I am taking you back to our recent post about the Treasury Management and Corporate Finance program at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. We mentioned to share some Register Treasurer (RT) graduate profiles to give you a better insight of treasurer types that are “RT material”. Let’s kick off with the first interview with Mathieu Ummelen.
Mathieu Ummelen is a Treasury and Corporate Finance interim professional who successfully graduated as a RT. We asked him the following questions regarding his ‘world of treasury’ experience:
What was your main reason to start a career in treasury?
My interest in financial markets started when the stock markets crashed in October 1987. As a 15-year-old boy, I was stunned how companies could be worth 20% less overnight. I wanted to know more about that, resulting in a study of business economics at Tilburg University.
I found courses such as corporate finance, treasury management and derivatives the most interesting, so that after my studies I started looking for a position in treasury and I found that as a trainee at FMO. On my first working day I had to analyse the cash position, and when I was allowed to place the excess cash (USD 2 million) on an overnight deposit, I definitely devoted to the profession and I still am.
Why did you start with the RT program?
After a year in the traineeship program, I was asked by the treasurer to quit the program early and join the treasury department. Although I received a great training-on-the-job there, I was also happy to be given te opportunity to follow the post-doctoral Treasury Management course. In the first instance my goal was to gain more specific knowledge about treasury, for example, the legal and fiscal aspects of treasury were not part of the curriculum at the university. But shortly after the start of the course I realized that the interaction with fellow students and building a network of peers were (at least) just as valuable.
Are you still in touch with your peers?
The weekly contact with a group of peers who are in the same phase of their career was one of the most positive aspects of the Treasury Management program for me. It was an ideal way to quickly build a network of peers, and I probably learned more from them than from the theoretical part of the program. The contact has been somewhat diluted over the years, but I still have contact with some.
Did following the program influence your relation with your family, friends and/or colleagues?
Taking the course takes quite a lot of time, not only the number of hours of lecture and travel time, but of course also preparation and studying for the exams. Fortunately, I started the course a year and a half after my graduation, so I was still used to studying. Also, we had no children yet and my wife was also following a course, that made it easier for me to study in the evening or at the weekend than for some fellow students. So, if you are considering to follow the program, my advice would be to do it as soon as you can!
Become a Register Treasurer yourself and apply for the course that will start on 1 September 2019!
More info here
More stories please! Read the RT story of Richard.