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Chairman in one year

Blogger: Julius Berens • 12 Feb 2016

I remember getting that phone call, about one year ago, that invited me to the trainee selection day. At that time I would not have believed it if you told me that in one year, I would be the chairing that same day. Back then I was looking for a challenging job with enough room to explore new roles and domains. With the TNO traineeship, I found that job.

Apart from the daily work in very different fields, you are offered the chance to do projects that span the full width of the company, ranging from corporate social responsibility to business cases and from organizational strategy to recruitment.

As a trainee at TNO you spend 70% of your time on projects for your (research) department. The remainder of the time is reserved for personal development and other projects. Organizing the trainee selection day was my latest project. As the chairman I was responsible for the various components of the selection procedure of the selection day, managing the tasks for my fellow trainees and chairing the day itself - all in close cooperation with colleagues from the recruitment and human resources departments.

In practice, that means that I did far more than just prepare a welcome speech: I had to coordinate the various presentations, organize meetings to prepare different parts of the selection procedure and delegate all necessary tasks and roles to colleagues. On the day itself I connected the different components with short speeches, checked whether everyone could find their interviewers, guided the group challenge, answered questions and solved logistical challenges behind the curtains.

Looking back, organizing the trainee selection day was a great experience. I saw how much preparation such a day requires and that there are always things popping up that seemed all settled, but refuse to go smoothly.

There are always things to improve next time, but a cool aspect of my job is that people actually give you compliments when things go well - being compared to Obama is certainly one I will remember. I thoroughly enjoyed leading the group in a facilitating role and the chance to project my enthusiasm about TNO onto a group of potential colleagues. I am definitely going to do things like this more often!

About the author

Name: Julius Berens (26)
Background: Aerospace engineering
First department: Performance of Networks and Systems in The Hague
Second department: National Security & Crisismanagement in The Hague

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