Tjardo on his Actuarial Traineeship at MN

Young professional Tjardo wasn't sure about his career path right after graduating. Understandable, with an overflowing inbox full of recruiters and insufficient experience to choose a clear direction. After thorough exploration, he found his way to Solid Professionals. With the guidance from his talent manager and his full-time traineeship at MN, he discovered his passion for actuarial work. "It's definitely not boring!"

Marjolein Jansen
Marjolein Jansen

Room for exploration

Tjardo has been working as a young professional at pension administrator MN for almost a year now. As a recent graduate, it was challenging for him to choose a job. “After my studies in Mathematics and Physics, I started out by researching online. The options were overwhelming, with many companies and, consequently, numerous job openings. That’s why I thought it was essential to take the time to explore,” says Tjardo. 

Ultimately, he landed at Solid Professionals through his girlfriend. “She had been following a traineeship with us for a while and always spoke enthusiastically about her work. We studied the same subjects, and she told me about the way Solid Professionals emphasizes personal development. This sounded like a good fit for me too,” Tjardo explains. 

Getting hands-on experience in his field, while also benefiting from personal guidance appealed to Tjardo. “It’s unique that, as a starter, you have a talent manager who oversees your development outside your employer. Additionally, I feel that with this traineeship, I have more room to explore what I really enjoy doing because you dive straight into working with the client. With other traineeships, I had the feeling that I would be doing more internal work at the placement agency itself, resulting in less practical learning. 

You can read a job description, but you never really know what it’s truly like until you actually work there. It’s reassuring that Solid Professionals supports me in that. You are well-prepared for your role, jointly investigating what truly suits you and where your ambitions lie.”  

Finding direction in your career

After a successful introduction, Tjardo and recruiter Esther began the search for a job that truly suits him. “When the vacancy for the Advice and Actuarial department at MN came up, we prepared the application together. I received tips on what questions to expect, things I could ask them during the  interview, as well as more substantive information about the company itself. This way, I knew exactly who I would be facing in the interview. That gave me the confidence that I was ready for the conversation.” 

The preparation paid off, resulting in a new job! “Now I am a trainee policy advisor/actuary at MN. An actuary deals with calculating and evaluating risks with financial consequences. During my onboarding, I quickly discovered that my passion lies in the Actuarial department. This led me to enroll in the actuary training, a kind of pre-master for the European Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), at the Actuarial Institute. I checked with my talent manager Tim and my manager at MN if it was possible to combine this education with my traineeship, and it was! 

With his personal training budget from Solid Professionals, Tjardo was able to cover a significant part of the training costs. “A year ago, I had no idea that I wanted to become an actuary, but it turns out to be a perfect fit for me. It’s funny how things unfold when you really start working after your studies. 

Tjardo Grotendorst

"At first, a pension fund might not sound like the most exciting company to work for, but it has surprised me in a good way."

Complicated? No, complex and challenging!

”My days vary a lot,” Tjardo says. “Some days I work on projects like converting data from Excel to programming languages, and sometimes I spend a lot of time in meetings.” When asked what Tjardo likes about his work, he‘s got the answer ready straight away. “I enjoy when things get complicated; it’s like solving a puzzle for me.” 

“One of my projects was contributing to the recovery plan for a pension fund, which must be submitted every year. It was quite challenging because I had to thoroughly understand an existing and fairly complex model to make the necessary calculations. But now, when I see the results of our work on the website of the pension fund we work for at MN, I feel quite proud.”

The pension transition is in full swing, which also affects Tjardo’s work. “It’s exciting to be part of that, but it can be challenging at times. The discussions about how we continue with our work are interesting, but can also get intense. I discussed with my talent manager how to substantiate my opinion well during such moments so I can contribute to the conversation.”

Positively surprised

“At first, a pension fund might not sound like the most exciting company to work for, but it has surprised me in a good way,” he continues. “I have challenging assignments, and because my colleagues have been in the field for a while, I can learn a lot from them. So, it’s definitely not boring!” 

Tjardo views his choosing this traineeship as a great decision. ”It suits me very well, just as I expected. I also genuinely benefit from the personal development trainings I receive at Solid Professionals. The Secure Base training (about being challenged in a safe environment) is one I won’t forget; I gained a lot of insights into myself during these days with my peers.”

In the monthly discussions with his talent manager Tim, Tjardo has the opportunity to discuss his career and personal growth. “Because it’s an extra set of eyes looking at your development, you can be challenged to think about questions you hadn’t even considered, such as: what do you actually want to achieve for yourself, beyond just doing your job? Through these conversations, I’ve become aware, for example, of the importance of seeking feedback. By applying this, I have developed stronger connections with my colleagues, and more openness has been created.”

Tip from Tjardo

Are you a recent graduate, and looking for a job? Tjardo has a tip for you: “Take the time to explore your options broadly as a newcomer. While your studies provide specific knowledge, it often remains somewhat distant from practical application. On the one hand, that’s a drawback, but on the other hand, it also means you have many avenues to explore.”

“Start with online research and engage in conversations with companies or recruiters that interest you,” Tjardo continues. “Consider what you’re looking for in a job, but also what you don’t want; that way, you can eliminate options! I definitely recommend a traineeship at Solid Professionals; I’ve learned a lot here.”

Interested in becoming an actuary too?

Contact one of our recruiters or check out the job vacancy!

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