- Name: Anne Soede
- Track: General management
- Studied: Economics and Business economics (bachelor), Business Development and Entrepreneurship (master), Digital Business (master)
- Trainee year: 2021
When I started looking for a job, one of my main priorities was finding a workplace where I could further develop myself. I feel like the NN General Management traineeship is a unique opportunity where you are not only allowed to, but also expected to, invest a lot of time and energy in your personal development. On top of that, you get many tools and a lot of help in this process. From coaches and buddies to an online platform and external partners, NN hands their trainees many learning opportunities on top of the learning you do on-the-job at the three different assignments you do during the traineeship.
Kicking it all off in the Ardennes!
For the personal development programme, NN works together with Schouten Global. Together they set up a programme which consists of different elements that help the trainees to become ‘future leaders’. We are all enrolled in a management traineeship after all! To kick off the development programme, we went on a training week in the Ardennes. During this week we were challenged with group assignments that required a lot of teamwork, stamina and a positive attitude. This week was an amazing experience where I learned a lot about myself and was sometimes surprised with what I found. Who knew that I would enjoy all these (without giving away too much) outdoorsy and physically challenging activities? Not me! Moreover, during this week I got to know my fellow trainees a lot better and we formed personal bonds much more deeply and quickly than you would have normally. During the upcoming two years, seven more training weeks will follow where we will focus on different themes such as leadership styles, conversational skills, self-leadership and more. I am already looking forward to it!
Help and guidance from the people around you
Another element of the personal development is the guidance you have from the people around you. Schouten offers a selection of coaches to pick from to help us with our personal goals and challenges we face in our assignment or personal development. I had my first meeting with my coach in Noordwijk, and it was very nice to talk to someone with an outside perspective. We only talked about personal items, so we discussed nothing in terms of job-related content.
On top of this, we also have a buddy within the trainee group. It was up to us as trainees to come up with a way to form the buddy couples ourselves. We chose to do this based on the strengths and learning points that each person has, and to make couples of the people who we think can learn the most from each other’s strengths (though you can always learn from another person of course!). NN is definitely a big fan of the buddy system anyway. I had a buddy during the application process and I have a new buddy from the former trainees now that I have started working. Of course you can invite any fellow trainee or colleague or manager for a coffee and a chat. This way you learn more about each other and the company and you get inspired with new ideas. In other words, there is no shortage of people to talk to and have as a sounding board at NN!
Maintaining a good overview of your experience
Lastly, an element of the personal development programme is the online platform which is offered by Schouten. The online platform contains the same eight modules as the training weeks. You can go through the modules at your own time to prepare the training weeks beforehand, and reflect upon them afterwards. This really helps you in taking a pause and looking back at the things you’ve learned and still want to learn.
In conclusion, there are many elements of the personal development programme which enable your personal development. The experience has been very helpful, and also a great joy so far!
If you have any questions about the NN traineeship, the application process or my experience, feel free to contact me on LinkedIn! Anne Soede | LinkedIn