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“The key: Always be yourself!”

The coronavirus has turned many things upside down. Vocational training schools and companies were shut down – the trainees of the summer program 2020 faced special challenges in the final months of their work as a result of the lockdown. Nonetheless, they produced some impressive results. We spoke with the new chemical technician (CK) Thomas Szram, the lab chemist (CL) Marcel Fabian and the freshly minted mechatronics specialist (MT) Pierre Boldt about their difficult training conditions, increased self-confidence – and interesting tips for people just entering the work world.

Thomas, congratulations on your completed training program! How did the coronavirus and the shutdown caused by it affect the final stages of your chemical technician training program?

Thomas: Naturally, we trainees could not escape the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. As someone who was completing the program ahead of schedule, I certainly noticed it: Training content that had already been condensed became even more concentrated – as a result of the closure of the vocational training school and the limited time spent at the company. Our trainers and teachers did everything humanly possible to help us complete the program with good grades. It was great! 

Pierre, congratulations to you as well for passing your mechatronics exam. How would you describe this unusual situation?

Pierre: The pandemic did not really affect me too much in occupational terms. Sure, I had less contact with colleagues, and, unfortunately, the last training segment had to be conducted remotely. But as Thomas just said: We received support from everyone and were given assignments so that we would not miss out on too much content. Despite everything, I was able to finish my training courses under these restrictions. And I am really happy about my new job in Operations Aerosol at BMH. 

Marcel, you also easily overcame all of the challenges and are now a trained lab chemist. What was your most pleasant and most difficult moment during your training program?

Marcel: One of my most pleasant moments was definitely the orientation seminar at the beginning of the training program. This was a really great start into this new part of my life. I also had lots of fun during a trip that our vocational class took. Unfortunately, I was unable to go on my international internship. The coronavirus was naturally to blame. I was really looking forward to it because it is a great way to enjoy unusual experiences during the training program. One of the difficult periods for me was certainly the first segment in the teaching lab. We had a huge amount of information to learn in those first weeks. It was really something. But it certainly paid off!

How have you grown as an individual over the past three years?

Marcel: I am certainly more self-confident. And I am much more open to people – regardless of the situation. I have also seen how much fun it is to work in a team. Successfully completing projects – like time-consuming product development – that is a tremendous feeling.

Thomas, Pierre, what type of expert support helped you the most?

Thomas: In addition to our introductory seminar, I would definitely have to say our weekly internal instruction. The chance to review the knowledge we had learned and to regularly talk with other trainees really helped me. The exam preparations in the company also helped me clear the last major hurdle before graduation.

Pierre: I liked the large range of internal and external courses offered by Beiersdorf. These courses focus on skills that extend beyond the training course plan. They are optimally based on vocational training and perfectly prepared me for technical advances.

In two words: Why would you recommend a Beiersdorf training program to your friends?

Thomas: Great instructors!

Pierre: That’s what I wanted to say … above-average pay. May I say something else?


Pierre: Great lunches.

And what about you, Marcel?

Marcel: Felt immediately at home.

Sounds great. Marcel, do you have a tip or two that you could share with future trainees?

Marcel: Tip one: Always be yourself. It will help every time. Networking is also extremely important to me personally. Knowing people in the departments really helps – particularly when you need a little assistance with your job search.

Thanks to all three of you for this interview!

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Martina Perez

About the editor: Martina Perez

Martina has been part of the Corporate Communications team for many years as a PR consultant and knows the media scene very well. And the journalists know Martina. She coordinates and answers media inquiries, supports filming projects, and she is our contact person for daily press reviews and continuous media monitoring. In addition, she is responsible for the conception and organization of selected press conferences, for example for the successful long-term cooperation project between NIVEA and DLRG.