I’m excited to be able to share my thoughts about MANN+HUMMEL’s Rotational Graduate Program in this blog article. I hope that I will be able to update you over the coming years on my experience going through the program.
I started my career with MANN+HUMMEL USA in November 2014. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Supply Chain Management from Western Michigan University. I knew about the company before I joined as I had taken part in a mapping project for MANN+HUMMEL during my studies. Through the project, I got to know some of the American employees and learned more about the company’s culture and working environment. My contacts encouraged me to apply after I graduated and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to participate in the Rotational Graduate Program.
Thanks to the Graduate Program, I have a busy schedule the following next three years. I’m currently a buyer at MANN+HUMMEL USA headquarters in Portage, MI. As part of the team, I am responsible for both commodity buying and project-based procurement. The onboarding process for all new recruits is fantastic. I am broadening my knowledge through one on one meetings and online training modules.
The second part of the rotation kicks in March 2016. I’ll be moving to Changchun in north-east China to work at the MANN+HUMMEL FAWAY production plant. It will be an exciting time to be there as I will experience MANN+HUMMEL’s growth in China first-hand. I’ll be in the purchasing department so I will draw on some of the experience I am gaining in the USA. However, I expect a completely different business culture so it will be interesting to learn about and adapt to the customs of the country.
I’m currently preparing for my year-long stay by learning Mandarin by taking private classes twice a week. As this is my first foreign language, it’s challenging, but also very enjoyable. I look forward to developing my language skills and understanding of the Chinese culture during my stay in Changchun.
After China, I’ll be experiencing life and work in the south-east of Germany at the Marklkofen works. I’ll be going from one of the newest plants to one of the most established in the group. However, as always, I expect to see high-tech, cutting edge technology in use at the manufacturing process. I hope I will be able to prepare with some German lessons but I have a feeling that with my concentration on Mandarin, I might have to learn the language on the Job.
On a personal level, I am looking forward to my time abroad. I think China will be the biggest challenge as I will probably be the only American expat working in the plant. Germany will be a bit more familiar as I have already visited the country during the Graduate Week at the MANN+HUMMEL headquarters in Ludwigsburg; once a year, MANN+HUMMEL brings all of the purchasing graduates together for one week during the Global Purchasing Summit. It was a great experience. We participated in trainings and were exposed to Site Managers and Material Group Managers from across the globe. The summit broadened my understanding of MANN+HUMMEL’s Global Purchasing structure and gave me the opportunity to meet other graduates in the program.
As you can see, I have a challenging but exciting time ahead. The Graduate Program offers so many opportunities to young people starting their careers. I highly recommend it.