Five laps on my way to Daimler Sara Kienle

What does the entry ticket to Daimler actually look like? What does it take to have a chance at getting one of the highly sought-after trainee positions? Do you need initial work experience through school internships? Or is it the school-leaving certificate that counts? Do you need to be an open and communicative person? Or does it just boil down to luck? Looking back, I can honestly say: it was probably a bit of everything that made it possible for me to join Daimler.

1. Lap: In the first week of August in 2015, the race gets under way towards my one big goal: to start the professional training program at Daimler. I want to ensure that I am among the first group of applicants and I rush to submit my online application for an office management apprenticeship as quickly as I can.

2. Lap: Two weeks later, I celebrate my first minor victory. In my inbox there is an invitation to an online test. I feel slightly apprehensive when I realize that there are some mathematical questions to answer. That was never my forte. Nonetheless: I perform well and, a few days later, I receive an invitation to attend a follow-up test at the company.

3. Lap: With butterflies in my stomach, on September 9th, I make my way to the test at the commercial training center in Esslingen-Brühl. I come across more fiendish math questions, which I put to one side to start with, so that I can concentrate on the remaining questions. And these I really enjoy!

4. Lap: I am getting closer to my big goal. After three weeks on tenterhooks, things get serious after the summer vacation: I have an interview. After intensive preparations, I arrive with so much to say and manage to convince my interviewer of my genuine ambition to work for Daimler. We hit it off straightaway. Feeling positive, I return home. Now, for the final time, I have to wait and hope.

5. Lap: My final step across the finish line. It is finally here! On September 25th, I receive my letter of acceptance. My dream is coming true. I will start my apprenticeship at Daimler. I feel happiness, pride and relief! Emotions that probably every new trainee experiences as they sign their training contract.

I have competed in the race for one of the sought-after trainee positions and successfully made it through. Over the course of the year, I take on voluntary jobs and internships to get work experience to bridge the gap until my apprenticeship starts. Then, on September 1 2016, the training gets under way for real with induction days in the commercial training center. The anxiety I feel as I make my way to work on the very first morning soon subsides. Within a minute or two, I am chatting to my new colleagues who are incredibly nice. I also meet my trainer for the first time. I soon realize that I feel at home at Daimler.

The induction days are not only fun, they also come with a barrage of information. After all, not only do we need in-depth corporate and product knowledge, we also need practical tips and explanations regarding all aspects of the first day at the specialist department at HQ.

The wait is over: For me, that means initially reporting to the secretary's office in the Van division. That is where they deal with Quality Management. What will the team I am going to be spending the next few months with be like? What will my tasks be?After I have clarified a few organizational things in advance such as how I find my way to my office through the labyrinth of the Kodak building or "what does a woman wear?", my technical instructor receives me very warmly. Any nerves I felt disappear at once. I was hoping to get off to such a good start! In the first few weeks there are lots of new things for me to learn, such as various DP programs and applications used daily in the secretary's office. I attend a whole series of meetings and experience at first hand the daily working routine at Daimler.

Today I am half way through the allocated time in my first department. I do feel a little proud. I can now say that I have arrived. In short: am happy about my positive start at Daimler and hope that everything continues to go well.

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