As a trainee, you’ll get to know several aspects of the company and learn a lot in a short time!

Koen Minnaard works as a project engineer trainee at Nordic Bulk.

We spoke to Koen about his experiences at Nordic Bulk through the trainee scheme in the Norwegian Mining Industry. He talks about starting in a new company, what it has been like to be involved in a project and his recommendations to students who are considering applying for the trainee scheme.

What made you apply for the trainee position?

After my master’s degree, I wasn’t sure which part of the mining industry I liked best, so I applied for the trainee position at the Norwegian Mining Industry. I had heard from a friend who had been through the trainee scheme before about what it’s like to be a trainee and the experience you get through 2 years in different companies. It felt like a good way to start my career and it’s exciting to experience more parts of the industry.

Can you tell us a little about the trainee scheme and your experiences?

Through the trainee scheme, I will work at 3 companies over 2 years. Nordic Bulk is my first position. I’ll be here for 8 months, and I’m almost halfway through now. I work with several small parts of larger projects that we have, such as spare parts for our Fehmarn project in Denmark, and dust suppression installations. We are developing our own Nordic Bulk solution for dust suppression systems and I work a lot with this.

I work with a nice team and feel at home here. As a trainee, don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek information from someone with more experience. Sometimes I feel a bit ‘thrown in at the deep end’, but there’s always someone who can help, and it’s definitely educational! You learn things quickly as a trainee. For example, in my first week here I was assigned a dust suppression project that I knew nothing about, but now I can say that after a lot of work to find a solution together with experienced people in the company, we’re almost ready to start building the plant.

How have you found being part of the trainee scheme so far?

So far, I’m happy here! I feel that there is a lot of knowledge and experience in the company, and I like to hear about different projects from the past, but also to learn a lot about all the different components of our new big projects. It will be great to see a project from the initial phase all the way through to final installation and commissioning. Unfortunately, I’m moving to my next position in May and most projects take longer, but I’ll have to come back later to see the results of the projects!

What advice do you have for students who are considering applying for a trainee position?

I think being a trainee is the best way to start at a new company. As a trainee, you get to know several parts of the organization and learn a lot in a short time. I think a trainee position at Nordic Bulk is the best start to your working career, and it gives you a good foundation to find out what you can do and what you enjoy!

Would you recommend more people to apply for the trainee scheme?

Yes, absolutely! Again, I don’t think there is a better way to continue after completing your studies. A trainee position here is a good way to use your knowledge from your studies and to acquire new knowledge.

What is something you have learned through being a trainee in the company?

It’s never as easy as it looks! Designing a solution may sound like a simple task, but balancing between design, practicality, experience, customers, suppliers and all the things that come with a project is a big task and comes with many challenges!

Are you interested in applying or learning more about the trainee scheme?

Click here to read more about the trainee scheme at the Norwegian Mining Industry and how to apply.


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