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Apprenticeship Successfully Completed – “The highlight was our personal interaction and collaboration”

At the end of July, 19 of our apprentices successfully completed their vocational training at Beiersdorf. The graduates included Chemical Laboratory Technicians, Chemists, Mechatronics Engineers, IT Specialists, Digitalization Management Specialists, and Dual Students who combined their Industrial Management vocational training with a university Bachelor’s degree. What were their personal experiences and how do they feel today as they look back on their apprenticeships at Beiersdorf? We talked to Mohammad Khalefeh (27), Marian Wagner (22) and Jan Czekala (22) about their vocational training with us – and discover their plans for the future!

From left to right: Marian Wagner, Mohammad Khalefeh and Jan Czekala

Marian, Mohammad and Jan, congratulations on successfully completing your apprenticeship! What did you most enjoy about the time – and what were your personal highlights?

Marian: Looking back on my apprenticeship, there are only positive things. Among other things, that’s because as Mechatronics Engineers we were given the opportunity to work very independently. For example, I accompanied the end-to-end conversion of a new mobile mixer, including the planning and implementation phases. Our mixer is now being used in the lab – I’m proud that everything worked out so well!

Mohammad: For me, the absolute highlight was our personal interaction and collaboration. Everyone was very open and honest – you could discuss things at eye level and I was so strongly supported by countless colleagues. I am very grateful for that! Eight years ago, I fled alone from Syria to Germany and Beiersdorf offered me a unique opportunity to train as an IT specialist. This means the world to me, because now that I’m starting a ‘real’ job I can also invite my mother and two of my siblings to join me in Germany. After such a long time, this is a huge dream come true for me.

Jan: I found it tremendously exciting to be able to build such a large network in such a short time. Everyone was very helpful and I can genuinely say that my apprenticeship as a Chemical Laboratory Technician was a very formative time for me. My personal highlight is crystal clear: My 10-week foreign assignment at the regional laboratory in India. Initially it was quite a culture shock, but I was given a very warm welcome. I was constantly able to pitch in actively and get to know completely new working approaches. Gathering such rich experience during an apprenticeship is by no means a matter of course and I deeply appreciate that.

What were your key takeaways from your time in India?

Jan: It was my first time abroad on my own. That in itself was a great adventure – especially in India, of course. During my assignment abroad I came to know myself in a completely new way and grew with the challenge. What’s more, it was exciting to see that working approaches in other countries can be completely different – some of which I brought back to Hamburg. I’m a much calmer, more relaxed person now. It’s a fundamental attitude that I bring to my new job, in a very positive sense. Within the Future Lab & Applied Digitalization team, I will help move the digitalization of laboratory processes forward. I think this is a super-exciting topic!

CHRO Nicola Lafrentz gave good tips along the way.

Mohammad and Marian, what’s up next for you?

Mohammad: I will also stay with Beiersdorf to help take care of the Cloud Compute Infrastructure, that’s our cloud services and servers, as a member of the Information Technology & Operation Team. This is the heart of Beiersdorf IT, if you like, and as we always get hands-on with the latest technologies, I find this very exciting!

Marian: I was given a fixed contract for Technical Service in Research and Development, where I already worked during my apprenticeship. I find work in this department deeply exciting because Mechatronics Engineers usually work more in production.

Alexandra Striewski (right) presents IT specialist Mohammad Khalefeh with his Diploma.

Your own apprenticeship has just come to an end, while for the new intake of apprentices their adventure is just around the corner. What tips can you give them?

Jan: Stay open-minded and show initiative. Take personal initiative for driving topics... and share and pursue your ideas. You’re then guaranteed a truly formative apprenticeship!

Mohammad: I see it the same way. Always stay open and show who you are. Proactive discussion always helps – also to understand each other better. Never be afraid to be yourself, because at Beiersdorf you will find a positive working atmosphere. You will get space to try things out and ask questions. This can only help you grow!

Thank you all very much for the interview. We wish you all the best for both your professional and your private life.

Ready for the challenge?

Then apply now! One last tip: if the right opening isn’t available right now, simply activate our JOB ALERT. It will keep you informed and let you know as soon as there is a new opening in your desired area.
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About the editor: Anna Hewing

Anna is part of the Corporate Communications team and responsible for the topics of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I). Her stories are about inspiring personalities at Beiersdorf and the company’s social commitment.