What is your name and what do you do at Schnellecke?
My name is Sara. I am a native Egyptian and I am currently participating in the International Trainee Program at Schnellecke. I am currently working in the Quality Assurance department at the Wolfsburg site. My activities are generally related to working with the SoftExpert Quality Management System. Before that, I was assigned to the Planning department at the Bratislava site, were I mainly worked in Lean Management.
And how did you become aware of the Schnellecke trainee program?
After my university studies, I first became familiar with Schnellecke at the recruiting and contact fair “Career Day for Family Businesses” and met with the company representatives there. After a very pleasant meeting, I received an invitation to the assessment center, where I was finally offered the International Trainee Program. It was a great fit for me – also because my master’s thesis was directly related to the automotive industry.
As an International Trainee, you pass through several stations at Schnellecke – you’ve already reported on Bratislava and Wolfsburg. In general, which divisions of the company does a trainee definitely see?
The program is designed so that trainees are assigned to four different stations during their year. Each trainee has his or her own plan depending on the choice of company and the trainee’s preferences. Their entire background also plays a role. In addition, each trainee has different strengths and weaknesses, where the job variety in the company plays a big role in completing the overall picture.
Apart from the regular moves, what do you think is special about the International Trainee Program?
We trainees are given responsibility and important tasks right from the start, so we are actively involved in the work in the respective business unit. In addition, we have a professional mentor at our side at each station who reviews our progress at the end so that we can recognize our strengths and at the same time work on the points that still need to be developed.
In addition, I have noticed that the regular rotations have broadened my horizons significantly and taught me about different aspects of working life, which makes this program into something very special.
What is the biggest difference between this and the Specialist Trainee?
We have already touched on this briefly: in contrast to the Specialist Trainee, who spends his or her entire time in one division of the company, we spend every three months working in other divisions. In addition, we are required to complete a station abroad, which is very exciting and at the same time attractive, given Schnellecke’s numerous international sites. The trainee program has simply helped me a lot in tackling and mastering new challenges and tasks.
How difficult is this flexibility for you to constantly have to change locations?
To me it’s like an exponential curve: It’s difficult at the beginning, but it progresses over time. As soon as the curve rises, we start preparing to take off for another station, where we have to leave our comfort zone.
How do you manage your accommodation and your life during the time you are at another site?
Schnellecke offers us more than adequate accommodation and also arranges it for the trainees. That is of course very helpful and practical. Otherwise it would be difficult to constantly find new available accommodations that are affordable at short notice and on top of the daily work.
You’ve been with Schnellecke for over six months now. What do you think has been your biggest professional challenge so far?
A change of site has many facets. In addition to a lot of variety and numerous impressions, you also face the challenge of quickly familiarizing yourself with different topics. But you notice quite quickly how the learning curve improves. This encourages you and gives you self-confidence for the stations yet to come.