see. think. act.



Finally reunion time #traineefam

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Tags: TraineeProjects, Careers
In the 15-month ZF Global Trainee Program, participants will become acquainted with work at ZF, rise to the challenges of a daily work routine, apply the knowledge gained during studies to successfully complete international projects and start a promising career at a highly-innovative automotive company.
ZF Trainees, March 08, 2019
ZF Trainees are a group of young people taking part in the ZF Global Trainee Program. In the #traineeblog they give insights about the life as a ZF Trainee.
Hello, we are Alice, Christopher and Meike from Germany! We started the ZF Global Trainee Program last October and have just finished our first projects in our home country Germany.

After the first months of our Trainee Program, we were super excited to be reunited again as the whole Trainee Batch at our second Central Event in lovely and hidden Roggenbeuren and also to get to know the ZF Board of Management in Friedrichshafen afterwards.
Now You might be wondering where Roggenbeuren is and why we all want to go there; that is actually quite simple. Roggenbeuren is a 30-minute drive away from Friedrichshafen, Germany. Besides seeing each other again, we were also very keen on our upcoming training for the week. The topic of our training was “challenging communication settings”. Especially in a group with people from 6 different countries across 3 continents, this training promised to be an exciting task. We had two professional coaches from an external company, who did a great job designing a training that covered the theoretical part of the topic and included interactive tasks. This resulted in intense discussions through multiple hands-on learning activities and one-on-one interviews with our trainee colleagues to learn about positive questioning. The whole trainee batch was able to learn more about themselves, how to interact in groups, and how to deal with communication problems in business environments.

Beside the interesting insights we gained from this training, we also participated in a wine tasting in Hagnau at Lake Constance where also several trainees from the former batch joined. During a self-organized Karaoke Night, our trainee batch was able to prove that friendships across many different cultures is not only great, but exceptional.
After our Central Event we headed to Friedrichshafen for our special BOM week. We spent the first two days working on our Joint Projects. Half of our trainee batch is organizing the first international ZF Diversity Day to raise awareness of diversity throughout the company. The second half of the batch is working on a survey dealing with autonomous driving with a goal to collect traffic scenarios worldwide through the experiences of the ZF employees. Having all trainees united in Friedrichshafen, we had the opportunity to schedule Steering Committee sessions and drive the project process forward. As you might expect, it is hard to work together when some trainees are getting up in Mexico while others are about to go to bed in China.

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to join a Design Thinking Workshop and learn some of the techniques to develop innovative and creative ideas, which is necessary for the ZF spirit! What fascinated us most is the pace of the process. All of the Trainees were fully concentrated on the workshop content – except two of us, Karolin and Miranda had a special task for our special BOM day.

On Thursday, we had the unique chance to meet the whole ZF Board of Management. After a long day of rehearsing, the Board joined the Trainee Batches of 2017/2018 & 2018/2019. That was so exciting! The former batch presented the results of their two joint projects: the first project was a strategic approach towards industry 4.0 for one of ZFs production plants, and for the second project the trainees created a market intelligence tool for strategy development in E-Mobility. Our Batch presented a short introduction of each Trainee and the topics of our projects. After the presentation, we had the opportunity to interact with the board members on a personal level. We celebrated these experiences in the Zeppelin Museum afterwards together with many friends. Luckily, all of us took Friday off ;)

Overall, we had two great weeks in Roggenbeuren and Friedrichshafen. We look forward to our next meeting during Central Event 3 in Detroit! Until then keep checking our articles and follow our hashtag #ZFtrainees on Instagram to follow some unique and interesting updates from trainees regarding their experiences in the program.
All the best,
Alice, Christopher & Meike