Aafje de Roest, Berenschot Trainee

Aafje de Roest, Berenschot Trainee

The National Trainee Event 2017: a booming day for leaders of the future

''A true Rotterdam experience! That is how I would describe my experience, and hopefully that of 120 other trainees, at the fifth edition of the National Trainee Event on Friday November 10th. It started off with a warm welcome from the organisers, who presented the theme of the day: The Next Economy.''


Next what?

This buzz theme represents challenges that need to be addressed to become a future-proof society and economy. What kind of skills do we need in order to cope with the Internet of Things or Big Data playing a role in it? What kind of leadership is required from you and your organization? How can we, together, establish true leadership for impact?

Swim, float of sink?

We would touch upon these three questions during the day, with food for thought offered by inspirational lecturers and speakers. After the opening, for example, we listened to the keynote lecture of Director DSM Fit, Muriël Thijssen. She shared how to attain sustainable performance by enhancing the vitality of her organization, on both the inside and outside. She stands for organizations that combine good management with bottom-up initiatives of employees, to provide them with the means to swim - instead of letting them float or, even worse: sink. This serves as her mission statement and can be captured as: sustainable employability.  

Four tough nuts to crack

One of the case challenges concerned a question about the development of a traineeship for societal impact, in which Justin Junier of Superheld challenged us to develop the perfect traineeship for impact. The goal was to match the expectations of trainees with reality. Another challenge was posed to us by Loopedgoods, the circular webshop of the Netherlands, who wondered how the transition towards a circular economy could be made. How can necessary awareness and impact be created? Wietse van der Werf, an environmentalist at Sea Ranger Service, has started a bootcamp for 80 young enthusiasts ready to save the oceans. Together with the trainees, he wanted to find out how he can also use the knowledge and skills of the people who are, after the bootcamp, not selected to be a searanger. The last assignment came from Fox-it, which proposed a complex issue on cyber security. The cases were guided with some background theory about design thinking from Erasmus Business school lecturer and programme director ECE: Ferdinand Jaspers.

Good, fair food & deep conversations

After getting to know each other while enjoying vegetarian sandwiches and soup, we listened to a lecture by the founder of Studio Wolfpack. His message? 'Dive deep like a hacker, with your head first like a maker!' But also a more streetwise memo: 'tinker away, and hustle hard'. In a workshop about design thinking, we learned how to make broad ideas more tangible.

Winning pitch: Traineeflix

After that, we worked on our cases and learned how to pitch using a simple and smart, threefold system: content, structure, presentation. The outcomes of our killer pitches were four solutions to the proposed challenges, battling against each other in the box-ring setting of the Get in the Ring. The winning idea was Traineeflix for Superheld, a Netflix-like system in which trainees are able to choose all sorts of workshops, trainings from different companies. This enables trainees to be in charge of their own personal development and therefore traineeships could meet the needs of trainees better. At the end of the day, we celebrated this idea and of course the NTE’s 5th birthday with necessary bubbles and music from a live band.

Work hard, have a chat, and come up with new ideas together – these were the basic ingredients for the NTE. A great playground for us young future leaders! 

Aafje de Roest, Berenschot trainee 2017