From Intern to Trainee

Leestijd: 3 minuten

Name: Maximilian Bergauer

Track: General Management

Studied: Management, International Business

Trainee year: 2019


Sunday 10.04.2016

I am flying to the NL from my study abroad in Thailand. In my luggage I only have a few souvenirs, and a bunch of tailored shirts and suits (Despite the premium you pay as a foreigner, it was still very cheap 😉 ). They will come in handy for Tuesday.

Tuesday 12.04.2016 

I walk up to ‘Haagse Poort’, it’s the start of my 6 month internship in Asset Servicing for NN Investment Partners in The Hague. I am standing in front of the flashy building. A bit excited (I heard somewhere that telling yourself you are excited is always better than saying nervous) and I am very curious about what I am going to experience.

In retrospect I remember two pieces of advice my manager gave me on the first day, the first one being “Loose the tie” (The company culture is more business casual), and the second, “Find an interesting project besides your daily work, otherwise you will get bored of it” (There are plenty of things going on within the company and pro-active participation is always welcome).

Tuesday 11.10.2016 

It’s 6 months later and the last day of my internship has arrived. Wow, finally I don’t have to wake up with an alarm anymore for the next 2 months! Jokes aside, the internship was a very enriching experience and I learned not only how the asset management side of NN works, but also a lot about team work and innovative topics in the financial industry (Blockchain, Robots, AI, etc.). I am also happy that I followed the second advice of my manager and attended several of the NN Young events because they inspired me to become a trainee in the future myself.

What inspired me to apply for the General Management Traineeship?

NN Young is a committee within NN who organize regularly events to get to know people from all over the organization. I participated in sports events (Tennis, Golf, Mud Master), networking events (Drinks, Pub quizzes) but also interesting speeches and workshops. During those events I met several of the trainees. I perceived them as smart, ambitious and fun to be with. Thus, I told myself that I would like to be part of such an inspiring group. The biggest hurdle at that time was that the programme requires a Master degree. I remember during the last week of my internship, I stepped by at the traineeship coordinator and told her that I would get a Master from a Top University and then apply for the traineeship again in the future. When it was time, I preferred the General Management Track over the Investments/ Finance & Risk Tracks because I see myself more as an allrounder and this track gives me the most exposure to very different departments and roles.

Why specifically NN?

As a German, I would describe NN as an “International company with a Dutch heart”.

NN has various business units and operates in 18 countries, however the Dutch openness and practical thinking are everywhere. As a German I am used to high levels of hierarchy. Approaching the boss of my boss is already difficult let alone as an intern. At NN I had the chance to talk with people from all levels of hierarchy. They actively asked me about my ideas and opinions, which made me feel valued and part of the company. Even after the internship ended, I stayed in contact with several of my former colleagues. Coming back felt to a certain degree like coming home.

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