This script contains a number of steps that you should follow before and during your traineeship. The traineeship is considered as a do it yourself activity: you organise your own traineeship. This is part of the working experience that you should obtain from your training period. Of course all this happens under the supervision and responsibility of the Traineeship office.
Aims of the traineeship
- to get an overview of the professional world of your specialty,
- to get experience in applying for a (training) position,
- to apply your knowledge and competencies in daily work conditions
- to get work experience at aspirant engineer level outside the University of Twente, by preference in the industry in a foreign country
- to gain experience in application procedures
- to gain experience in project implementation and report writing
- to gain experience in the (international) engineering society.
Coordinator, mediator and the office
For support during the whole Traineeship procedure, the coordinator and the mediator are available. Together we form the Traineeship Office. See our home page. You can make your appointments with the mediator.
Two times a year an information session is held. The coordinator provides general information about the traineeship. Moreover, per session two students will tell about their experience (preparation, application, experience on the place, evaluation) as well. It is strongly advised to attend at least one session. It is wise to attend a year before the start of the traineeship! The examples stimulate thinking about your plans. The sessions will be announced in the rosters, on Blackboard on the website(s) and in the announcements in your student portal.
See the document elsewhere on our website. Please read it carefully as it contains much background information about the traineeship.
Student Mobility System (SMS)
If you want to start up your preparations for the Traineeship, then register at the Student Mobility System (SMS). You can find it as one of the WEB applications from the UT-homepage or from the UT-links at this site.
Intake at the Traineeship Office
You are welcome for the intake meeting as soon as you have the idea that your training could start about half a year ahead.
- Read the script you are reading at this very moment before you meet the coordinator.
During the intake meeting you will discuss all aspects of the traineeship with the coordinator.
- Bring a recent overview of your study results (by preference an Osiris sheet).
- Also, bring your study plan for the period until the intended start of your traineeship.
- During the intake session you will make appointments about your individual procedure to arrange an traineeship.
After the meeting you will be authorised to visit the Blackboard webpages of the “course” Traineeship. At these pages you find information about experiences from students in the past, training offers and tips for your application.
At the start of your training period it is required that you have completed the bachelor’s program. It is attractive when you have completed all compulsory and nearly all elective courses of your Master’s program as well. In the ideal situation you may start with the Master’s thesis right after the training period. In case of doubt contact your study advisor. See for more information the “program specific rules” at this site.
Exploration of possibilities
There are many opportunities for an active exploration.
Visit an information session, meet the coordinator traineeship. The office of traineeship advertises training offers at the Blackboard webpages. But do not hesitate to come along for information and to discuss additional opportunities.
Staff members of the chairs
Staff members of the chairs have many valuable contacts with companies which may lead to a training project. Maybe you prefer to speak with staff members of more chairs than the one you selected for your Master’s thesis. An traineeship outside that field will broaden your expertise. Keep in mind that some employers welcome such a broad study background.
Of course your Google and other web explorations may reveal new companies and institutes as well.
At the moment you decide which company is the most attractive to you, it is the right time to see the coordinator again.
Every application requires specifically composed documents. To write an application, maybe for the first time, appears not to be easy. But the positive aspect is that you can be assisted in the preparation of good documents in an individual way by the office. This experience is a great help when you are looking for a job at the end of your Master’s study. An application consists of at least two documents: a letter and a curriculum vitae (or resume). A professional record can be added. It states your project experience and the completed courses before the start of the traineeship. Visit before writing the documents also the WebPages http://www.wilweg.nl to explore tips for the country where you are going! Normally, you will send the application yourself (with a cc to the office).
Follow the status of the application
It is always the task of the student to continuously check the status. When there is no response within two weeks after sending the application documents, it is necessary to send a kind reminder (note that the receiver will be a busy person, often away for business). Ask the office for advice; actions to be taken will depend on the
intended supervisor and company or institute. Often a phone call can give quick information. It is usual to do applications successively and not simultaneously. This is important because we do not want to frustrate the addressed companies and institutes! In case a procedure ends without traineeship position you have to start a second one as soon as possible. Nobody benefits by a shift in the start of the training period! And note that a period at a company that was not a first choice originally is often a great success as well! Of course negative answers can cause disappointment. Deliberation with the office can help in such situations.
Project definition and the UT supervisor
When you have been accepted by a company for a training period, a new phase starts with negotiating all aspects important for the training period: work to be done (project description), start and end date, company supervisor(s), UT supervisor, salary or allowance, accommodation, agreement. You select a permanent UT scientific staff member as the UT supervisor of your project in consultation with the coordinator. The subject of the training period will determine who the best person is. The first task of the UT supervisor is to approve the project (right scientific level, realistic amount of work). In ideal situations you know the company of your traineeship some months before the start of the training period.
Agreement and finances
Always, an agreement is required between you and the company. In many cases, the company will offer one. You should show this agreement to the coordinator before signing. You can find standard agreements in Dutch and English at this site.
As soon as you have information about reimbursement, you must consider whether the financial situation suits your possibilities. If not, you have to explore in detail the possibilities for financial support. For information always contact the office. The most generally used grants are obtained by applying for the Twente Mobility Fund (TMF) or an Erasmes Placement.
Consult the webpages of the International Office for more information about financial support.
An adequate preparation for the culture of the country where you will stay and work is a prerequisite for a successful period. There are several means to get prepared. Try to meet as many people of the country of your destination before you leave The Netherlands. It will also make you aware of specific characteristics of the Netherlands and of the Dutchmen. At the UT we have quite a lot of nationalities amongst the students. Ask the ESN (Erasmus Network Twente, ESN Twente http://www.esntwente.nl to find out whether the nationality you look for can be expected. The WebPages of the NUFFIC http://www.wilweg.nl may help. The research group “International management” of the faculty MB offers courses to become aware of cultural differences.
Preparation of visa, travelling and stay
Finding a room may be easy or difficult. The company has the key to finding one. Sometimes it can provide a room itself. Otherwise it will have information about organisations which can mediate.
A ticket is often very much cheaper if bought far in advance. But do not buy a ticket before you have certainty about the traineeship position and before you have the right visa. Arrange an International Student Identity Card (ISIC, see www.kilroytravels.nl). It will give plenty reductions.
Visa for traineeship (not equal to a tourist visa!) is sometimes difficult to obtain, sometimes expensive and it requires often a lot of time (up to several months).
Insurance and registration
Explore the adequacy of your insurances.
!!!! Some student insurances are not valid anymore when you have a job!!!!!
Always register at the Travel Insurance of the University of Twente. All staff members and students of the UT going abroad for their work or study should register. This way, the UT knows where their members will go and are. In unsafe situations the registration is used to arrange information and assistance. Note that this registration is compulsory. It is your individual responsibility to check whether your insurance is adequate for your personal situation. See for more details the Traineeship guide.
Sometimes the supervisor of your traineeship project proposes to prepare your activity before arrival. Discuss this with your UT supervisor and try to find a solution in which you may receive some EC for that activity. Possibilities are e.g. literature research and writing a research essay. In general the study program completed so far guarantees sufficient knowledge and experience to make an traineeship period a success.
Registration with SMS
Just before you leave, register for the second time with SMS. This time you fill out the “meldingsformulier”, which contains all specific information about the addresses at your destination. This way the university will be able to help you in case of trouble.
Experience the new situation, the people around in your living situation and at the work floor with open mind. Remember the cultural assessment theory and practice. In case of problems try to be as assertive as possible, but do not hesitate to contact people at home, including the Traineeship office.
Work in progress
Speak in an early phase of your work with your company supervisor about each other’s expectations. Indicate what you expect with respect to supervision, scientific level and frequency of meeting. Ask information about daily working hours, ways of seeking contact and confidentiality.
Giving information to your supervisor
Inform your supervisor about the evaluation form you need at the end of your work, about the report you have to deliver for your UT supervisor, the fact that you prefer to write the report during your traineeship. Discuss whether this report is suitable for the company as well. Report about your experience and your progress at your UT supervisor and be sure you write a report according to his/her expectations. In case the company requests you to write a confidential report, there are a few possibilities to offer a copy to your UT supervisor: the copy will be returned to the company after the evaluation by the UT supervisor and the UT supervisor signs a confidentiality agreement with the company.
Often your work starts running well at the moment you have to complete your training period. This evokes a continuous struggle between nicer results and a timely finish of your stay. A good planning will help you to deliver a complete result within your agreed period of stay.
Start writing the report from the beginning of your project. Apply all the report writing skills you earned so far. An essential aspect is to keep you logbook up to date daily!
Aspects for return
Evaluation by the company supervisor
Discuss the completed evaluation form with your supervisor. This is a very valuable experience for you. A lot of companies are willing to provide a reference report in addition. You might use this in application procedures around your graduation.
Take some time to say good-bye to all your new friends and explore whether there could be opportunities for traineeship positions in the future. Make (your last) photographs!
At home again
Come along at the Traineeship Office. It will be nice to see you back and to hear your first comments. Note that it is quite normal that it takes some time to become acclimatized at the UT. But do not allow yourself more than two weeks for that. Inform either the Office Traineeship or the study advisor when you encounter acclimatization problems. Do not forget in case you asked a TMF grant to write a report to get the final 25% of the grant, within 6 weeks after return.
Evaluation with the UT supervisor
Deliver your report and the company supervisor evaluation form soon after return at your UT supervisor. Make an appointment to discuss the report and your experience. The UT supervisor will write an examination report for the course Industrial/traineeship and will send this to the office.
Evaluation with the coordinator
Make an appointment with the coordinator as soon as your UT supervisor has sent the grade to the office. For a meeting with him you are requested to bring the following documents:
- an electronic copy of your report (if it is confidential we only require the front page),
- a copy of the evaluation form of your company supervisor,
- a description of your experience (This document will be used to inform future students about past experiences; add sufficient data about the company, work atmosphere and your project; in case you wrote an TMF report you might extend that version for your colleague students),
- the student evaluation questionnaire that can be found at this site.
It is over…
And note that nearly all students the traineeship is a very positive experience!