“There is a lot involved in working in such a large company”

Published on: 2 June 2022

Student Danique (15) is Tomorrow’s Leader at APG for one day

Being the boss for a day at a big company, how cool is that? Not going to school but being in control yourself. On June 1, Danique Prick took the chair of Jan Nijland, Director of Risk & Compliance at APG. Because Danique is interested in architecture, she also joined the team of interior designers who are renovating several floors of the APG building in Heerlen. She thought along about a pleasant layout, in which as many wishes of the employees as possible are taken into account.

“Wow, this is so difficult,” sighs Danique. “As an interior designer you make choices for the people who work here. If they are not satisfied, you are only making their job more difficult.” She draws out all the elements for a good workplace on a floor plan. Not just places where you can work concentrated. People should also come together to discuss or have a cup of coffee. She has to take many things into account: the incidence of light, for example, or the type of work of the department. And then of course it also has to look as nice as possible. “Please help me a little,” she asks APG's facility specialists Manon van den Boorn and Joyce Dekkers. The ladies understand that Danique is overwhelmed. “We have many years of experience and know the building and the employees very well. And even then, setting up a department is still difficult.”

Danique is a bit quiet from her day as leader of APG. “There really is a lot involved if you want to do it right for everyone. The company is so big, and everyone already knows so much. It is very exciting to give your opinion.” Jan Nijland is sure she will get there. “Danique is curious and knows exactly what she likes and doesn't want. Not interior architecture, but designing buildings. As far as I'm concerned, she can definitely continue to chase that dream. Do her best at school and don't shy away from challenges like Tomorrow's Leader. Even though that was quite exciting for her.”

In the meantime, Danique is presenting a prize to a colleague who is committed to sustainability within APG. That's part of the job of a director as well.

Tomorrow’s Leader is a project of JINC, in which students from neighborhoods with a socio-economic disadvantage receive support for a fair(er) chance on the labor market. As far as Jan is concerned, this is a very good initiative, which he is happy to participate in. “As one of the largest employers in the region, we feel socially involved in the development of Heerlen and its residents. Education and development of students forms the basis of this. That is incredibly important.”