Why might you choose to do a traineeship? In my communication science studies, there was no practical semester. Only eight weeks of work experience were required, which I completed in the summer vacation in 2013. I nevertheless decided to interrupt my studies and come to MANN+HUMMEL, where I am assisting corporate communications for a period of six months. More precisely, Heike Gehring – Online Communications Manager at MANN+HUMMEL – has taken me under her wing.
For me, traineeships are worth their weight in gold, because my studies are opening up so many fields of work, from journalism to PR work right through to a scientific career. The only problem is – I know what I don’t want to do, but I don’t know what I do want! No wonder, with such opaque fields of work and the nebulous titles of modern communication jobs. Social Media Consultant, Junior Community Manager, Social Media Manager – how do these differ?
This is where traineeships come into play: concrete tasks, processes and more or less nice colleagues (mainly the former in my case – I’ve been lucky up to now). You quickly see the range of activities and types of people in each job and find out what you enjoy (or don’t enjoy). A traineeship helps me in my search for a job and helps identify my strengths and weaknesses.
Travelling round Germany as a roving reporter
In order to present a snapshot of various jobs at MANN+HUMMEL, I have been travelling through Germany as a ‘roving reporter’. I accompanied colleagues in Speyer, Marklkofen and Sonneberg as they went about their everyday work, then reported on it on the MANN+HUMMEL blog. I gained an insight into the various subsections of corporate communication and now know what challenges, tasks and processes are tackled by employees in a global company. I (a pampered student in this respect) have had to get up early each morning and now feel a little more grown up. For me, the traineeship was worth its weight in gold.
It is however not only worthwhile for the trainees. Traineeships also move companies forward as they have a constant injection of motivated youngsters into the business who have new ideas and – at least at the beginning – see the company without preconceived views. MANN+HUMMEL places trust and assigns responsibility to trainees. It is understood here that young people usually respond to this with good work. Many stay with the company beyond the traineeship or have good memories of their former employer after graduation. The company knows them well if they apply for positions, thus avoiding nasty surprises. In the same way, the applicant already knows the company and knows what to expect.
The trainee who makes the coffee?
Unfortunately, many companies do not yet recognise the value of traineeships and perpetuate the cliché that trainees are poorly paid coffee makers. I did make coffee while I was at MANN+HUMMEL – but only for myself. In my opinion, traineeships are beneficial for both parties when the company recognises the opportunity that they provide.