CAReer trainee at Mercedes-Benz Vans Interview with Véronique Buchta

What does the CAReer program offer university graduates and what characterizes working at Mercedes-Benz Vans? This and further questions were answered for us by CAReer trainee Véronique Buchta.

Hello Ms Buchta, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello, my name is Véronique Buchta and I was born in Darmstadt. I gained my Bachelor's degree at the Technical University of Darmstadt in "Industrial and Mechanical Engineering" and my Master's degree at the Technical University of Munich in "Engineering and Management". From November 2015 to April 2017 I completed the CAReer program and now work at the Düsseldorf Sprinter plant, in the "Production Service and Energy Management" department.

Why did you choose Daimler as your employer and the CAReer program?

I have had a passion for cars for a long time, which is why I was a member of the "Formula Student" Team at the TU Darmstadt. After that there was an internship plus the writing of my Bachelor's and Master's theses at major automotive manufacturers. Mercedes-Benz cars have fascinated me since I was young and I have always been a fan of the Formula 1 "Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team". So starting at Daimler was a dream come true for me. After my degrees it was also very important to me that the start of my professional life gave me intensive, specialist and personal prospects for further development. The trainee program at Daimler is in my view the ideal way of becoming acquainted with different working cultures and task fields, of assuming responsibility in projects and building up an international network.

What was your previous experience at Daimler – starting from your first day at the company until today?

My CAReer program started in November 2015 with a four-month project in my current team for "Production Service and Energy Management" at the Van Sprinter plant in Düsseldorf. Here I was able to get to know the plant and the employees, and to get used to the fields of work I have now taken on. Four further projects, each lasting three months, followed on from this. I completed the second project in Sindelfingen in the bodyshell pilot plant, in which the bodies of the prototype vehicles are produced. This gave me an exciting insight into the Passenger Car division. I then worked for a further three months in Düsseldorf in the start-up team for the new Sprinter. This was followed by my first international project at the Charleston plant, South Carolina, USA, in the Plant and Assembly Planning department. That is where the existing body plant is being converted into a production plant for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Metris, known in Germany as the Vito. The last project took me to Vitoria, Spain, in the Basque Country. This is where the Mercedes-Benz V-Class and the Mercedes-Benz Vito are produced. I worked in the team of the Spanish counterpart of my current Düsseldorf department and got to know the fields of work, the employees and the plant.

What makes working in the Vans division special for you?

The Van division is very international, with plants in Argentina, the USA, Russia, China and four plants in Europe. They are highly networked and cross-plant activity shapes everyday life. Plus I like the working atmosphere: respect is high and I find the work a lot of fun.

Please tell us a bit more about your team and your work.

Since the beginning of May 2017 I have been working in the team for Production Service and Energy Management. My tasks involve energy assessment of all the processes and specialist departments at the plant plus continuous improvement suggestions and implementation for reducing CO2 consumption and energy. In the Production Service department we ensure that indirect production installations (for example elevators, gates, etc.) function correctly and are ready for use.

Your tip for those who would like to apply for CAReer?

The CAReer program at Daimler is in my opinion the perfect way of entering the workplace for graduates with a passion for the automotive industry and who want to progress continuously and gather as many impressions as possible within a short period of time.

The route to starting with the company is made easier through practical experience in the automotive industry during internships, employment as a temporary student employee or writing theses.

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