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'The personal development program makes you very aware of the qualities and the pitfalls you have'

Berber Harkema - General Management Trainee

Why did you choose the traineeship? 

'During my Master, I started to look forward to the ‘working life’. I realized that there are so many things to experience and to learn, especially right after graduating, that I didn’t want to start in a regular job right away. I heard a lot about traineeships, and really liked the fact that you work in different environments and in different projects. After sociology, a traineeship at the government seems a logical choice. However, the nature of the work and the job perspectives in other companies were more appealing. Next to that, there is a lot of emphasis on your own personal development. Those two things combined really interested me. And Delta Lloyd (now NN) offered a great and professional program for it.'

What do you know now?

'My traineeship ended in September 2018. After that, I started as a team manager of an underwriting team. An underwriter is responsible for new business and evaluating the risks of this insurance. In this role, I was responsible for 15 team members and for the goals of our department. Since a couple of weeks I made a next step within my department. I’m now, as a (program)manager, responsible for a big migration of the old policy systems to our new system. And of course still working on my personal development (that never stops..)! NN offers a Leadership Bootcamp for selected (young) managers, in which I participated this year. This really inspired me. Topics we discussed, for example, were your personal leadership, the role of new leadership, strategy of NN and customer satisfaction.'

What do you think the traineeship did for you?

'I think it’s amazing that when you’ve only just entered the labor market, you get so many chances to try and learn. In my traineeship I did four completely different kind of assignments. Combined with my current and previous job, I’ve only worked a couple of years and already started my sixth job experience. These experiences, combined with the different roles, managers and stakeholders, force you to step out of your comfort zone. Besides that, the personal development program makes you very aware of the qualities and the pitfalls you have, this ensures a steep learning curve.'


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