamics.

Empathy is key

During my time with ORMIT, I learned a lot about psychology, about why people react the way they do – and how to use that wisdom to create a better work environment. If every manager learned about empathy, it would be much easier to reach goals.

So, will I be replaced by a robot? I don’t think so. And neither will you, if you have the right skillset. Don’t know where to start? A traineeship is always a good idea.