As a part of my HR Graduate Program, I got the opportunity to work in a Continental plant for one week. After doing so, I must say, it was one of my toughest weeks since I have joined Continental. 🙂
Starting at 6am in the morning was definitely a challenge for me (besides the fact that the predicted weather forecast was 35° C during this week), but after three days, I got more or less used to it. On my first working day, I went to my shift manager’s office to get my work clothes and received a short introduction about what I would be doing during the week.
After a really comprehensive safety briefing done by one of the plant’s shift managers, I could directly start doing “some real work”. I started with checking some tubes while putting them in a testing stand. In most cases, we received instructions to check every single item, which impressed me a lot.
The shift leader wanted to give me the chance to see as many working stations as possible during my five working days. That is how I managed to learn something new every day.
Starting with checking on my first day, I continued with extruding tubes and rubber items on my second day. This was one of my hardest working stations, due to the fact that I had to use physical strength to handle the extruder. Another aspect is that I had to stand for about 7.5 hours straight, which was very tiring. I was impressed by my colleagues who shared that they got used to it.
On my third and fourth day, I worked at the bending machine and the edging pass, which were really interesting working stations as I was allowed to also set up the machine’s settings (together with a colleague of course!).
On my last day, I was stationed in the clean room production, which was a completely different surrounding compared to my previous working stations – I had to wear a head covering and a coat. Here, I also did some final checking on products before wrapping them up for the customer.
All in all, I must say it was an extraordinary experience which I would highly recommend to all colleagues who have the possibility to work in a plant for several days. Being part of a team in a plant, working with them (and also working in shifts), and talking to them, really changed my perception and imagination of what they are doing for Continental. Especially from an HR perspective, it is more than a must that we know what’s important for our own people, what do they need and what do they think; do they feel recognized for their hard work? During this one week, I had many interesting insights, not only in the plant workflow itself, but also in the ContiTech products in Karben, the machines and the materials.
I would like to thank the great plant team from Karben! 🙂.