Name: Ilse Groot
Track: General Management
Studied: International Public Management and Policy
Trainee year: 2018
When I tell my former university classmates that I started my career at NN Group, I am often greeted by a sheepish look followed by the simple question “why?”. After all, my friends tell me, NN Group is a) a company and b) which is even worse, a company within the financial sector. And on top of all that, NN Group is a gigantic company that is also old-fashioned. Right? Wrong; and I would like to tell you why.
When I started my studies, I knew that I wanted to contribute “something” to society. I have heard that my generation has some issues with putting their ambitions into perspective, but clearly I was not one of those. Hence the reason why I started my study International Public Management. Here I was surrounded every day by people who also had big hearts for society and the environment.
The drive and ambition to make a difference has motivated many of my friends to apply for (international) organizations where likeminded people work on exactly those society-related fields. Places like the United Nations, the European Union and our own government. And yet, I noticed that when I was interning at a Dutch embassy, progress was relatively slow due to the time that it takes to align international interests. While I was working to advance trade between The Netherlands and the host country, and while I was studying about public-private partnerships, I realized that actually a lot could be gained in the private sector. I believe that sustainability and public goals can go hand in hand with business. Especially at companies like NN Group, this combination is playing an important role because of their societal responsibility. And as this significance keeps growing, examples where business goes hand in hand with public goals are found everywhere at NN Group.
Pension is about more than just handing out some money every month. It is also about financial security and social well-being. Similarly, a disability insurance is also about sustainable employability, and thus about mental and physical health. The damage caused by natural disasters, such as excessive rain storms due to climate change, are paid for by a financial company like NN Group. Here, NNIP’s investors are held accountable in terms of responsible investment. And the list goes on and on.
So yes, NN Group is a company, even a financial company. But it is working on many societal topics on a daily basis. In my eyes this is not old-fashioned, but a company that is looking towards innovation and that is moving forward. And even though there is still a lot to be done in the eyes of a typical (International) Public Management graduate with a heart for society, there is an opportunity here to really make a difference.
If you are interested in the NN traineeship or if you just want to know how it is to work in the financial sector without having a financial background, don’t hesitate to ask me a question.
I am most easily reachable at my e-mail address: email@example.com. I would love to hear from you!
NN Group Traineeships