Reflecting on why we invest

Odette Mutsaers, Investment & portfolio management trainee


“I did a Master’s in Finance as a logical follow-up to my Bachelor's degree in Economics. But I also have a Master's in Philosophy. I found the compulsory subject Business Ethics in Economics especially interesting. That's all about taking a non-quantitative view of the economy and society. Both the Bachelor's and the Master’s offer fairly traditional subject matter, much of which is from the quantitative angle. On the one hand, that's no bad thing. Investing simply means that you have to be well versed in quantity aspects. But I also learned about the various forms an economy can take, what effect that form has on how people interact and what models, roles and responsibilities exist within organizations.


I considered applying for a PhD position, but was really more interested in working with others and connecting with society. The idea of a traineeship caught my attention because it involves working but also being given guidance on a personal level. That can help when you arrive from university because you're not yet aware of the pitfalls the work involves. I was looking for an organization where I could be involved in investing, but where sustainability and the reason why we invest are also considered. That's what makes pensions so interesting to me.

I was also in the final round for a traineeship elsewhere but there I had less freedom of choice in terms of assignments. At APG you're given the opportunity to do an assignment at various departments. The first assignment is allocated to you. When you're new, it's kind of nice to have that decided for you. I’m currently working on a platform at Treasury & Trading to make derivatives management more efficient. I have a small team with a lot of interaction and short lines of communication. Even though everything has to be done online now, steps are taken to help us focus on working together. It does take a bit more time to get to know the organization and a bit more energy to get to know everyone. 


Much more than with a job, the three assignments give you the chance to experience different departments. That way you discover what suits you best after the traineeship, and I think that's a big plus. Depending on the department, the type of work or products can be very different. Now I still think it all suits me, but that might turn out different in practice."



Experiencing so many departments helps you discover what suits you best.