Luca Bertasi – CTO Trainee

What made you apply for the trainee role at Telenor Sweden?
– The main reason why I applied for this program is because of its structure where you work directly with a CxO in everything they do. I thought that this was a great opportunity to learn from people that are extremely successful in their job. The traineeship is also built so that, if you want, you can take a lot of initiative, get involved in interesting projects and have a lot of “free space” to move in. Obviously, that means that the more responsibilities you take on, the more pressure, but the higher the reward when you succeed.

Give a brief summary of your role, what is it about?
– Being the CTO trainee, I essentially follow the CTO and the management team in our Networks division. This means that I assist the CTO in all the meetings he goes to and then spend a lot of time discussing the content of such meetings with him. One of the most interesting part of my job is assisting in the Networks management team, where all the leaders in the department meet weekly to discuss strategic things. Another interesting part of being a trainee is that we can be involved in as many projects as we want. Currently I work alongside our teams taking care of the upcoming spectrum auction, I have made an analysis on voice calls and I am also involved in the steering group for anything that involves 5G.

What is the best thing about being a trainee at Telenor?
– The trainee culture is clearly a big plus: there are still around 20 former trainees in Telenor and all of them have had amazing careers and are very supportive of every new batch of trainees that joins Telenor. The trainee community really helps you to get started when you join. Also, the close relationship with the CXO is possibly the strong point of this program: you get top management exposure and inclusion in almost everything these leaders are doing. And personally, the best part is not just attending the meeting itself, but rather the discussions that you can have with your executive after, getting a glimpse in the way they think and why they act in some ways. You are essentially trained to be a leader by the leaders in the company.

What is your biggest challenge so far as a trainee?
– Having a purely business background, working with technical products and solutions has been a challenge. No one expects me to be at the same level of a radio engineer when working with 5G rollout, however I believe it’s worth to spend some time understanding the concepts behind what we do and the technology we work with.  Another challenge that I have encountered so far is how to best make use of my time when the CTO is occupied with too confidential meetings. Having a lot of freedom means that we trainees need to be able to select what we really want to do and not get swamped in the vast number of cool projects happening all over the company.

What career opportunities, short term and long term can you see that the trainee program can give you?
– Being a trainee means that you are on a path to become one of the leaders in Telenor Sweden. A good percentage of the current leadership comes from the traineeship and there are many more former trainees that are on the right track to be there eventually. Let´s not forget that the CIO started as a trainee and now has a trainee of his own. Telenor is also a big international company which means that if you want, after the traineeship, you can take on assignments and position abroad, whether on a group level or directly within one of the other business units.

What makes Telenor a good employer? Give examples.
– Telenor has a great culture: the fact that we are a challenger in the market allows us to be more creative and daring than other companies. There is a clear attitude of “everything is possible” and that the only limit is us. This is exemplified also in the way of working: there are no big silos in Telenor and people from different departments work continuously together to bring new, exciting ideas on the management’s table. People are the other great asset of Telenor. In this case I am not only talking about the trainee community, but the company as a whole. There is an international vibe with people from the different business units from all over the world, and there is a general friendliness and sense of cooperation and everyone is more than willing to help and make you feel included.

What would you say to someone considering applying for trainee next year?
– Just do it.