Two weeks in the life of a TNO trainee

Blogger: Lucinda Kootstra • 12 Oct 2017

After being a trainee at TNO for 1.5 years I realized that my calendar hasn’t been the same for two weeks. And I just love this variation!

On one hand your calendar heavily depends on the projects you are involved in and the department you work for. On the other hand the trainee related activities vary each week as well. In this blog I’ll showcase two calendars: one of July 2016 when I was researching perovskite solar cells at Solliance and one of July 2017 when I was a consultant circular economy at CAS (Climate, Air & Sustainability).

Differences and similarities

The largest differences between the calendars are actually the number of projects and type of work involved. At Solliance I worked in one large project in which my main task was making and measuring perovskite solar cells in the cleanroom. As a result I spend the majority of my time in a cleanroom suit and a minority of my time at my computer analyzing results and doing work for the trainee project or for an extra trainee assignment. In contrast, at CAS I’m involved in six different projects and none of them involves lab work. I write reports and quotations, organize workshops and brainstorms and have a lot more meetings with clients or colleagues. Hence, the computer work increased, but the variety of activities did as well.

What is similar in both weeks is that I worked at least at two different TNO locations and combined work related to the department and to the traineeship. The type and amount of trainee activities vary per week. As an example in these two weeks it involved working at the trainee projects “Scalable portfolio management” and “Embracing valorisation”, 1-to-1 coaching, a lunch or coffee date with another trainee, discussing an idea for a new trainee project and a workshop about creative confidence (read the other blogs to learn more about all the different trainee activities!). On top of that, I visited two youngTNO activities and had drinks with all trainees on Friday night!

I hope this calendar gives you a flavor of how a week of a TNO trainee can look: most fun is that every week is different!

About the author

Name: Lucinda Kootstra
Background: Applied Physics
First department: Holst (working at Solliance)
Second department: Sustainable Urban Mobility & Safety
Third department: Climate, Air & Sustainability


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