My tips for a successful career start

You spend 12 years in school — and then it’s time to go out and make your way in the world. But where to go? And what to do?

A lot of young people ask themselves these questions after they graduate high school, and I was no different in this regard. I eventually figured out what I wanted to do, however: In 2016, I started a dual work-study program leading to a Bachelor’s degree at Daimler, with a major in Business Administration/International Business. For those who are still not sure what they want to do after they finish high school, I have a few tips for you on how to find the right subject to study and how you can successfully become part of the Daimler family.

1. The most important thing at the beginning is that you have to believe in yourself.

Around the time I was finishing up high school, I began looking into all the great opportunities various companies were offering by attending job fairs, doing research on the Internet, and participating in Daimler Students’ Day (DSD), for example. My initial feelings of euphoria were quickly replaced by a kind of emptiness because I started thinking things like, “That all sounds very interesting, but I’m never going to make it past the application process anyway,” or, “Why should anyone choose me of all people?” It’s true that only a limited number of candidates are accepted for dual work-study programs at Daimler, and that the company focuses on certain types of candidates who stand out through their independent nature, creativity, and passion for automobiles, for example. Nevertheless, one should not get discouraged.

For example, this year’s DSD is open to anyone who is interested in Daimler and would like to gain an initial impression of the company. You can even register while the online event is running. I can only recommend that anyone interested in a dual work-study program at Daimler should simply try applying. That’s how I got in at Daimler, which was something I only could have dreamed of just four years ago.

It is almost exactly four years ago … the Daimler Students’ Day 2015. At the then physical event, all participants were allowed to pose for a warm-up with the issued GT

2. Get informed: Talk to trainees, students, and training staff

If you’re still not sure what type of career you’d like to pursue, you should definitely attend some of the many career fairs that are held by industry and business associations. No other type of event brings together so many people from all different kinds of companies at one location. Instead of spending hours searching through job portals, university websites, etc., you can take the much easier route of directly engaging companies and learning about the subjects they offer via the dual work-study system. Often, you’ll also run into current students on these programs, trainees, and training staff at such events, who will be happy to answer your questions.

Even if you’re already thinking about specific companies, it still makes sense to attend a fair. When I went to the Einstieg career fair in Cologne, for example, I visited the Daimler stand and talked to current students about the subjects they were studying. Everyone was really nice and open and answered all my questions. The big advantage here was that you can get first-hand information rather than just the standard information that’s provided on the Internet or in brochures. It was during these discussions that I also learned about Daimler Students’ Day, which got me even more interested in pursuing a course of study with Daimler. This year, you can still visit Daimler stands at career fairs in Berlin, Nuremberg, and Stuttgart.

During my fifth practical assignment, I worked at the Düsseldorf plant, where the Sprinter is manufactured

3. Interested in a dual work-study program at Daimler? Then be sure to take part in Digital Students’ Day@Daimler

The first-ever Digital Students’ Day@Daimler will be held this year under the motto “Which dual work-study program is right for me?” Digital Students’ Day@Daimler offers you an ideal opportunity to become better acquainted with Daimler and the dual work-study programs offered. It makes even more sense to participate when you consider the wide range of technical and business courses of study offered that focus on current trends — for example digital business management.

DSD also offers you the opportunity to chat directly with current students online, get answers to any questions you may have about the course at the Cooperative State University, and view presentations that allow you to learn more about the many facets of working at Daimler. The best part is that you can do all of this looking around the virtual marketplace from the comfort of your own home.

During my internship abroad in Beijing, I took the opportunity to get to know the country and its people better. Here is a snapshot in front of the famous skyline at the Shanghai Bund

4. Not just important at Daimler: Preparing for the application process

Regardless of which company you apply to, there are always specific deadlines that you have to keep in mind. When you apply for a dual work-study program at Daimler, you need to know that the application portal opens more than a year before the semester you’re applying for begins. It will then close when a sufficient number of candidates have submitted applications. In other words, the principle here is “first come, first served.” You should therefore submit your application as early as possible. Positions are usually posted online on career portals at the beginning of June (for matriculation in the following year), and this is the case at Daimler as well.

You need to be aware of the fact that the final grades in your school-leaving certificate are also taken into account in the selection process. If you’re really interested in joining Daimler, this aspect might motivate you to put in an extra hour or two of studying while you’re still in school.

It also makes sense to prepare well for online tests or assessment centers that you’re invited to participate in. Various books are available on career-entry tests, and these will help you get ready for what’s ahead. The online test usually takes one to two hours and includes logic problems, questions on general knowledge, and self-assessment exercises. Naturally, the questions, problems, and exercises in the tests are not exactly the same as what you’ll find in the books. Nevertheless, it makes sense to learn about the basic principles behind the tests so that you don’t get too nervous when the time comes to take them.

From the bustling metropolis of Shanghai to “contemplative” Datong. On the city wall of Datong tourists rarely get lost. During my internship abroad I was able to get to know the more original China

5. Networking is the key

If you’ve been accepted to the dual work-study program, you’ll notice from the very beginning that networking makes up a big part of the working day at Daimler. The Group may have nearly 300,000 employees, but it’s still important to get to know your colleagues, and the people they know. You’ll find that you’ll almost always meet someone, who knows someone, who also knows someone…, who can, for example, help you obtain interesting assignments both in Germany and abroad for the practical component of your course of study.

Besides that, it’s also simply a lot of fun to get to know new people, and maybe even make new friends. I was really pleased when it turned out that my current practical assignment had me serving as a kind of interface to a colleague I worked with in my first practical assignment two years ago.

I hope that my tips on how to choose a course of study and facilitate your entry into the world of Daimler have helped you, and I look forward to talking to you in the DSD chat!

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