From China to Stuttgart and back International career with INspire – the Leaders‘ Lab

With her 26 years, Sunnyi Braun already has some international experiences under her belt: Born in Munich, she successfully applied for our talent program “INspire – the Leaders’ Lab” after completing her Bachelor’s in Shanghai and her Master’s in Ireland. In her interview, she recounts her first experiences with Daimler since her start in October 2018 and tells us her favorite places in Bejing.

Sunnyi during the so-called „Recruitathon“ – a three-day assessment for all candidates.

Hello Sunnyi! When did you start working for Daimler, and how did we come to your attention?

Hello! I have been working for Daimler since October 2018. My attention was grabbed by an advertisement on LinkedIn. It was advertising the "INspire - the Leaders‘ Lab" talent program and how multi-faceted that program is, which of course I found very interesting! So it didn't take me too long to decide to apply. I liked the fact that you can have a say on how the program is put together. This meant that I was able to return to China for a project – but this time for Daimler.

I also have a mentor who is based in China. She gives me all the support I need to make the most out of my time as a trainee! If I wanted to work on a project at Fuso in Japan next, for example, then I am sure that I could rely on her support.

Her second assignment: Working at the product planning department in Sindelfingen, Germany.

Tell us about your experiences with the INspire program thus far.

Everything started with my online application. After taking a number of online tests, I was invited to Stuttgart for a three-day Recruitathon. I do not need to tell you how overjoyed I was when I received a positive response in the same week. Looking back, I have to say that the Recruitathon was simply cool! Not only did I get to know my fellow applicants, but also members of the company's senior management, which gave me a lot of insights. The tasks were also interesting and very enjoyable - especially the pitch!

I also think that it is important for us to receive feedback on every project assignment. Because only feedback gives us the opportunity to improve. We also have four training camps as part of the program. These camps teach us how to conduct meetings with employees, for example, and what makes a good project manager. This also reflects the aim of the program!

My last assignment was in the field of RD in the China Requirements team. We worked on Shared Mobility topics for limousine services for the Chinese market, as well as level 4 automated driving. The great thing about the assignment was that I was able to take on responsibility from day one, and I found that my opinion was valued.

Be it on the go or at your work place – with mobile working, Daimler offers you the freedom you need.

What is your experience of Daimler as a company?

In the first few weeks, I read a lot about the "Leadership 2020" initiative. Daimler is reinventing itself and also its management culture, which was another reason why I applied. I like the corporate culture that I experience here. We have moved away from ties and suits, we practice flat hierarchies, and I can talk to management on an equal footing.

Where is your current assignment?

I am currently working in product and concept planning at Mercedes-Benz Cars. My responsibilities include designing a project room, and implementing "Design Thinking" in our processes. I also had the opportunity to work on the development and implementation of a communication strategy. I find it exciting to experience how a car is created from scratch, and how the various different units work together to ultimately impress the customer with a fantastic vehicle.

After one year, Sunnyi is now halfway through INspire – the Leaders’ Lab.

Tell us something about yourself.

I love traveling, living in different countries and learning different languages. That is why I speak Mandarin and basic Korean, and I am always trying to improve. I also practice Taekwondo, and have now even achieved my second black belt. My trainer was a Korean Grand Master, who naturally gave the commands in Korean. I could even open up my own Taekwondo school [laughs].

Your insider tip for Beijing?

The history of the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace with its incredibly beautiful lake in the middle! The best idea is to go on the boat tour and then head over to the hutongs for some xiao long bao or have some Beijing hot pot.

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