22 October 2021
After completing his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, Wessel Terpstra was not yet finished learning by any means. This is why a traineeship appealed to him as a great next step. Through a tip from someone in his network he ended up in Strukton Rail’s development programme. The great stories, the career advancement opportunities and the enjoyable atmosphere persuaded him. In the meantime, Wessel has come to know the organisation, processes and people very well and is bursting with innovative ideas. Ideas with which he works on his own future as well as that of Strukton Rail.
‘The traineeship takes two years. During this period you get the know the railway sector very well and you work in different departments. In the meantime you also work on your personal learning objectives. I started together with three other trainees. In addition to our own tasks and projects we come together every Friday to spar with and learn from each other. This works well. You gain new insights this way. In addition, throughout your entire traineeship you visit different projects and implementation milestones. You experience everything from up close during these visits and this helps create a feeling for the railway sector. Strukton has a FIT programme that helps you personally to develop your soft skills and to understand the directions you would like to pursue in your career. In this programme you complete courses and exercises, and visit companies together with various colleagues. Aside from the fact that this is very sociable and instructive, it also helps you to quickly move forward and to discover where your talents lie.’
All my interests are coming together in this traineeship. I really feel that I have won the grand prize.
‘I am currently working two days a week in the Work Planning department. Here I am involved in preparing and planning the work to be performed on the railway. This includes new construction and renovation work, as well as maintenance activities. On the other days I focus on data and information management, and internal process optimisation. For me this is a good match with my interests at the interface of engineering, business administration and IT. As far as this is concerned, I really feel that I have won the grand prize with my place at Strukton Rail. I have a broad orientation and like to work on strategic matters. The variety of work and the contact with different colleagues and departments have helped me achieve a great deal in a short period of time. Both from a professional development and from a substantive work perspective. This is in part due to the fact that, as trainee, you have access to all levels within the organisation, ranging from implementation to management. When you have a good idea, you are given all the room and opportunities you need to start working on it and make it into a success.’
‘If you were to ask me what I would be creating tomorrow, then this would be a data-driven organisation with a good balance between gutfeel, experience and factual data. The many years of experience, the professionalism and the connection between people within Strukton is extremely valuable. When you link this to smart, data-driven insights, you will be sitting on a goldmine. I would very much like to contribute to that optimisation. Including after I have completed my traineeship in the near future. Ultimately I see myself move in the direction of, for example, internal business consultant. The traineeship and the FIT programme have helped me to discover this and to find my own way. This means that you do not need to know exactly which direction you would like to pursue when you start as trainee. It is an ideal programme for people with an open, curious mind, interested in further developing themselves.’
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