Our first team-building exercises during our kick-off week involved re-arranging ourselves on a narrow log without falling off, running through the hands of our teammates, being carried up into the air, finding our way while being blindfolded – and the most difficult of all – making sure we all got over a fairly high rope without being allowed to crawl under it! Upon returning to the camp we were rewarded for our efforts with “goody bags” filled with Conti merchandise and well-compiled information necessary for our start as trainees.
The next morning, (while we were still under the impression that we had an enjoyable day ahead of us) we were introduced to our next challenge, which involved cycling up strenuous uphill tracks. Although we were completely tired and ready for a nap we were not allowed to take a break as more mind-boggling tasks were in store for us, such as constructing a flying fox and even building a raft from a scratch which would actually float instead of take all of us down with it!
After two days of intensive physical activity, we were ready for tasks with a mental focus. We said goodbye to our camp and moved to more standard accommodation where trainings in Consulting and Project Management provided us with well-needed insights and skills. Networking with trainees from the previous pool and the Business Unit HR Heads gave us valuable opportunities to learn more about how things are done at Conti and have the opportunity to get answers that we were all eager to know. We were also matched with partners within the trainee pool to work on the assigned HR global projects.
Finally we travelled back to Hannover where of course I was extremely sad that I would be left alone while the other trainees travelled back to their home locations. We had become such good friends so fast, it was almost unbelievable. I then realized, however, that of course I wasn’t really alone after all. ‘What’s app’, ‘Telcos’ and internal ‘Sametime’ chats have ensured that we constantly remain in touch with each other. Naturally there are differences in opinion which may be heightened by the cultural diversity in our team and sometimes compromises have to be made. At the end of the day this teaches us valuable lessons and makes us a stronger team who trust each other and are there for one other: together with our passion to win and freedom to act at Conti, I can only say that we are on the way to achieving things we once upon a time would never have thought possible.
To find general information on Continental’s trainee programs visit our Website.