What can I say about my story in Continental? That was the first question I had when I was given the opportunity to write this post. Several thoughts came into my mind; I remembered when I decided to work here in the first place.
My name is Viridiana Chaveron and I am from Guadalajara, Mexico, where Continental is one of the biggest employers. My interest for the automotive world began when I was a little girl and I used to play with my dad guessing the makes, models and basic features of cars in the street. It was in high school that my career path became clear to me. I wanted to work in a global automotive company with strong values and international opportunities. Ever since, I knew I would work hard to make that dream come true.
When there is a dream, life conspires; a couple years later, I obtained a scholarship to study one year in Barcelona, Spain. It was the beginning, my first step, and I knew it. I was starting to build my dream.
Living in a different country opened my eyes to the beauty of diversity; I learned how cultural differences are synonymous with enrichment. I further appreciated the power of languages and the impact of an open mind in this world.
From that moment, my desire to realize my dream became even stronger. There I was, a week after my graduation, moving to the US to start a new chapter in Huntsville, AL as an intern in the finance department. This was the beginning of my career at Continental.
This experience was invaluable and worked as a platform to discover different positions in various functional areas, locations, and divisions. It eventually led to my current position as the Account Manager Lead for my group.
It has been almost 10 years since I started this journey. During this time, I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful people and I have been fortunate enough to have great teammates and mentors who have guided me and provided me with their genuine advice.
Working for a company that promotes personal development, continuous improvement and innovation has been an equal source of excitement and motivation. Since joining Continental, one of my main goals has been to generate value in each of my positions and to leave something meaningful behind; maybe that is the reason why several doors have opened for me.
Every day presents a new challenge, with every challenge, an inner force awakens within me. At times it has been frightening; nevertheless, this may be the fuel that always keeps me moving forward, to take new challenges and trust that with each step, I am still building my dream.
Last year I was selected for a Global Talent Program within my business unit where I had the honor to represent my segment and to work with brilliant people from across the globe. This has been the most intense and rewarding experience in my career so far.
At first, the uncertainty of not knowing who my team would be and what project we would be working on for the next 8 months was somehow intimidating, but the idea of presenting a proposal on a brand new topic to almost 20 executives and HR partners was nerve-racking! The kick-off meeting in Germany helped ease these feelings, as I finally had the opportunity to meet my team and my mentor for the first time. We were definitely a multinational team: China, Brazil, India, Mexico and Germany!
The pressure was high but I was excited to learn that our topic was unique and oriented to the future. We were given the opportunity to develop a brand new sales concept for Continental and to contribute to my company on the digitalization area.
Nobody could have prepared me enough on the workload and efforts that had to be invested in this project; the long hours, weekends and hundreds of phone conferences. Nevertheless, I am proud to say that our team efforts were rewarded when our project was selected for implementation.
There are multiple benefits that come out of such a program: the Company’s growth through new business strategies and the strong connections across regions and functional areas that are created when people come closer together. This program is an ovation to diversity, showing how it enables amazing results to happen. These types of successful experiences are the ones that fuel the people and consequently fuel the Company.
So what can I say about my story in Continental?
It has been a great journey, certainly full of challenges but each of them surpassed by its rewards. This Company has not only provided me with the tools and experience to grow as a professional, but also with the passion to contribute and follow my dream, because where there is a dream you need the passion not to let it go. Continental has helped me reach my dream and allowed me to build it even further.