Meet the Winners: Overall Best Traineeship – Enexis Groep

May 29, 2024

The Enexis Groep are not strangers to our competition, and are a regular force to be reckoned with in our finals. This year’s winners also took out Personal Branding, a new category for them!

What our judges noticed is that their trainee program has been greatly improved, offering early exposure to operational and staff functions. Trainees share their experiences, promoting cultural understanding and alignment with Enexis’ strategy. Networking and mentorship are emphasized, along with diverse coaching options for personal growth. Selection criteria now includes diversity and inclusion awareness, enhancing the program’s reputation for authenticity. Trainees are encouraged to be authentic and make a meaningful impact, earning recognition and appreciation from company employees.

What is clear is that they take on the feedback from previous years, and have used this to shape their traineeships to a high level.

What is clear is that they take on the feedback from previous years, and have used this to shape their traineeships to a high level.  We sat down with the Young Talent Manager from Enexis, Jeske van Boxtel to talk about what sets their traineeship apart, and what the competition means to them.

For the second time, Enexis has taken out the overall Best Traineeship award! How does it feel?

Amazing. We’re so proud. We’ve won this again – we were very surprised as there was really strong competition this year, and so many excellent competitors.

The judges noticed a strong link between the traineeships and the overall strategy of the Enexis group – can you tell us more about how intertwining the two has strengthened your traineeships?  

We make sure the strategies are aligned with the trainee program. When I started working with Enexis in this role, there was a new strategy. You need to make sure that the program is aligned with this. I met with the Board of Directors and managers and I asked – if you have this strategy, what is needed for the trainees? What can they bring that can make this strategy happen? Do we need the leaders of the future? Do we need strategists?

All these things had to come together – can we make this align with the strategy. Many things were already aligned, but some had to be adapted or changed. It starts with realising that the trainee program is there to make a part of the longer-term strategy.

Challenge yourself to think: Does this work with the strategy? And then you make it work.

How easy was it to link your goals to the traineeship? In what way did this strategy boost your traineeships?

It wasn’t particularly challenging, but I believe it’s crucial to clarify things by asking questions. While many trainee programs might naturally align with our strategy, it’s essential to discuss and understand those connections. This communication needs to reach all levels of management so everyone grasps their role in the bigger picture. Without these conversations, things can easily slip into ambiguity.

Let’s be clear: our trainee program isn’t just about marketing. Its core purpose is to enhance Enexis and drive our strategic objectives forward. We’re committed to excellence, which is why we prioritize our trainees and their tasks. It’s vital to recognize that trainees play a significant role in executing our strategy

We believe it’s crucial for the board to stay connected with the trainees to see the alignment in action. This connection not only shows that we take our trainees seriously but also reinforces their sense of importance within the company. When trainees feel valued, they’re more motivated to contribute meaningfully to the organization.

Personal Branding was your best practice win this year – what have you learned from previous Best Traineeship participation that helped take yours to the next level?  

That’s a great question! Looking back, I don’t think I fully grasped last year that winning that award was our ultimate goal. Having been in this role for two years now, I’ve come to realize the immense potential for growth that our trainees possess.

My focus has been on nurturing the self-confidence of our trainees and emphasizing the importance of networking. Networking is absolutely crucial and plays a significant role in our trainee program. This year, during the competition finals, I observed our trainees actively engaging with others, forging connections right off the bat. They exuded confidence, displayed a genuine eagerness to learn from their peers, and demonstrated curiosity.

This is really satisfying for me because it speaks to their personal brand, and our program encourages the notion that while asking for help is always okay, they should also proactively seek connections throughout the company. It instills a sense of confidence in their ability to tackle challenges independently.

It’s not something that I expected, but when I reflect, I can see why we won it!

How are you taking away this year’s feedback and benchmark report and using the insights to build the traineeship program? What are the benefits of receiving the benchmark report?

What I find really rewarding is that we identified some areas for improvement last year, and this year, those issues were addressed because we took the feedback from the reports seriously and made improvements accordingly. That’s the beauty of participating in the competition over multiple years—you can clearly see how you’re progressing.

While there weren’t major overhauls needed based on the reports, it was still insightful to review the reports from other traineeships. We noticed that some had assignments with significant responsibility, which is something we can definitely integrate into our competition. It’s about learning from what others are doing, incorporating those insights into our traineeship program, and aiming for success.

Another valuable takeaway from last year was seeing the diversity within Prorail’s program, so we made sure to incorporate that into our approach as well. It’s all about learning from different companies, making necessary changes, and finding inspiration along the way.

I also gained a lot from the peer circle discussions. There are countless aspects from the competition that you can take away and apply to enhance your own traineeships. The competition really prompts you to think critically, and the final event sheds light on both the strengths and weaknesses of various programs, helping us identify what we can learn and implement moving forward.

The competition is all about learning from different companies, making necessary changes, and finding inspiration along the way.

What brings Enexis back to the competition each year?

It’s a good way to have a critical eye on your own program, – not only your trainees, but on yourself, your stakeholders, your board as well as on other companies. 

Enexis keeps coming back to the Best Traineeship competition every year for a few reasons. Winning the top prize twice fills us with pride, especially when we’re up against tough competition. Linking our trainee program with Enexis’ bigger strategy has really helped us succeed, making sure our program aligns with what the company wants to achieve. Plus, the competition gives us great insights and chances to learn.

 We use the feedback, benchmark reports, and ideas from other participants to keep making our traineeship program even better. Overall, being part of the competition helps us keep improving and being innovative.

Congratulations again to our overall winners, Enexis Groep. To see all this year’s winners, visit our winners page here. Want to showcase your traineeship against the best? Register for next year’s competition here.

The Best Traineeship Peer Circle event will be held again this year. If you’re interested in learning from other Young Talent managers, and sharing your expertise, email


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