A traineeship at VodafoneZiggo is 18 months of personal and professional development and orientation. Alessandra Didonna and Ulas Kose are six months in. How are they doing and what do they think? A traineeship at VodafoneZiggo is 18 months of personal and professional development and orientation. Alessandra Didonna and Ulas Kose are six months in. How are they doing and what do they think?
Italian alumna of Erasmus University Alessandra attended a VodafoneZiggo presentation while she was writing her final thesis. "It was all very professional," she explains, "but also very relaxed. The atmosphere was pleasantly informal and simply exuded tech culture." Ulas, born and raised in Dongen in the Netherlands, seconds that: "VodafoneZiggo has a relaxed, open culture that is founded in teamwork rather than hierarchy - very Dutch." The culture they tasted was an important reason for both to choose a traineeship here, but certainly not the only one. Alessandra was looking for a company in digital transformation, as that had been the focus of her Strategic Management course at university. Ulas sought a job at a tech company that's ready for the future. "One that brings tangible, meaningful products to the marketplace."
Alessandra and Ulas embarked upon their adventure with 13 others in September and now have the first six months behind them. They've learned a lot. Alessandra is becoming increasingly independent. "I now prioritise and schedule tasks myself, and I am learning to define my own role in open-ended projects." She adds that the presentation courses are proving to be of great value and that her language skills are getting a boost thanks to made-to-measure Dutch lessons. "We're encouraged to do all kinds of courses through the Unlimited Learning programme. It's the perfect way for me to polish up my Dutch and an opportunity I've seized with both hands, obviously." Ulas is very happy about the progress he is making, too. He's completed two courses already: Scrum Master and Product Owner. He's getting to know the business inside out and learning how to conduct himself in a business environment. "And, particularly in these times of crisis, how to maintain a strategic focus and keep coming up with good ideas when everything is done through Teams."
Ulas is enthusiastic about the responsibility he is given. "I was asked to take a look at a problem that several people in the company had been grappling with for some time." Smiling, "Contrary to expectations, I managed to sort it out." Alessandra: "The first project I was put on involved the development of a digital strategy for B2B Customer Service, perfectly in line with my CV and the logical next item on it! The whole programme is so professional and I feel completely in my element. The open atmosphere is wonderful and everybody is really nice. All the other trainees have become personal friends." Ulas agrees. "Even during this lockdown we all have fun together. Each Thursday evening, there are gaming sessions, pub quizzes and that kind of thing. Everyone always takes part. Tomorrow should be fun, too: we have Disco Games 2021 on the bill."
How do our trainees see their futures? Ulas: "I'm either going to specialise in a specific field, maybe 5G, or I'm going to 'Step up', as they say here at VodafoneZiggo: a role as Director. I recently got the chance to spend the day at the side of the B2B Marketing Director and another with the B2B Products Director. It was extremely inspiring. To be always so sharp, so in the know, so strategically focused - absolutely fantastic." Alessandra sees herself in a role with senior responsibility, too. "I want to make an impact on VodafoneZiggo's unfolding ambition to become a platform telco."