Prepare for your traineeship

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

The keys to a successful traineeship include good advance preparation, making full use of the employment period and a thorough analysis afterwards.

How to prepare for the traineeship

When you have found a traineeship position, make sure that you conclude all the necessary agreements on it. Read the relevant instructions.

Before beginning your traineeship, it is recommended that the position is approved by the traineeship coordinator of your degree programme to ensure that the traineeship can be included in your studies. 

Learn as much as you can in advance about the traineeship organisation. It is a good idea to agree about your duties, supervision and other practical matters before the beginning of the traineeship. Visit your place of work and meet with your supervisor. The traineeship supervisor is an employee designated by the traineeship organisation, who will be responsible for your orientation, the evaluation of the development of your skills and the provision of feedback for your work. 

Prepare for your traineeship by reflecting on the following questions:

  • Why is this traineeship important to you?
  • What are your expectations for the traineeship?
  • What challenges and problems might you face, and how would you deal with them?
  • How do you intend to benefit from the traineeship?
  • What do you think the employer will expect of you?

Set objectives for the traineeship

Your learning experience will reflect the quality of the traineeship.  As each degree programme has defined learning outcomes for the traineeship, study the objectives of your own degree programme before beginning your traineeship.

Also set your own objectives for the traineeship. Before the traineeship or in its initial stages, discuss your own learning objectives with the supervisor of your traineeship to ensure that you and the supervisor share the same idea about the training period. It is also good to stop and think about your objectives as the traineeship progresses and review the objectives if necessary. 

The traineeship period

Orientation and supervision

Ensure that you undergo orientation and receive supervision for your duties. For example, lunch meetings with the traineeship supervisor can be a good way to ensure regular contact. The supervisor is a professional in his or her field, so make sure that you benefit from the opportunity to receive advice and guidance.

Learn new things

During your traineeship, pay attention to the objectives you defined beforehand. Evaluate and reflect on the development of your competence as the traineeship progresses.

Make every possible use of your employment. During the traineeship, you have the opportunity to learn about the qualification requirements of the profession, your own strengths and areas in need of development as well as the operations of the employer organisation. Be curious, active and responsible, take initiative and tackle your duties with an open mind.

The traineeship is an excellent opportunity to acquire generic career skills. Seek situations which require you to give a presentation in front of others, work in groups or solve problems. Step outside your comfort zone and take tolerable risks. Success is not the only path towards learning – failure and coping with failure are also valuable experiences.

Build networks

Take advantage of the opportunities offered by the traineeship to build networks. Establish contacts at the work place and with partners that you meet through work. Networking builds relationships, the goal being to obtain and share knowledge and engage in cooperation. Do your best to participate in meetings and events where you have the opportunity to get to know different people.

Take responsibility for the success of your traineeship

During the traineeship, make sure that your duties are those agreed beforehand. If this is not the case, do not be afraid to raise the issue with your supervisor in good time. Be open about your wishes relating to your duties and your needs for supervision. This way you can contribute to the successful completion of your traineeship. In problematic situations, contact the traineeship coordinator at the university. The traineeships team at Career Services can be contacted for advice in problematic situations at  

TIP:  Write down the feedback you receive during the traineeship! This can prove useful when searching for a job and reflecting on your strengths. In job interviews, the prospective employer may also ask about your qualities as an employee, how your colleagues have described you, or what kind of feedback you have received in your previous employment.

Traineeship report

The traineeship coordinator designated by your degree programme will approve the credits for your traineeship. The practices regarding the traineeship report vary from one degree programme to another, but generally, a report (with a certificate of employment as an attachment) is required to obtain credit. Other learning assignments may also be required for obtaining credit for the traineeship. 

Instructions for writing the traineeship report can be obtained from the teacher coordinating traineeships in your degree programme. If your degree programme does not provide such instructions, you can consult the general traineeship report template.

TIP: During the traineeship, write down the tasks you have done! Such tasks can be easily forgotten if you do not write them down. You can check this list when writing the traineeship report and updating your CV after the traineeship.