Trainee lands international dream job

Trainee lands international dream job

"Here I can become the best version of myself"

From Amsterdam to London, from trainee to digital programme manager. Gino Smit went the distance. "I thoroughly enjoyed the development programme at Vodafone. As a trainee I was given the chance to improve myself as a professional and a person. Eventually, I could move to England for the job of my dreams."

Gino started his traineeship at Vodafone in 2015. In his first year he worked in three different teams: Digital, Retail and Project Portfolio Management. "I familiarized myself with the company in a tearing rush as I liaised with colleagues from all corners of the company. From day one I was given responsibility for large projects. My first assignment was designing the communication plan for the My Vodafone App, the main channel for interaction with our customers. In this way you are not learning from books but on the job instead. To me that was a valuable experience to understand where my strengths lie, but especially what gives me energy," says Gino.

Driven by data
The traineeship also focuses on personal development. "Not only do you get to know yourself and fellow trainees better, but you also find out in which way you can make your own authentic contribution to Vodafone. I have learned that it’s really important to work data-driven in a major organization. When you have an idea, why is it a good idea? Is there a problem, at all? And if so, for whom? What do customers think? How does it relate to other priorities in the organization? By working a lot with analysts, I’ve learned to substantiate better. And why we should or rather should not do certain things."

New generation of leaders
Since then, Gino has traded in Amsterdam for London. Every year Vodafone carries out the Columbus programme that sends out twenty ex-trainees a year to various Vodafone countries. The goal of this international programme is to develop the most talented newcomers into the new generation of leaders at Vodafone. After several intensive interview rounds Gino was chosen to represent the Netherlands in this programme and placed at the headquarters of Vodafone Group in London. With his team he is responsible for the digital commercial transformation programme, with the objective to deliver the best online customer experience. In addition, he also works with colleagues in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, New-Zealand and Albania. In Madrid, for example, he organized a workshop to further improve the digital customer experience in Spain.

Broad outlook
Gino often thinks back to the lessons from his time as a trainee. "I’ve developed a broad outlook because of my varied work experience: I take a 360 degree view before making a final decision. As a trainee I carried out three different assignments for three different departments. I learned to look at problems and solutions from different viewpoints. Besides, I am still in touch with trainees in the Netherlands. In this way I stay up to date with what’s happening at VodafoneZiggo. A great network, so to way. Each time I come to the Netherlands, I see to it that I work from the head office in the Netherlands for a day or so. In that way, I keep structures flat."

Open to surprises
"Without my traineeship I wouldn’t have been able to work on an international level in a metropolis like London," he concludes. "Also, I would never have known how much I enjoy working in Digital. In this department I immediately felt at home. Who would have thought? When I was studying I pictured myself in a marketing role, not really in a technological department. By being open to surprises and working really hard on myself, I succeeded. My next step? The sky is the limit."
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