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 was with Asset Liability Management, where I had 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 currently working on a project with Trading and specifically, with the Equities desk. I have the opportunity to sit on the trading floor which is a really nice experience as you can see all the action, from execution of large orders to derivatives pricing and valuation models. The project I am working on, will help the Equities desk to identify the performance of the execution algorithms under different market conditions using Unsupervised Learning.

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.”



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