Lea Sporken, former trainee and current portfolio manager in the infrastructure investment team
‘After earning a bachelor’s degree in fiscal economics and a master’s degree in financial economics, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to pursue a second master's. I knew I wanted to do something in investment, I just wasn't sure what. When I came across the APG traineeship, I decided to apply. I had interned at APG as part of my bachelor’s programme and knew it was an exciting place to work, despite the stuffy image most people have of the pension sector. APG is a leader in asset management and also serves a social purpose. This combination really appealed to me.
I started my traineeship in October 2017. My main goal was to figure out what I really wanted to do. I worked for three separate departments. That’s the beauty of this traineeship: you have access to the whole company, which gives you a good idea of the work that goes on here and helps you figure out what you do and don't like. During this process, I realised I liked something I never thought would have suited me: the infrastructure team. We invest in private infrastructure companies in the energy, transport or telecommunication sector.
Thanks to our relatively large share, we can exert a lot of influence in the companies we invest in. Private investment is a longer process with a lot of negotiation, which makes it very dynamic. The work pressure is high and the days are long, which is something I didn’t think I would like before the traineeship. But now that I’m part of the team, I really enjoy the tight deadlines and the hectic peaks followed by periods of relative quiet. Without the traineeship, I may never have ended up in this field.