First of all, let me introduce myself: my name is Renata Holly, I’m an 18-year-old Hungarian student from Szekesfehervar. I did an internship at the HR department in Regensburg through the “We love Europe” initiative.  When I heard about the program for the first time I was very enthusiastic. I knew I wanted to be part of it and made a motivation video which fortunately was successful.

On my first day in Regensburg, I knew I was very lucky because of several reasons. Firstly, because Germany and Regensburg are so beautiful. Secondly, because when I had an appointment with a young woman from Continental, who was currently my host sister, she was pleasant from the very first time and she still is. Furthermore, I had in a very nice and huge apartment, lastly, she and everyone else are so kind and helpful with me also in Continental.

On my first day, I was a bit surprised of the immensity of Continental. There are thousands of people from completely different cultures and countries. For me, since I am unexperienced, this circumstance is breathtaking. When I arrived at my office, some friends and my new colleagues gave me information about how things going on here and I got a short Continental tour. After that I have participated in a presentation about safety and requirements. Then we had a lunch in the main canteen. In the afternoon I have started working in a different department where I did some administrative work. After work we had a pleasant walk through the city.

Except for the Continental tour and the safety presentation I had similar tasks every day. Although it was a lot of work I could manage very well thanks to the help of my colleague. Once I had a lunch with a person from the same country I come from or just had a cycling tour in Regensburg and in the suburbs with my host sister. We visited the Walhalla as well and we met with a friend in a beach bar. I also had the possibility to learn what HR is all about. A colleague of mine held a presentation about his job in particular, the structure and the processes of HR. This was definitely one of the highlights of my internship as I have got so much information about the student and training departments tasks. I also learned what an HR secretary’s day looks like and what that her job includes many different things like supporting the Head of HR. I always had programs in the evening in the city center. During the week, for the first I had an appointment with some people from the training department and in another day, I met one of my kind colleagues. Both times, we decided to eat a bite somewhere.

As for the weekend, me and my host sister had to say a short goodbye to each other because she was on a short trip for several days, so in this situation I had to stay in a Hostel for the weekend. While I had time looking around I discovered that almost every bottle in Germany can be returned. I was quite surprised about that, but I believe that this would be a really good solution for many other countries as well. In the evening I met with my buddy and her friends in the city where we went to a restaurant and had the best lasagna. The next day we went to a berry field where we picked a lot of blueberries and raspberries.  Later that day I had the pleasure of meeting a Hungarian family, whose dad was also working at Continental. We visited famous sites, like Kehlheim where I tried special Bavarian food and drinks. We had such an interesting conversation about dialects. I thought it’s not a big deal for native speakers to distinguish between dialects, but to be honest, I would never think that I also have a dialect. I thought I’m one of that people who speaks “normally” in their home country, but I had mistaken. It was so instructive for me that everything in this world is relative.

The second week was just as interesting as the first one. On Monday, I had a short look in the factory and I also got information about the system and the production area. My host sister’s father and sister visited us and what’s more, we made pizza and we also had a lot of fun together. The second day this week I was in the student department where people surprised me with a special breakfast. Everyone there showed me what their work looked like and I could even practice my IT skills a bit. On Wednesday morning my colleague Martine explained to me which HR projects she organizes and that their main topics are. Women excellence for example has the vision to empower women at Continental. The same day, I changed to the training department. There, I learned a lot about the training programs and the opportunities trainees have at Continental. Thursday was a great honor for me, because my host sister, Martina and I had an appointment with Mr. Staab, the Head of HR. I felt myself privilege because we had a face to face conversation about my experiences.

On Friday, I finished the administrative work I was responsible for and had two presentations: one about the recruiting process and the other about the modeling process and projects. For our last afternoon my host sister and I decided to go for a long walk outside. Germanys nature is just so beautiful. The scenery was undeniably breathtaking from the hill. Last but not least we had a farewell dinner in a Mexican restaurant accompanied by a friend of my host sister.

All in all I have not just seen the beautiful sights of Regensburg – i really got to experience the city. I also learned a lot about Continental and the HR departments processes. In only two weeks I could experience what it means to work in a multinational corporation and I can say for sure that diversity is an important part of Continental. I am really grateful for this opportunity! The students, the training department, Martina, Tamara, Emilia and of course Theresa – thank you all so much for making this an unforgettable experience!

I also want to say thank you for everyone who organizes the We Love Europe program!

I can only recommend it for each and every one to participate in the We Love Europe program!

Renata Holly

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