I want to feel proud of what I’ve achieved

Christos Saltapidas, Quant trainee

 

“I did a Bachelor in Mathematics in Greece and a Master in Financial Mathematics in Sweden. I came to the Netherlands for an internship, but it was not very related to my studies. I wanted to stay in the country and started looking for a traineeship.

 

I found the Quant traineeship at APG, which is exactly what I studied. APG seems to be the only company in asset management or finance which offers a 100% Quant traineeship. So, closer to math, programming and technical subjects. I was fascinated to see that you can do math, which can impact people’s lives. APG gave me the opportunity and I took it. My selection process took place online. It was quite a long process, but I enjoyed the final steps, like working with other candidates on a case study.

 

My first assignment is with Asset Liability Management, where you have exposure to both sides of the balance sheet. You check the assets and whether they can cover future liabilities. You can also run all the models which can decide pension cuts or pension indexation. I am doing some analysis in comparing the current pension scheme to the new pension contract, which will be introduced in the Netherlands in 2026. The new contract is going to be of a more individual nature and dependent on the financial markets’ fluctuations.

Sometimes I can be a bit of a pessimist. When I achieve a goal, I tend to rationalize it. ‘Yes I did it, but it’s not that big of a deal.’ I want to feel proud of who I am and what I’ve achieved. We get help with that through training. After the first two day session I felt calmer for the next couple of weeks and saw things with a different view. APG provides useful tools for personal development and finding yourself: what is your “why”, what is your final goal? The traineeship is not only a job.

 

I would like to invite everyone to apply. I thought “it’s a big Dutch company, maybe they won’t hire internationals, maybe I don’t have the right background and I don’t stand a chance”. Applying shows ambition. If you make it, the pay-off is very big. It sounds like a cliché, but don’t try to impress the board or HR in the selection process, just be honest and be yourself. That’s what I did.”

 

#doyouseeyourfuturewithAPG

If you make it, the pay-off is very big.