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'Then minutes of feeling grounded helps you excel at work '

Celine Chua -
​​​​​​​Finance Program Manager

From Singapore to the Netherlands

'The drive to keep on discovering is a common thread in my life. I’ve always travelled a lot and I absolutely love learning about other cultures. I come from Singapore, but one of my favourite cities is Hong Kong: chaotic, mysterious and full of energy. It’s perfect for explorers like me. I moved to the Netherlands for love. It was a difficult step, but I saw it as an adventure. A new and inspiring world opened up to me. Fortunately, I still have a lot of contact with my family and we see each other about three times a year. And, besides, discovery can also be found in smaller things. I’m curious and like to try new things, whether it’s a recently opened restaurant or a new sport.’

Searching for the connection with positive energy

'After finishing my studies in business management, I had various jobs in banking. At NN, I started as Enterprise Risk Manager, but a year ago I switched to Finance Programme Manager. In the FRR (Financial Reporting Risk) programme, it’s my job to ensure that risks and controls are clearly identified. The idea behind this programme is to offer assurance that transactions are correctly registered. Correct registration and transparency are necessary to enable us to prepare financial overviews for the pubic and to show that as an organisation we are in full control. The information I give to our CEO and CFO must allow them to set up and retain adequate internal controls on financial reporting.’

‘The programme brings people together from a variety of different departments. The biggest challenge for me to find agreement by communicating. I look for ways of tackling issues strategically and efficiently and to convince others. This role is a perfect fit for me because I’m good at adapting to different situations and people, so am able to engage colleagues. In addition, I’m very structured, disciplined and organised, so that I’m able to maintain an overview in this diverse group and be the stabilising factor.’

The balance between a busy schedule and silence

‘I’m very energetic and always interested in the people around me. Sometimes I talk so much and so quickly that people say to me: “can’t you be quiet for a moment?” It’s a real challenge to balance my busy schedule and energetic nature, but it’s something I need to do. By practising yoga for ten minutes every morning, going to the gym three times a week, reading books and going for lots of walks in the countryside, I find peace and quiet. Every day, I take the time to switch off and enjoy the silence and the slow pace of life at that moment. Reading a book takes me to a different universe, to a world that has nothing to do with my day-to-day life. The silence and the fresh air in the woods help me to relax. It allows me to continue on my journey of discovery fully energised.’

Stepping out of your comfort zone

'Do you know what I really enjoy about working at NN? They genuinely look further than your job. That’s very different from the companies I’ve previously worked at. There were undoubtedly other candidates with enough experience, but they chose me, also because of my positive attitude, resilience and desire to keep on developing. NN encourages colleagues to step out of their comfort zone by offering courses and the opportunity to gain international experience. It’s one of the reasons why NN is such a good fit for me. If I notice a dip in my motivation, I immediately start looking for ways to spark my curiosity. I continue to learn by constantly finding interesting challenges. It makes me stronger in my work, but also as a person. NN focuses a lot on colleagues and helps us to carry on discovering and growing. For example, I’ve also learnt Dutch via NN. I was recently nominated by the Finance Management team for the Top Female of the year award. They admired my motivation and ambition to constantly improve. I chose to hold my pitch in Dutch. It was nerve-wracking but also a real learning experience. It was an honour to be nominated…. and I won.’

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Meet our finance colleagues