Engineering Trainee Programme (ETP) is Metso´s own trainee program for fresh University graduates in North America. The 13-month program is intended to provide the emerging engineers with the opportunity to gain valuable and diverse experience with Metso. During the program the trainees will rotate globally in different Metso locations and have a chance to familiarize themselves with a wide range of Metso´s products and services worldwide.
In the months before graduating college I considered the possibility of travel before I started a career but in actuality it was only a fantasy. Money and time were two major factors that restricted me, although that fantasy eventually became reality. Every year, Metso employs young engineers to begin their careers through a 13-month training program. These young engineers travel domestically and internationally all while being trained in different Metso products and services. May 2015 marked the day I started my career with Metso as a Mechanical Engineering Trainee going through the Engineering Training Program, or ETP. Since May, I've traveled to nine different states and two different continents, all through the training program. I've been involved in several projects and learned about a number of Metso product lines and services, all while meeting new people and absorbing new cultures. So now, as I write this from South Africa, I can only laugh at the doubts I had about traveling after my college days.
Whenever I was first hired I had many doubts about the program. Doubts about whether the program was going to be a 13-month internship or if I'd just be attending PowerPoint presentations and lectures. It turns out that those doubts were unfounded. Starting out in the program I never expected to learn so much or be a part of so many projects. Whether it was getting pricing for a Retrofit project or writing proposals for Field Service, I was given responsibilities that I alone had to answer for. On top of those responsibilities was the chance to learn about different products and services. Given the opportunity to learn and become responsible for my own projects, I became relieved of my doubts. Which in turn made me realize how this program has exceeded my expectations and helped me grow professionally.
In college you learn about the theory of how things work but no one truly prepares you for professionalism. Professionalism, in my eyes, can only be gained through knowledge, experience, and motivation. Three aspects that I have since encountered while being employed in the ETP. Since the day I started with the company I have been learning new things about Metso's products. These new bits of information are relayed by the strong minds within the company or by experiences. Such experiences come from being a part of projects and seeing our products working (or sometimes not working) first hand. All of this knowledge also comes through responsibilities within the company. Knowing that these responsibilities are mine, and are solely dependent upon my decisions, helped me grow professionally. So much that today I am confident that I can effectively resolve a dilemma or, at the very least, utilize one of the countless resources Metso has to offer to provide the solution.
Throughout my time spent in job rotations I have experienced a lot. New people, new cultures, new products, and new mindsets are just some of the many examples. One of the best experiences offered by this program is the ability to network within the company. All of the people I have met and the friendships I've made throughout the program are astounding. The photo you see is of myself (far right), the two other trainees, Michael Granato (second from the left) and Andrew Chan (second from the right), and one of our mentors, Willie Tyler. Over the past months I've come to know Mike and Andrew fairly well, to the point where I can truly call them friends. I know I can be a handful to live with but they somehow are able to put up with me. As for Willie, I cannot say anything bad about that man. Willie would give the shirt off his back for you if you needed it and is one of the most charismatic and all around nice guys that I have met to date. Willie is also a prime example of the informed and resourceful people that we are mentored by during the program. These people only make the experience better and ensure that we understand the products and services to the fullest extent.
The program isn't all fun and games; at times it can be frustrating with the long days and continuous travel. It's also difficult to be away from family and friends for such long periods, but with the amount of travel and experiences time flies by. Overall, I couldn't be more pleased with my experiences and all the travel that I have been a part of. Through everything, I must commend the leaders of this program for the time and effort they put into ensuring a great experience for us while also ensuring that we retain the necessary information for a future career within Metso. Also, if any hopeful graduates are reading this – apply. This program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I highly recommend, for anyone that can, to go through it. I have been more than blessed for being able to participate in the program and will always remember what Metso has provided me with.
All the best,