This month, 15 hopeful trainees arrived at Telenor Group headquarters to start 18 months of training, six of these in a foreign country. This year, they have their own mentors.
Nervous, proud and full of anticipation, eight young women and seven young men arrived for the first one-week seminar in September. The candidates come from operational companies in Norway, Sweden, Hungary and Serbia.
This is the third time Telenor holds a Global Trainee Programme, and this year’s trainees together represent seven nationalities – Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Hungarian, Serbian, Canadian and British – with background in fields such as engineering, economics, marketing and political science.
New trainee blog
“I really look forward to working abroad and getting to know the business culture in other countries,” said Kristian Thun, a 26-year old civil engineer in industrial economics. You can follow him and the other trainees as they post messages and share their thoughts about life as a Telenor trainee on the trainee blog.
Five seminars in Europe and Asia
This year’s programme includes five seminars at different locations in Europe and Asia. Apart from the first week in Norway, with basic introduction to Telenor and its business practices, another four seminars have been scheduled in Serbia in December 2009, Hungary in March 2010, Sweden in October 2010 and finally in an Asian country in April-March 2011. During this time, they will get to know most of what Telenor is about in terms of technology, business and markets and develop their skills in presentation and rhetorics, negotiation and experience sharing. Group dynamics and project work will also be one of the main topics in the programme.
Meeting with Group CEO Baksaas
During their first week of seminars in Oslo, the trainees got to meet with Chief Executive Officer Jon Fredrik Baksaas for an hour. Baksaas touched base with the young candidates and talked about the importance of grabbing the opportunities. The CEO also answered questions from the trainees and gave some words of advice:
“Don’t think of your future job, concentrate on the one you are doing right now, capitalize on what you are good at! That’s how you will make yourself visible and realize your potential.”
“Make yourself noticed!” CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas in session with trainees.
New this year is a special mentor programme. Profiled managers and executives from various units in Norway, Sweden, Serbia and Hungary will be helping the young recruits to build networks and learn the Telenor way of doing business.
“Establishing contact with highly experienced top managers gives the trainees a flying start, and the mentors will help them later on when they apply for a position at Telenor,” explained Berit Elden, who is responsible for the mentor programme. The mentors were given a two-day preparatory course in advance, and they have committed to do this through scheduled meetings as well as informal contact throughout the duration of the programme.
On good terms. Mentor Ãystein Mikkelsen (CTO of Telenor Serbia) explains the workings of the mobile broadband project in Serbia to mentee Slobodan Papak.
Future job at Telenor
“Last year, all 12 trainees got a job in Telenor after completing the trainee programme, five of them in another operating country than their home base. This goes to show that we are truly developing global capacities in this programme,” says Hilde Andresen, one of the coordinators of the Global Trainee Programme. She says this year’s changes are based on feedback from last year’s trainees. In addition to the new mentor programme, the programme now focuses more on business understanding and structured development through external coaching.