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Our Graduate Engineering Trainee (GET) program in North Asia, South Asia, EMEA and North and South America is on the lookout for new talent. GET offers on-the-job training to engineering graduates. The program lasts from 18-30 months, depending on the regional program you join and during that time, graduates have the opportunity to spend six to nine month rotations in different manufacturing functions.
The great thing about GET is that you’re paid whilst you learn and if you work hard, at the end of your program, you’re offered a full-time, permanent position at AkzoNobel. So it’s not just a traineeship, it’s a springboard to a rewarding career.
We spoke to first and second year GET trainees and a GET alumnus to find out what they thought of the program.
First year GET trainee: Botan Aksoy
Botan was born and brought up in Turkey. He studied electronic engineering and electrical engineering and is in the first year of his EMEA GET traineeship in Poland. He’s particularly interested in continuous improvement in the supply chain, but it’s his love of family that informs his professional choices. “I’ve got two brothers who’re studying in Turkey. I want them to be well educated and not settle for average jobs. I want to be a good role model for them, so that’s my passion,” he explains.
Botan’s advice to would-be GET applicants is to “do a SWOT analysis after the first month – to understand yourself and what kind of projects you want to work on. You need to be brave. Our cluster leads are always telling us: “Don’t be afraid to say: ‘No, I don’t want this project.’”
Next month, Botan will start his second year – at our Felling site in the UK – where he’ll work on CapEx projects. After that, he’d like to live in the Netherlands “because all people in Europe are nice, but in Holland, they’re really, really nice. But it depends – I haven’t lived in the UK yet, so I might change my mind.”
Second year GET trainee: Nuria Bargues Coma
Nuria has degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry. She spent her first GET year in Barcelona, before relocating to Gothenburg, Sweden. Next month, she starts work as a project engineer in Angered.
Nuria feels that “We need to put more focus on soft skills. I think I’ve really improved my team management and communication skills. I think it’s very important to understand other people’s feelings and their needs, in order to adapt your leadership style. The GET program prepares you to lead projects and teams and pushes you out of your comfort zone.”
She also values the “cross-training” that GET offers where “you get an overview of the whole process. As an engineer, now I know about more things than just engineering – I also know how the supply chain works.”
Alumnus: Nam Le Thanh
Nam studied chemical engineering. Three years ago, during the second year of his GET traineeship at our site in Binh Duong Province, Vietnam – and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – he was promoted to raw material warehouse supervisor and continuous improvement specialist. He was only 24 at the time.
How do you lead a team when your colleagues are almost 20 years older than you? “I broke down team and factory goals into very specific measurable goals with proper action plans with what we needed to do daily, weekly and monthly; and figured out how often we needed review meetings to stay on track. I supported people in solving their own problems, so they started coming to me more often for advice and that built trust between me and the team. And my site manager was my mentor, so he advised me on how to engage the team, deal with conflict and other leadership stuff,” he explains.
Nam was surprised by the amount of responsibility he was given and the regular contact he had with the high level management team – who shared their love of books and exercise with him. This led to an unexpected “self-transformation – I developed an interest in reading, learnt a lot of new things, became more mature and through exercising, I became healthier – which gave me more energy to do my job.”
Are you studying a technical subject? Are you our next GET trainee? Join us.
GET inspired. GET transformed. GET challenged. Check out our participating GET locations and regional program start dates. Apply for open GET positions around the globe.