Lisette's First Year as BlinkLane Trainee

Lisette Klein now works at BlinkLane Consulting for a year. After successful completion of her traineeship at the advisory organization, she is by now a fully-fledged consultant. She tells about the first year at the firm, the biggest challenges and how she experienced working during the corona pandemic.

Lisette Klein started at BlinkLane Consulting two weeks before the global pandemic crisis. Not long after this moment, employees in the Netherlands were obliged to work from home. As was Klein: “Before this traineeship, if you would have said that I would probably follow the traineeship only virtually, I would have doubted whether I could do that.”

Onboarding during corona

However, also for Klein and her fellow trainees and colleagues, working at home became the norm. At first it looked like an exceptional situation, but in the end it formed her in a positive way. Klein explains: “Looking back at previous year, I think corona causes you to develop and challenge yourself in different ways, as it is while working from home.”

The BlinkLane advisor tells how she wasn’t too thrilled to get to know her colleagues and the consulting services of BlinkLane at home, after just two weeks at the office.

“However, a year later, it doesn’t actually feel like I mostly worked from home”, she can say now. “From the beginning on, a lot of activities were arranged such as online sport events organized by colleagues to stay fit. Additionally, I planned a lot of virtual coffee breaks, spoke with my fellow trainees and joined as many intern activities as possible. Fortunately, the BlinkLane culture was online also fully appreciated.

Connecting with colleagues

Among others, Klein chose to join BlinkLane because of the steep learning curve. “I followed several training courses from colleagues and from coaches as well. The topics differed a lot. For instance, we had training courses about agile working and innovation but also about IT-management and leadership. Besides, personal and consulting skills are emphasized during the program. As a result, you get to know BlinkLane as well as yourself much better and this is exactly the reason for choosing a traineeship.”

She explains that she felt at home at the advisory organization since the beginning. “For me, it was specifically of importance that I felt a connection with colleagues and that the traineeship would have a lot of valuable content from which I could learn a lot. Of course, I am hoping to maintain this learning curve even after this year.

Also, from the start, Klein felt she was given a lot of responsibility. “I was attracted to the responsibility, despite the challenges that came with it. Especially in a virtual setting in which you are working at home. However, when I got stuck, I could call my colleagues, and everyone was open to think along. At BlinkLane, you are never alone, and that was really appealing to me as well.”

Gaining experience in the work field

She explains how she could work with clients since her start: “You are a full member of one of the BlinkLane team at clients. As a trainee (and of course as a consultant), being curious is really important, so it is expected that you ask every question you have.”

“As a trainee you are a complete part of the team, and I instantly got involved into everything”, she adds. “Also without a lot of experience it is really important at BlinkLane to share your thoughts and opinions. Because even though the different training courses offer a good fundament, the learning curve will be steepest if you combine this knowledge with proactive experiences in practice.”

Much space for training and development

Apart from the client work, for trainees there is also a lot of space to improve their knowledge and experience by training courses, Klein tells: “The traineeship lasts one year, and because there are so many training courses in the program, trainees are trained one whole day every two weeks at Friday’s. From the moment we started working virtually, these trainings got more distributed over the weeks and we got half days of training to be as effective as possible.”

Staring at your screen for the whole day at home is harder to sustain than having a face-to-face training with a good lunch at the office”, she explains. “The resting time we typically spend on work for the client, so during a working week, you get approximately half a day of training and the remaining time you are gaining experience at the client.”

A day in the life of a BlinkLane trainee

When asked what a typical day of a trainee looks like, she explains: “My days mostly begin with a Blinklane-team sync, in which we update each other about our progress. Because we work at home, the rest of the day there are relatively many meetings with the client. However, I always aim to cluster these and divide them effectively, in order to leave time for working things out.

Furthermore, she was busy with intern BlinkLane activities at Friday’s: “For example writing an article, working on new propositions or having a meeting with my mentor. Together we reflect upon my own development and interests and we set goals for the coming half year, which contribute to my development. Also, I can ask advice to my mentor when I struggle with something.” Within Blinklane, everyone has a mentor, so not just the trainees, Klein explains.

Future plans

When talking about her ambitions for the future, she states: “Previous months I took time to think about my personal development plan. Even though the traineeship is mainly focus on personal development, all BlinkLaners set up a development plan to always maintain growing. In this plan I set goals for the coming period, like writing an article about how we manage transformations successfully. Next to these specific goals, I will get more responsibilities in my next assignment.”

“Now that I gained a lot of knowledge and completed two assignments successfully, I can’t wait to take this next challenging step”, she says. “Also, together with my fellow trainee Valerie, I will improve the next traineeship and hopefully welcome new trainees in September to get them in touch with everything BlinkLane has to offer. Hopefully they will be able to onboard in the office, because that is the best way starting your first job.”

Do you also want to become a BlinkLane Trainee? Please find the vacancy here!