see. think. act.



From Formula Student to ZF

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Tags: TraineeCommunity, 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, May 30, 2017
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.
Hi guys, Because of all the interesting interviews with former trainees and due to having really exciting projects, I nearly forgot to introduce myself. My name is Anja and I’m originally from the Eastern part of Germany, raised in the wonderful & historic city of Dresden. Even if I might be the one in our batch with the longest ZF experience, my way was definitely not straight forward. After focusing on mathematics and chemistry during my school time, I did an apprenticeship as a dancing teacher. I did this because I couldn’t stand being in a lab anymore and wanted to work with people instead of mushroom spawn.

I loved the apprenticeship and my work as a dancing instructor afterwards. However, after being a dance instructor for four years, I realised that I missed analytical thinking and working with figures. Thus I decided to study Business Management, in order to bridge my previous two extremesJ. I did this at the University of Applied Science in Weingarten, a city 30 km from Lake Constance.
Because I also love motorsports – watching Formula 1 since I’m 7 years old – I joined the Formula Student Team of the university. This is a student’s association that builds up their own racecar and competes against international teams from other universities. Being a member of this team, I was responsible for all marketing and business activities, such as attracting sponsors, writing the monthly newsletter or preparing the cost report.

During this work I got also in touch with ZF for the first time, because they were one of our main sponsors. That allowed me to get a good impression of the company’s culture, which I recognized as really innovative but at the same time very sustainable. For that reason, I really wanted to work for ZF.
No sooner said than done: I started doing an internship at Corporate Cost Engineering and also got the chance to write my Bachelor thesis in the same department. During this time I realized that I like working with an international team on cross-functional topics. However, within the ZF Group there are numerous interesting functions and departments and I couldn’t directly decide for one of them.

The ZF Global Trainee Program is the perfect possibility for me to experience different departments and locations.

On top of this it offers working in an international team (with my lovely trainee colleagues), getting a good overall picture of ZF, and especially getting the chance to step out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless, there are still so many options that I haven’t decided yet where I would like to work afterwards ;)
Just recently I finished my second project in the Business Development department of our E-Mobility Division. It was incredibly interesting to see how ZF aims to act in the future. Right now I’m looking forward to my next station, at ZF TRW in Shanghai. I was never in Asia before. Therefore, I’m really excited. But first I will enjoy my holidays in the Alps. Listening to the nature while hiking or mountain biking will be a big contrast with experiencing the extreme life in a mega city.