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How did you get to Continental? How did everything begin?
After my A-levels I was looking for a job or the right academic studies for me. I was a little bit lost because I really didn´t know what would be the right subject for me. So I decided to go working. I wanted to do an apprenticeship or an integrated trainee program. After selfreflection I decided to apply for an apprenticeship as an industrial management assistant offering me the opportunity to work in different branches and to experience a variety of jobs. I was confident with my decision but another question came to my mind: To which company will I apply for the apprenticeship? It was obvious that I wanted to work internationally. I have always liked to speak different languages like Spanish, French, Kurdish and of course English. So I was geared to the big, international players and that way came along with Continental.
After finishing my apprenticeship I got offered a job as an Executive Assistant to TMOD, CBIM & HR Comm as well as supporting the “We l.o.v.e. Europe/ experiencing Europe” project and still one year later I really do enjoy my work.
Do you have any memories on your first day at Continental? What was your first impression?
My first real working day was at Commercial Vehicle Tires in one of our locations in Hanover. I was really nervous and excited. Previously I had talked a lot to some trainees and dual students, who were in the company already a year longer, about their experience in their first department and what kind of tasks they do.
Still I was very nervous due to my lack of experience. Indeed I had a lot of side jobs, but working in such a big company was completely different. What do I have to wear? How will my colleagues behave? First I was a little bit shy – I did not have any insight into the company’s culture, so I wasn’t sure how to behave. When I arrived everybody was very nice and welcoming. I quickly felt comfortable, it was a great time! So my first impression was very positive and stays until now.
Besides your job at Continental you study business psychology. How do you cope with this?
First of all, I can cope with this only with a lot of support from my family and friends. My colleagues are also open to any further education and are completely behind me. But how can I get all this done? I always try to adhere to my schedules and to be guided by them – otherwise I would struggle with time pressure and that’s rather counterproductive and makes a lot of things difficult for me. Organization and time management is the key.
If you had the chance, would you choose the same way?
Yes I would choose the same way – definitely. For me the question to leave Continental never came up. I made a lot of good experiences during my apprenticeship. I had the chance to meet interesting people and got to know many projects. So I decided to stay at Continental after finishing my apprenticeship because it also allowed me to work and study besides. Of course this takes a whole lot of discipline, but it will pay off after time.
What was your biggest highlight at Continental so far? What are your everyday highlights?
My biggest highlight so far was definitely the passing of my final exams here at Continental. I worked two and a half years towards this day. When I was told that I passed, I was really happy. It was nice to know that your superiors are happy with you too. The positive feedback motivated me even more to do my best. The exam was also a kind of end and new beginning for me. An old phase of my life came to end with the end of the training and at the same time a brand new phase started.
My everyday highlights are definitely my colleagues at work. Every day I’m really looking forward to come back to work – I have really great people around me and I always know – no matter what – I can count on their support. That’s really a lot of value.
What would you recommend to job/ profession entrants?
In any case I advise you to be organized. Always try to keep a notebook handy so you can write your daily to do’s in it. But above all I can advise you: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Go easy on new tasks and take as much as you can – from special events like the ContiTire Award or telephone conferences. Use your chances and keep updated. Also try to help each other and work together instead of working against one another. That’s really important. You are not sure about a task, a foreign word or shortcut? Just ask! Only the one who asks has the chance to win!
Shared workplaces or one workplace? – Shared.
Canteen or cafeteria? – Canteen.
Meeting or telephone conferences? – Meeting.
Tea or coffee? – Tea.
Email or Sametime? – Sametime.
Open or closed office doors? – Open.