Part 1: Why investment management?
‘It was the middle of January, 2014. I had just handed in my Master thesis and I was ready to move on and start a full-time career. Determined to find a company that would offer a challenging position as well as a steep learning curve, and all of that in an environment fitting my personality. But how do you find a company that offers you what you want? Where do you search? How do you position yourself as an attractive employee? And most importantly, how do you make sure that your next career step is the best move?’
If you are asking yourself the same or similar questions, then “From student, to trainee and beyond…” blog series is for you!
‘My name is Aleksandar. Originally from Bulgaria, I have been living in the Netherlands for the past six years. Within this time I was able to obtain a Bachelor’s diploma from Amsterdam University and a Master’s degree from the Rotterdam School of Management. I started studying Business and Economics and by my 2nd year I had to choose a specialized track in either one of these disciplines. I preferred to continue with Economics, and more specifically Finance, as I found these topics challenging and practical. While following my courses, I got introduced to the investment sector and I was immediately intrigued. Why? Because investment management proactively helps people to secure their financial futures.’
What exactly is investing?
‘Think about it’, says Aleksandar, ‘If people have more money than they need they may choose to spend it on luxury items, such as a bigger car, a holiday or a new house. However, they may also decide to save the money for future needs. The same counts for organizations. People do not always realize that by leaving money in a bank the money may lose value over time. People can also choose to put the money on a savings account and earn an interest rate higher than the inflation. In this situation, they won’t lose money, but they will probably also not gain much over time.
Investing is a more active way to get a higher return on savings in the future. There are various ways to invest money to increase its value. But there is also a certain risk involved. To invest in the financial market, you need expertise about all investment options and access to different markets. This is where the role of investment institutions becomes clear. These organizations have both the knowledge about different asset classes and the necessary access to markets.’
‘I realized this was my kind of environment. This was the practical and challenging industry I was looking for and planned to have a career in. However, “beating the market” and getting the return that people expect is never easy. The basics I learned during my Bachelor were not enough. I had to expand my academic knowledge in this area. This is how I ended up following a Master degree in Finance and Investments at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.
Ultimately, after graduation, the next step was to find a suitable starting position. The issue was that the number of companies that were offering opportunities in English, in the Netherlands was small.’
How did Aleksandar end up at NN Investment Partners? Read the next blog in this series to find out!
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