My transformation from student to so called “Future Leader”
When I was moving towards graduation of the Finance & Investments Master, I started to think about my future career. What do I really want to do? A traineeship or rather a starting position? In which sector do I see myself working? Do I prefer a multinational or a smaller firm? So many questions popped up in my head and the number of possibilities seemed endless…
An Insurance company doesn’t sound very sexy, does it?
After my graduation, I packed my backpack and travelled for some months in Asia (pretty mainstream right?). During my travels, I had plenty of time to think about all the previously mentioned questions. First, I decided that I would like to do a Traineeship at a company where I had the possibility to go abroad. Although I knew that getting into a Traineeship is tough, I decided that I would like to give it a shot before starting to explore other possibilities.
Back in the Netherlands, I started applying for different Traineeships. NN Group was not at the top of the list, and I would be lying if I said I had always wanted to work for an Insurance company. However, one day a friend told me about her experiences as a Trainee at NN. She was really positive and this made me curious for the first time about NN and its Traineeship. I applied for an Inhouse Day (which I would strongly recommend!). I expected old men in suits and a classic business culture but found a firm employing young and diverse people with different business models under one umbrella.
Long story short: I decided to apply! During the application procedure my enthusiasm grew mainly due to the personal approach in the interview. After several rounds, I was very happy to receive an offer and I started in September 2018 as a NN Finance Trainee.
One year later: my experiences so far…
I started together with 17 other fresh graduates as the ’18 NN Trainee cohort. After a great introduction week, the challenge began. From that day on, we were seen as the “Future Leaders” of the company. For me personally, it helped that I started with a group of young and ambitious people who were all more or less in the same situation as I was. Now, one year later, we have become a close group of friends both inside and outside the office.
A big reason why we became such a close group of friends is because of the collective Personal Development Programme at De Baak. Within the Traineeship there is a great focus on personal growth, leadership and development. Of course this is part of almost every Traineeship, but I feel that within the NN Traineeship getting to know yourself has a very dominant and central role.
Getting to know yourself
During the two years, we have multiple two-day off-sites at De Baak. These days are all about getting to know yourself and your fellow Trainees. Our Program is divided into several modules in which we address amongst others the following questions: how have I become the person that I am today? What is my (natural) role in a group and why? How do I deal with resistance and conflict and how can I make an impact? I experienced this as very insightful, but sometimes very confronting as well. I dare to state that I am much more aware of my own attitude and behaviour and that I managed to discover how and where I can make a difference. I am very curious what the remaining modules at De Baak will bring me.
Besides De Baak, the Traineeship contains more useful trainings and workshops that helped me in my day-to-day work, but also in getting to know myself better as a person. Amongst others, we had a Pitch Workshop, Profile Dynamics workshop and PowerBI Training. I see all of these trainings and workshops as tools which will help me develop into what is expected of a Trainee: a “Future Leader”. Of course I am just halfway through the Traineeship, but I can already say that I am very happy with my choice: it feels like the kickstart of my career!
I hope that my story and experiences helped you with all the questions you personally may have. For any questions about NN, the Traineeship or my personal journey, feel free to contact me by mail firstname.lastname@example.org or via Linkedin.