A Trainee's Journey at Forum Train Europe

In the world of railways, Forum Train Europe has been a great opportunity for young enthusiasts looking to kickstart their careers. In this interview, we meet one such individual who shares his experiences as an FTE trainee, discussing what motivated him, the skills he gained, and his exciting future in the railway industry. This story showcases the incredible learning and growth that FTE offers to prospective professionals in the field.


Giuseppe, what motivated you to join Forum Train Europe as a trainee, and how did your experience here compare with your initial expectations?

Well, I am a railway enthusiast and I am studying to gain skills in this sector. When I saw the traineeship offer at FTE, I was genuinely excited. Forum Train Europe is one of the few truly international organizations in the railway industry, and probably the only one open to students like me. I couldn't miss this opportunity. To be honest, my expectations were surpassed. I have learned extensively and I am more motivated than ever to continue my career in the railway sector.


Can you provide a brief overview of your journey and experiences during your time with FTE?

I have had several remarkable experiences with FTE. Firstly, the business trips I undertook. I had the opportunity to travel to various European countries, including Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. One memorable event was attending the international conference for timetabling in Ljubljana. It was my first-ever business trip, and going there by train, working for railways, and engaging with railway professionals left a memorable memory. Another highlight was my participation in the FTE working group in Vienna, where I presented the intermediate results of my research. It was a truly fulfilling moment. Additionally, joining the FTE team at the SBB headquarters in Bern was an experience in a beautiful and modern workplace.


What specific skills or knowledge have you gained during your time here that you believe will be beneficial for your future career?

I have acquired specialized knowledge about capacity allocation processes, particularly in the context of service facilities. I delved into this topic extensively for my master's thesis, which was built upon my research conducted at the FTE office. I conducted numerous interviews with rail stakeholders, expanding my knowledge in this area. Moreover, I have developed various soft skills, including stakeholder management, presentation skills, and public speaking. I would like to express my gratitude to my mentors, Sebastián Čarek and Matteo Soldini, as I have learned a great deal from them, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.


Looking back, what were the most significant lessons or takeaways from your traineeship, and how do you plan to apply them in your future pursuits?

During my traineeship, I gained a glimpse into the railway sector, which will be my future professional field. I had conversations with numerous rail workers who shared insights about the challenges and opportunities in the industry today, providing valuable suggestions for my future career. This opportunity has been immensely valuable for a young professional like myself in the sector. I am grateful to all the people who supported me, both at FTE and its members. This learning allowed me to find my next job in the sector.


It's wonderful to see your continued dedication to the railway sector. Can you provide us with a glimpse into your next career step?

Yes, I am extremely excited about my next career step. Thanks to the experience and skills I acquired at FTE, I was able to secure a position in another international organisation within the railway industry, this time serving infrastructure managers. I will be moving to Brussels, a new country with a different language and culture. I am eagerly looking forward to this new chapter in my career.


What insights or advice would you like to offer to others who might be considering a similar traineeship with our organization?

To any student with a passion for railways, I would say: 'Go for this traineeship, you will never be disappointed. You can have experiences that are hard to find elsewhere. This opportunity allows you to build your professional network in the field, across Europe! I have used my traineeship to boost my career, and I am deeply satisfied with my choice.'


Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience or any parting thoughts for our audience?

As I mentioned earlier, I have been a railway enthusiast since my childhood. Thanks to this traineeship, I had the opportunity to travel by train to several countries and experience cross-border train journeys. I have lost count of the kilometres and hours I have spent on trains in the last year. This brings me tremendous happiness because I am living the professional life I dreamt of as a child.


Interested in FTE Traineeship? Find more details here.