The Career Accelerator Programme at Avantage Reply
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Risk Magazine sat together with Kyryll Derzhovskyy, who recently joined Avantage Reply in Amsterdam. During the talk, Kyryll shared his experiences about Avantage Reply’s Career Accelerator Programme (CAP). Kyryll started working in Amsterdam in September 2018 after finishing his master’s degree in finance at Tilburg University including a minor at the EDHEC Business School.
Avantage Reply was established in 2004 and is a member of Reply. Avantage Reply offers proprietary solutions, methodologies, and prototypes to customers in the Banking and Insurance sector ranging from mid-sized institutions to global organizations. With operations in Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome, and Turin, Avantage Reply delivers consulting services in the areas of Risk, Compliance, Finance, and Operations. Avantage Reply’s CAP is a combination of both professional work and thorough study towards a professional qualification, namely a risk management certification. The CAP is a two-year programme for driven risk management talents who hold a university degree in Business Administration, Economics, Actuary, or any other finance-related degree.
At the events, the new joiners have to opportunity to network with colleagues from other European subsidiaries.
Avantage Reply’s CAP offers young graduates the perfect opportunity to kick-start their consultancy career in Risk Management in the Banking and Insurance sectors. In the first week of the CAP, the newly employed graduates from all over Europe gather in Cambridge. During this introduction week, lectures, case studies, and group presentations, as well as group activities like going out for dinner and drinks or paintball, are scheduled. At the events, the new joiners have to opportunity to network with colleagues from other European subsidiaries. Kyryll described the spirit during the introduction week as “hard work paired with a great amount of fun.”
Furthermore, Kyryll points out that the information flow never feels overwhelming despite the frenetic pace of lectures on subjects such as Risk Management, Compliance & Regulation, and Financial Services Industry. Lectures and business games or team exercises are scheduled alternating and after a theory lesson, the new joiners apply the newly learned skills. Guest lectures demonstrate the real-life applications of the given material. According to Kyryll, this represents the hard work. The fun part revolves around the great people you meet throughout the introduction week at the socials and the working sessions. Also, Kyryll stresses that many senior lecturers are approachable and “eager to share their experiences”. There is a great sense of inclusiveness.
The aim of the introduction week in Cambridge is to provide insights into various risk issues faced by financial institutions, fintech startups, clearing houses etc. to be prepared for the upcoming challenges of the daily life of the risk consultant. Furthermore, networking is highly recommended as projects are often done with international teams from various locations.
Knowledge-sharing is one of the strongest notions in Avantage Reply, not only on a one-to-one basis but also during the internal company lectures.
After the introduction week, experienced mentors support each consultant. Together, a career plan is tailored to personal interests and experiences. This mentor is also from major importance in terms of knowledge-sharing. Knowledge-sharing is one of the strongest notions in Avantage Reply, not only on a one-to-one basis but also during the internal company lectures. On a daily basis, the new joiners work closely with colleagues from different offices on challenging projects, both local and overseas. Throughout the year, there are multiple occasions, including a summer business trip and a big Reply Christmas party, where all employees from Europe meet and exchange their experiences.
Lastly, Kyryll states that Avantage Reply is constantly looking for “ambitious and talented graduates” who hold a finance-related degree. Having the necessary drive and being customer-oriented are key characteristics an applicant should present. Also, Avantage Reply’s employees have a passion for the financial sector and the desire to make a difference. Kyryll says that he has gained valuable experience from day one onwards and has been able to build lasting networks.