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Apprentice talk with Lina, Svenja, Silvan and Yesenia

At the beginning of February, 12 of our apprentices celebrated their successful graduation together with CHRO Nicola Lafrentz and the Vocational Training team. Among the 12 were 2 Chemical Laboratory Technicians, 3 Chemical Technicians, 5 Industrial Clerks and 2 e-Commerce Clerks. How did they feel looking back? What were the first and best days of their apprenticeships like? And what tips did they have for the apprentices of tomorrow? Chemical Laboratory Technician Lina Mengel (21 years old), e-Commerce Clerk Svenja Golchert (23), Industrial Clerk Silvan Peters (24) and Chemical Technician Yesenia David Munoz (29) answered these and other questions in our interview.

Lina Mengel

Lina and Svenja, what was your first impression? What was going through your minds after the first few days of your apprenticeship at Beiersdorf?

Lina: To be honest, I was very nervous and insecure at the beginning. There was so much new information and many new faces – it was a bit overwhelming. In retrospect, I have to say that especially the first few weeks in the Training Lab helped me a lot to settle in. We were taught the key basics, and these days were good preparation for the real work in the lab and the Vocational College.

Svenja: I had a very similar experience. The first few weeks were full of excitement and anticipation. It was a very special moment for me to be allowed to enter the building with my own company laptop and my Beiersdorf ID card! I was also curious to find out which department I would go to first and what challenges were in store for me.

Svenja Golchert

Yesenia and Silvan, how about you? What were your expectations at the beginning of the apprenticeship – and were these confirmed?

Yesenia: I would say that my expectations were very high at the time. After all, Beiersdorf is a major global company and I believed I would learn a lot here. In fact, today I can say that my expectations have been fully met. The support given to us apprentices, especially by our trainer Gaby Heid, was unique. Overall, it could hardly have gone better!

Silvan: My main concern at the time was to get to know the company workflows and processes in depth. These expectations were completely fulfilled in the 2.5 years of my apprenticeship. In addition to the technical skills, I was also able to develop some of my soft skills. So the apprenticeship has helped me in every respect.

Lina and Svenja, what did you like best about your apprenticeship? Were there even any surprises for you?

Lina: I never thought that I would develop so much personally during my apprenticeship. We were repeatedly taken out of our comfort zone and that changed us all very noticeably and positively. I was very shy at first but gained a lot of self-confidence during the apprenticeship. Today I love making new contacts and I am very grateful to have met so many kind and supportive people.

Svenja: I particularly enjoyed the regular exchanges with my fellow apprentices. It was exciting to hear which departments they were currently in and what tasks they had – this really broadened my insight into the company. I got to know some great people during my apprenticeship and also deeply appreciated my time at the Vocational College, especially because we not only learned together but also shared lots of fun moments.

Silvan Peteres

Svenja, Yesenia and Silvan, what were the highlights of your apprenticeship?

Svenja: My personal highlights were my four-week internship abroad in Dublin, which I did via Erasmus+, and the chance to attend and support our tattoo-care brand Skin Stories team at the Wacken Festival 2023. Both were unforgettable experiences.

Yesenia: The entire apprenticeship period was great, but my personal highlight was passing my practical exam with 100% and my theory exam with the top grade after two years. That motivated me strongly for the future – it showed me that you can achieve a lot with a strong will, without perfect German-language skills and with a small child.  

Silvan: It's difficult for me to name just one highlight. There were so many impressions and really great events – we were constantly looking forward to the next highlight!

You have all successfully completed your apprenticeship. What's next for you?

Silvan: I'm currently being trained in Supply Chain Customer Management. I'm looking forward to working independently here and being able to contribute to the company's success.

Yesenia: I will also continue my career at Beiersdorf. However, not in the traditional way in Production as most chemical technicians do, because I´m venturing into the laboratory in the Face Care Department.

Lina: Last week I started in the Eucerin team in the Face & Hyperpigmentation Area as an R&D Junior Technician. I'm looking forward to taking on more responsibility and getting more involved in product development.

Svenja: I have just formed a job tandem in Sales – and starting March, I´ll be studying Business Psychology in parallel.

Yesenia David Munoz

What tip would you like to share with new apprentices?

Lina: Have the courage to be open and approach others proactively. Stay curious and show your genuine personality! 

Silvan: I can only advise new apprentices to always stay open and interested. Not every task is always fun, but that's also part of the charm of the apprenticeship. Continually try to find the positive side of everything and don't pretend to be something you're not. If you can do this, you'll have a really good time!

Yesenia: My tip is to combine these four key words: discipline, initiative, curiosity, and fun!

Svenja: My tip for new apprentices is to enjoy this exciting time of your training and gain as much experience as possible. Have fun doing what you do – because that's the most important thing besides learning and gathering new experiences.

Thank you very much for this interview!

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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.