In March 2019 I started working at NN Group as a sustainability advisor in the Corporate Citizenship department, temporarily replacing a colleague. This was a great opportunity for me as it was the perfect combination of sustainability and finance which I was looking for. During this role I noticed that I enjoy being part of a large organization since this offers numerous possibilities as well as the opportunity to work with interesting people.

 

From a temp to a trainee

What I also liked about working at NN was that my colleagues were all very open and friendly which felt very welcoming to me. As the role I had was temporary, and I wanted to keep working for NN, so I decided to apply for the traineeship. I wanted to develop myself quantitatively as well as qualitatively and was looking for a challenge. Additionally, following courses about investment management and behavioural finance during my studies in Nijmegen really sparked my interest in the investments industry. Therefore, I chose to apply for the Investments track. What also contributed to this choice is that NN has a focus on responsible investment which, personally, I find very important.

Rotations in different departments 
The traineeship consists of three rotations in different departments. For my first role I am working in the General Accounts department. I am working on a quantitative model which can predict the direction of the yields of sovereign bonds in relation to the fixed rate of an interest rate swap. In this model I make use of traditional as well as not-so-traditional data sources, such as ESG and market sentiment data.

 

To do this effectively I am learning to program in R, which can be challenging at times but is also very enjoyable when the computer understands my code. What is also very nice about the traineeship is that you start together with other trainees with whom you can share experiences and make new memories.

 

If you are looking to develop yourself and learn new skills, I can definitely recommend the traineeship. You can reach me at ralf.kooken@nnip.com if you have any questions.