Name: Viola Dijkman
Track: General Management
Studied: Corporate Communication
Trainee year: 2020
Working in the world of finance
As a communications student, a financial company is not high on the list of future employers, at least it wasn’t for me. While studying we talked to communication agencies, PR or marketing related creative agencies, and advertisement bureaus, but never to a big financial institution like NN. I don’t like to admit it, but the stigma of this environment (old men in grey suits) was definitely present. However, I soon found out this was not a true image…
I first came in contact with banking & insurance when I started writing my thesis about organizational change and communication and interviewed employees at a bank in the Netherlands. I noticed my prejudice could not have been more wrong. I met enthusiastic, friendly, and above all a wide variety of people. My opinion was even more changed after visiting an inhouse-day at NN. Here I spoke to motivated trainees and managers that were really happy with NN as their employer. I also noticed that they were all very honest. I did not feel like NN was trying to come across as the best employer ever, everybody was trying to paint a realistic picture of NN’s culture and values. After this inhouse-day I decided that the idea I had of financial companies was misplaced and incorrect. Moreover, I decided that NN would be a fantastic place to start my career.
Letters vs numbers
I have never been very good with numbers, math was my least favorite subject in school. When I accepted the job offer at NN I thought to myself: “This might be a good time to start organizing your own finances” as that is also one of my least favorite things to do – ironic right? I would be lying if I said that I never worried about my non-financial background while working at NN. I lack all basic knowledge when it comes to balance sheets, investments, financial regulations, and countless other financial subjects. However, I was able to put this in perspective by telling myself that they knew my background when hiring me and my skills would also contribute towards the goals of the company.
Added value and more than finance
Even though I sometimes lack knowledge on specific subjects, I notice more and more how I can be of added value. My different outlook on things, my creativity (with words – definitely not with numbers) is something that is just as important in this company. The diversity of people is what makes a company strong and future proof. Furthermore, there are plenty of job opportunities and projects that have nothing to do with finance. My first rotation in the General Management Traineeship is at the central IT department, where I am working on the implementation of a new data platform. There is so much happening inside the company and there are so many new things to discover every day. If you somehow do notice that your lack of knowledge starts to hinder your work in any way, there are lots of training opportunities, e-learnings, and patient co-workers willing to explain things to you. After three months of working at NN, I can definitely state that working here is eventful, the work is varied and it is so much more than balance sheets (and I didn’t come across a single grey suit yet)!
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
M: +31 6 31103397