Kelly Kiraly is a fourth-year International & European Law student from Hungary and Spain, specialising in commercial law. As part of her internship requirements, she completed a 6-month internship at Citco Bank, located in Amsterdam. Read more about her experience as a KYC intern below!
1. What kind of company were you working for?
Citco is a bank, providing financial and banking services to commercial entities as the majority of their clients. I was working at their branch in Amsterdam, but it also has other branches worldwide, including in Dublin and Luxembourg. The Amsterdam branch had around 300 people working in the bank, while the Compliance Department (which I was working in) had around 20-30 people.
2. What kind of tasks were you assigned, and by whom?
As an intern, I was a member of the KYC (Know-Your-Client) team. My official function was actually as a ‘trainee’. I worked within the Compliance Department, of which the KYC team was a part of. The KYC team had several sub-teams, and I was part of the Periodic Review team. This team performs periodic reviews on the existing client accounts, focusing on the documentation side. After requesting documents from the client, our team has to determine – based on these documents – whether there has been any significant changes to the client’s company or not. For example, whether the structure of the company has changed, as this may affect the risk of the client.
The KYC team has the purpose of determining whether all the most up-to-date documentation is on file, and determine whether the risk of the client is affected. Once this is completed, the other part of the KYC team writes up the risk assessments. My supervisor was the Business Project Manager, but all of my periodic review tasks were handed to me by a KYC Officer in the team.
3. How has the IEL programme prepared you for the practical work of an internship?
Following the course Multinationals & Corruption in my third year (now Anti-Money Laundering Compliance) taught me well about the basics of compliance and its importance in a firm. It helped me to understand the purpose of my position as an intern in the KYC team. The programme also taught me the basics of business communication with other people in my team, and helped me understand how to target specific clientele and tailor my communication accordingly. Most of all, through the programme I learned how to conduct extensive research, which was required by my internship – I had to conduct background research on every individual and every company involved in the structure.
4. How much supervision do you receive for your tasks?
This varied – at the beginning of my internship, I received quite a high level of supervision and explanations for my tasks. Once I finished the tasks, I received feedback and sometimes had to change a lot of information. Later on, I decided to ask for feedback throughout the process of completing my tasks, to avoid going all the way back to the beginning. Whenever I had doubts, I was always able to ask any questions. Towards the end of my internship, I was given more responsibility and less supervision for tasks, as I grasped how to complete them myself.
5. What kind of a work environment does the company/organisation have?
I really enjoyed the company’s work environment, and I had a lot of fun working with the employees. We were sitting in a group environment, with our desks located together, so we were close enough to interact. Since the whole periodic review process is based on teamwork, we were required to consult each other and work on an account as part of a bigger framework. When I worked on my tasks for a particular branch, i.e. for Luxembourg, I had to constantly work as a team. We also had a team goal for each week – we had to review 35 accounts weekly, so we had to divide this large task between the team fairly.
6. How has following this internship contributed to your personal career goals?
My personal career goal is to work as an in-house business lawyer for a commercial company. Working at Citco gave me the experience of working at a commercial firm and financial institution, and I really enjoyed working at a bank. Through this internship, I was able to gain this experience, but also know that my focus will be in another area – I do not want to work in the area of compliance, but more broadly on all commercial matters, from tax to contracts and any other legal work. This is why I would like to follow a Master’s following this degree programme in commercial and corporate law.
7. What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I enjoyed getting to work with my colleagues, and the great work environment that I was able to be a part of. However, I would have enjoyed more responsibility during my internship, such as getting to assist in other areas of legal work.
8. Would you recommend working at this company to other students of the programme?
I would definitely recommend working at Citco to anyone who is interested in the financial sector, and to someone who is interested in pursuing compliance as a career.