The trainee playground

Blogger: Ellen van der Veer • 06 Sep 2016

As a trainee, I didn’t really realise that there would come an end to what I was doing during the regular days. The only thing that recurred was the feeling that each next Trainee Selection Day seemed to occur earlier each time. The same happened the 10th of June. Suddenly I realised: This was the last one. In 1,5 month my traineeship will be over.

The fact that my traineeship is approaching its end leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand I am looking forward to really start building things up. This time no goodbyes when I feel like I just started, but build upon and benefit from what I have been doing in the first half a year. On the other hand, I am going to miss the group that continues, and whose enthusiasm was extremely motivating. No trainee projects anymore, in which we tried to tackle organisation-wide issues What I am also going to miss is being at a playground full-time, because that is what  the traineeship felt like to me.  And while this piece of text is by far too short to sum up all the fun things I did during my round through TNO, there is one specific moment that I’ll remember: during my second rotation a colleague told me after a successful project that he really dared leaving something to me. Last week we had lunch together and he asked when we could start a new project together. That makes me feel proud and happy.

Besides the content-side of work, people in and around the traineeship have helped me to develop myself to who I am now. Even though a traineeship cannot exist without content – Understanding what motivates me and which beliefs hinder me is the most valuable thing I could get from the last two years.  I seized the opportunity to try different roles within the organisation. I found out that what I like and what I am good at  may not fit in a box very well, but the role that approaches these the closest is ‘consultant’.

After the summer, I will start as a consultant geomechanics in the department Petroleum Geosciences in Utrecht. Last week, I said to a colleague: “I found a job where I can continue playing.” His answer was: “Haven’t you already been playing the last two years?” And while answer to this is a heartfelt YES, I am for sure not done playing yet! The traineeship has given me the opportunity to find out and do what I really like, with the result that I found a spot where I can continue this.

Keep playing!

About the author

Name: Ellen van der Veer (25)
Background: Geology & Geophysics
First dept: Petroleum Geosciences in Utrecht
Second dept: Innovation Centre for Building & Construction in Delft
Third dept: Roadmap Geo-Energy


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