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We are the eight dual students of Business Informatics from Hanover/Germany. We joined Continental in 2017 and in cooperation with the Leibniz School of Business we have the opportunity to gain some insights into work at Continental while simultaneously learning about the theoretical principles of computer science and business informatics. In this blog, we want to share our experiences with you.
Most of us are from Hanover or from the surrounding region. For this reason, most of us were at least a bit familiar with the brand “Continental” prior to our studies in that company. After finishing High School, most of us wondered what to do afterwards regarding studying. Due to Continental being strongly represented in Hanover and because it is an attractive employer due to its internationality, size etc. most of us chose this company as a first point of contact for applications.
The subsequent application process was conducted very quickly and turned out to be fairly simple. Soon after submitting our application, we were invited to an aptitude test. The test started with a short introduction of every participant. There we were already asked some questions about our motivations, our goals and so on. Afterwards, a computer test challenging our grammatical and mathematical understanding, our logical thinking etc. was conducted.
Shortly after completing the first step of the application process, we were invited to participate in an Assessment Center. The Assessment Center consisted of different tasks testing different skills, most of which were done in groups. Naturally, we were very nervous in the beginning, but the personnel managers that accompanied the Assessment Center managed to calm our nerves quite quickly. After a challenging day in the Assessment Center, we received the feedback and thus the final decision whether we would be employed afterwards. In many cases, Continental had already offered us a job while other companies we applied at didn’t even reply to our application yet at that time.
Our study program is partitioned into a theoretical and a practical section. The theoretical part mainly consists of IT related topics (such as Databases, IT-Networks, Coding, etc.). Additionally, we are also taught in certain aspects of business administration. For example, we learn how to evaluate an investment or how employees should be managed. Completing this we also learn about project management and everything connected to it.
This theoretical knowledge is furthermore intensified by our practical assignments in the company where we can gain further insights into how work is done at Continental. It’s very interesting to see how topics we learn about in theory at university are being implemented or handled in real-life. Often, there are some major differences between theory and practice that we can recognize.
For the practical phase, we have a wide range of possible departments at our disposal. Assignments in production are as possible as an assignment in an IT- or business department. For example, some of us have previously been involved in IT- departments dealing with SAP, while other have participated in business departments selling and distributing tires or managing HR topics.
However, an absolute highlight of our 3-year study program is our foreign assignment. For this we were able to choose our own destination and organize our stay there, including organizing accommodation, transportation and so on. Of course, this was quite the challenge to begin with, but in the end it felt even better when everything worked out and we were able start our assignment in a foreign country.
While some of us headed west to work in the USA or Canada, others left heading east to countries like China or Malaysia. There we had the opportunity to get to know the working methods and the peculiarities of the different countries and cultures in order to be able to build up an intercultural competence. Many of us decided to also spend their holiday in the country of choice, hence allowing us to spend even more time there to travel and explore the country.
Currently we are in our forelast practical phase, so it will not be long until we complete our study program. Many of us are wondering what to after our graduation. Fortunately, we are well supported in this manner, so we can all look forward to our graduation without having any worries.