About 2.5 years ago, I decided to apply for Nationale-Nederlanden’s Finance Traineeship. I had just finished my Finance masters, cycled past the gigantic building in Rotterdam every day and was really keen to find out what happened on the inside. To find out more about NN, I began by going to the in-house day. What I found really special was that while most organisations are shouting loudly that they’re the best, NN actually said that it was well on the way, but that a lot still need to happen over the next few years. The organisation had just been through the IPO and was now ready to embrace the future. This meant that the traineeship would offer lots of opportunities for personal and professional development, but you were also expected to add value to the organisation from the outset. That really appealed to me!
And so, in 2015, I started as a trainee in the Finance Strategy department at the head office in The Hague. The department focuses on major change projects at Finance and Risk. I was allowed to work on various projects and I learnt a lot about project and stakeholder management. Because these different projects involved lots of collaboration with other departments, I got to know the organisation well in a really short time. After 1.5 enjoyable years at Finance Strategy, it was time for my second rotation: I switched to the Treasury department of Nationale-Nederlanden Bank.
At NN Bank Treasury I work in Asset Liability Management, where I look at the bank’s interest rate risk and the best possible way of hedging that risk. I also work on one of the bank’s greatest risks: its liquidity risk. How can we ensure that we always meet the liquidity requirements and what tools can we use? The good thing about this job is that you can quickly see the results of your work and that working with other departments such as Finance and Risk is very important. I’ve got opportunity to learn in depth and I really enjoy my work.
For me, the traineeship a really good way of starting your career. In addition to the two rotations in different departments, there’s also real scope for personal development. Trainee days are organised at the various business units to give you a good picture of the organisation, but days are also set aside for personal development by developing new insights with your coaches and each other. You also get the chance to use your own initiative, for example, along with some other trainees, I organised a visit to the ECB and a Finance day during which visited the asset manager NN Investment Partners and went to the AEX in Amsterdam. You also begin with 23 other trainees and each trainee starts in a different department. This means that you have a wide network across the organisation from day one, so there’s always somebody you can contact if you need advice, to grab a cup of coffee with or to accompany you to Friday afternoon drinks.
Loes van Dommelen