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Hello, my name is Kevin Pape, I’m 25 years old and I am currently in the second year of my apprenticeship as an automotive mechatronics engineer at Vergölst, a subsidiary of Continental.
As a former participant of the “We l.o.v.e. Europe” project (pilot project of the Experiencing Europe initiative), I was given the opportunity to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of the citizen’s dialog at Continental’s headquarters in Hanover in September – a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. The dialog was themed around the future of Europe. The Chancellor discussed this topic with us, and we talked about our experiences.
As a participant of “We l.o.v.e. Europe”, I was given a new opportunity in the form of short internships in Europe. I completed two two-week internships at different European Continental locations and thus obtained valuable cultural insights into these Eastern Europe countries. I was able to present the content of the project to the Chancellor, and I was impressed by how insightfully and informatively she answered all of our questions.I also talked about the good internet connection in Romania, where I worked during my second internship, and how many people mistakenly think that things like this work worse in Eastern countries.
My two internships for the pilot project were located in Budapest (Hungary) and Sibiu (Romania). I cannot confirm the prejudices that many people hold against these countries – on the contrary: I was accepted as a part of the team and the Continental family from the outset.Despite the linguistic and cultural differences, the locals were always open and helpful to me.
I experienced so much in these four weeks that it is difficult to choose a single highlight: In Budapest, I attended a concert with my colleagues and visited Lake Balaton. In Romania, my visit to Dracula’s Castle was definitely one of my favorites.
After we arrived back in Germany at the end of July last year, I was offered an apprenticeship at Continental. After several recruitment tests, I opted for an apprenticeship as an automotive mechatronics engineer. I started the apprenticeship last September, for which I even moved to Hanover from Dresden.
I can recommend anyone who has the opportunity to participate in a project like this one to take that opportunity, because with a little effort they too could become a part of the Continental family.