Hey there and greetings from Rambouillet (France)!
As an Automotive DRIVE Graduate Trainee it is part of my program to spend several months abroad. I am therefore very happy to share my experience with you.
One week before the official start of my time as expatriate, I moved to France to settle into a new apartment, a new city and a new phase of my life. Throughout the days coming I discovered the beautiful city center of Rambouillet, a suburb of Paris, its lakes, forest and famous château (castle) with an incredible garden – understandingly that this is the summer residency of François Hollande. I was excited to see that my French language skills were largely sufficient to get around smoothly and make friends with my new colleagues once work started (I have to admit, I lived already one year in France when I was 16 years old, but this is long time ago…).
From a tasks point of view my assignment was very interesting as well. Major focus and subtitle of my rotation from Headquarters to the Regional Sales Organization (RSO) was “Digital Transformation in CVAM” (Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket). My target was to collect the needs for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. The focus was not only set to France but also to Continental’s other RSOs. I therefore got to know all our sales reps in France while conducting many interviews and, at the same time, remained in contact with the colleagues from the other countries whom I worked with already during my first rotation. Simultaneously, I got involved in many day-to-day business tasks as well as project work, e. g. the market introduction of On-Board-Units necessary due to a new tolling system for trucks in Belgium, a project that was almost entirely managed out of France.
Right now, we are about to develop a very smart CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution for my French colleagues and I am eager to push the project as far as possible before the end of my expatriation which was prolonged by one month, yay!
I will keep you posted about my third assignment, starting in November. So far, I can tell you that it might most likely be about “Communications Controlling”…