This post is also available in: German
Hi, my name is Maurice and in my blog post I would like to tell you about the various development opportunities that Continental has to offer committed students.
I got my first insight into the automotive industry at the very beginning of my Master’s in Physics at the Leibniz University of Hanover. Because the bachelor’s degree for the mother of all scientific subjects is focused almost exclusively on theory, I decided to start the semester with some project work. This consisted of developing a shift fork test bench for an automotive supplier. These shift forks are now being installed in the Audi R8. Throughout the entire period, our interdisciplinary team of students was repeatedly confronted with challenges related to project management. For me, the two most important things I took away this experience were that, firstly, I wanted to learn more about project management and, secondly, it’s an incredible feeling to see a vehicle on the road and know that you played a part in this complex feat of engineering. After all, our team was responsible for ensuring the quality of one of its components.
So applying for an internship at Continental was a logical step. I once again deliberately chose a role outside my own subject area and started in Product Review. For me, this involved six months of conducting and chairing the R&D approval meetings, being involved in reporting to top management, performing quantitative analyses of physical tire parameters, and even recording tire complaints and any improvements required. At my own request, I was also responsible for a small project of my own to further develop my knowledge of methodology. During this time, I was constantly surprised by the level of responsibility involved in the tasks that were assigned to me and, above all, how much trust was placed in me as an intern.
The time I spent in the approval meetings meant that not only did I come into contact with all the areas involved in the development process, but I also gained an in-depth understanding of them. It soon became clear to me that I wanted to remain part of this positive working environment even after my internship had ended and so I looked for an opportunity to write my Master’s thesis at Continental as well. My mentors made sure I had all the assistance I could have ever hoped for, even inviting me to visit the lidar sensor development plant in Lindau am Bodensee, which is 650 km away, as part of the Meet the Manager program and sending me a suggested topic for my thesis.
In recognition of my achievements during the internship, I was accepted onto the ProMotion student retention program and since then I have relished the opportunity to take part in regular workshops, get to know different sites and network even more at Continental.
I’m now working on my Master’s thesis in R&D in Stöcken in the Tire Testing Technology department. I again find myself focusing on the subject of test bench development, like I was before my time at Continental. What really motivates me is the fact that the recommendations I develop are implemented directly and don’t just stay on a piece of paper that then disappears into a drawer.
So what does the future hold?
I’m currently getting ready for a longer stay abroad (in the United States) as part of my final assignment, because I’ve been given the very special opportunity to support the commissioning process for the calibration methods I developed and to work on improving them further on site. Of course, I hope that there will be a new role waiting for me at Continental once I get back and finish my studies.