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There are a lot of activities that take place during the traineeship. Some of these activities occur twice a year, like the Trainee Selection Day and final presentations of the trainee projects. Others, such as the workshops, coaching and peer-to-peer coaching occur every month or every two months. Additionally, there are the social activities: the Spring Day, the Trainee Weekend and Christmas Dinner. With this blog post, we hope to give you an insight into the past year’s activities, starting with the most recent ones.
Every year around October a few trainees organise an informal weekend for all trainees: The Trainee Weekend! This year the weekend was set for sailing. After a meetup at Weesp, we set sail for Muiden. We left Muiden on Saturday morning and sailed across the Markermeer to Hoorn before returning to Weesp on Sunday.
Friday night had us invading the only local bar and partying like proper trainees. This left us in perfect condition to enjoy the Indian summer sun for the rest of the weekend, while picking up on a sailing 101. We shared some amazing trainee-made meals, a Saturday night trainee quiz and plenty of time for card games and chatting to each other. It really was the perfect closing of the summer season.
Presentation ready? Check! Audience present? Check! Business casual outfit? Check! After five months of hard work, four trainees presented the results of our trainee projects. In these projects, you work with 4 to 5 other trainees and TNO-wide topics are addressed.. The goal of this being to come up with fresh and creative ideas. Then it was time to show our findings to our clients (scientists and managers), sponsors (managers and directors) and other interested TNO’ers. Just as with other trainee events, the organization and hosting was in our own hands. The presentations showed great examples of the impact we can achieve by working on these projects. For example, one team of trainees showed the TNO machine! The team had collected several TNOs innovations and combined them in a real machine. The other presentations showed solutions for how TNO can manage their intellectual property, how TNO can improve internal knowledge sharing and how to get more value out of projects using pressure cookers.
Every 6 months, some of our fellow trainees finish their traineeship. To honour this, a dinner is organised by the (soon to be) ex-trainees, where gifts are given, and their personal and professional accomplishments are highlighted in speeches given by both the trainee group and the trainee manager. This nice dinner in the Hague was obviously followed by a good party to say goodbye to the (soon to be) ex-trainees.
The farewell of our former trainees gives way for a fresh group of trainees to begin. In the second half of 2017, a group of six new trainees started their traineeship. All have different educational backgrounds and will go to different departments; examples of these departments are Sustainable Process & Energy Systems in Delft and Climate, Air and Sustainability in Utrecht. If you wonder what the first weeks of the traineeship are like, you could read a blog-post on Eric's start at TNO here.
If you want to be part of a new group of trainees, check out the vacancy and maybe you too will receive a nice bouquet of flowers on your first day at TNO!
Most of us still remember this day vividly. Walking through the doors for the first time, overly conscious of every step. Having your picture taken, whilst sporting an awkward fusion of a grimace and a smile on your face. The Trainee Selection Day is at the same time both an exciting and testing experience as a candidate looking to start your career.
After more than a year being a TNO trainee myself, I had the opportunity to experience the event from the other side – as the organizer. Reinventing the selection day format, thinking of creative and challenging group assignments, intensive cooperation with the trainee manager, recruitment, research managers and trainees alike. Based on all the responsibilities that came with those activities: I found the Trainee Selection Day just as exciting and terrifying, being the organizer, as I did being the candidate.
A day outside with the trainees, being away from the office and work exploring Raamsdonksveer on a hot and sunny spring day! What better way to do this than driving around on scooters. Trying to go as fast as possible, like a madman, while finding out that the thing is speed limited to 25 km/hr… Besides the scooter adventure our brains were challenged in an escape room in an old fort. Many puzzles, keys and scary moments later both teams managed to escape from the medical lab and the medieval dungeon! To cool off from all these exciting activities we enjoyed some beers and went swimming in the canal followed by a delicious summer barbeque. What a great day it was!