After three years, the Corporate Strategy and Innovation Management department has racked up a grand total of 31 students, 14 graduate theses, 12 internship reports and a whole host of interesting activities!

These figures really do speak for themselves. Everyone who comes to this department soon realises that the image of interns fetching coffee is far from the reality.  I can only second the reports from former interns about their experiences of the working environment at MANN+HUMMEL: no matter whether you are a student trainee, an intern, a bachelor’s student or a master’s student, you can be sure that you will be warmly accepted and made to feel like part of the team right away.

As an intern and student trainee, I was part of the departmental team responsible for strategic matters as well as monitoring and controlling MANN+HUMMEL’s innovations. I offered support to the Innovation Management team, focusing in particular on internal ideas management. Ideas management is the first stage of the innovation process and has been completely reorganised over the last year, with new software being introduced. We have already used this software to run two effective idea campaigns to find new ideas.

Over the past few years, students have also managed, implemented and successfully integrated a large number of exciting projects at MANN+HUMMEL, including conducting market analyses, discovering potential for optimisation within the innovation process, improving communication across an international team, conducting studies into the buzzword ‘open innovation’, and much more.  Some of this work has even taken place on an international scale – for example at the new North Carolina Innovation Center in Raleigh on the State University campus, known as MANN+HUMMEL ‘NCIC’ for short, or at the MANN+HUMMEL site in Shanghai. I think we can safely say that there is no chance of getting bored here. The projects often involve a great deal of advanced development, meaning they offer scope for a technical and research-oriented stage.

What is it that makes working in this department so exciting? The Corporate Strategy and Innovation Management department constantly strives to set an example and provide inspiration for the entire company with its innovative processes, creative ideas and novel approaches. To this end, processes must be defined, tests conducted with colleagues and templates developed, with a continual need to maintain a critical eye and look for opportunities for optimisation. In other words: this is a department that does fascinating work!