Luca Colosimo is still working out his strengths and interests. But the 20-year-old is already greatly enthusiastic about the opportunities as a dual studies student at the Mercedes-Benz Group. With his digital business management studies, he is exploring a wide variety of application areas - from wallboxes to liquidity management. In his interview, Luca talks about how he benefits from the semester and assignment abroad in particular and what has surprised him the most in the company so far.
Hello Luca, you are completing your dual studies degree with us. Which company divisions and departments have you gotten to know so far?
My first assignment was in cable harnesses purchasing, in the former truck division at the time, then I was in wallbox product management, also called wall charging station, and wallbox online sales. I was pleasantly surprised at how modern and open-minded the teams are. And although my first two assignments were almost exclusively online due to the pandemic, I was always able to integrate well. I became part of the team from the beginning. It's as if I had already been working at Mercedes-Benz for three or four years and had only changed departments. They had a lot of faith in me, which helped me a lot.
You are currently working in finance for South America directly in Buenos Aires. How do you like it there?
Very well, I am in the office two to three times a week and enjoy the variety between working on site and remotely! When I have some additional time, I devote myself to my project work on the topic of inflation and its consequences for international companies. The work must be completed by the end of my practical assignment. For this, I also exchange ideas with several colleagues who can explain the Argentine economy to me. I explore Buenos Aires mainly on weekends, and I have already found a gym.
What is your experience of Mercedes-Benz as an employer?
I like the way we interact with each other. The company is not as entrenched in its hierarchical structures as some might think. I am currently working on my fourth practical assignment, which I am allowed to acquire myself, and have also contacted colleagues directly in the specialist department. I always get very positive responses. Even when I was arranging my assignment abroad, my colleagues took the time to help me.
Your studies focus on digitization and IT in addition to business administration. What excites you in terms of the practical application with us?
One of the things that excites me in the practical application is the topic of sustainability. I specifically chose the wallbox department because a lot is done here regarding the charging network and the subscription model for the charging infrastructure. Among other things, I was able to analyze the home charging journey from the first customer contact to the purchase of a wallbox, charging cable, or adapter, and to further develop the competitive analysis for the Mercedes me App.
What has surprised you the most in the company so far?
That I can be very flexible in my choice of assignments and can still weigh up the direction I want to take later on. Sure, I am studying business administration with a focus on digitization and IT now, but across all assignments I have the option of going into finance or focusing more on technology or IT topics. The variety of opportunities I have in the company with my basic studies is great. That's a plus, especially for people like me who start studying right after graduating from high school. After all, not everyone at this age already knows exactly what he or she wants to do for work later. I think it's great how much I can try out.
Before your assignment in Argentina, you spent a semester abroad at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. How important is experience abroad to you?
It is a highlight for every student, I think. That is certainly true for me. You get different impressions, get to know new people and cultures. The time abroad is good for me because it fosters my independence. There is a lot to organize on site: the studies or the practical assignment, an apartment... And I think experiences abroad will benefit your CV.
What positive effect did your semester abroad in Barcelona have on you?
We talked a lot about our own perspectives in the human resources seminar at the university in Barcelona. This helped me a lot to form my own opinion about my future. If you are aware of what you want, it is often easier to motivate yourself and achieve it in the end.
No matter how digital your workplace is, what analog gadget can't be missing under no circumstances?
Oooh, that's a very good question, even my watch is digital these days! As a matter of fact, they are my athletic shoes. Because you will never be able to do sports digitally. Personally, I'm not a fan of home workouts via virtual tutorials either. For me, sport is characterized by the fact that you do it on the spot with other people and usually you can't do without your sneakers.
I was part of the team from the beginning. It's as if I had already been working at Mercedes-Benz for three or four years and had only changed departments.
When Luca Colosimo (20) was offered the chance to join Mercedes-Benz as a dual studies student after graduating from high school, the move from near Nuremberg to Stuttgart was a done deal. And although his initial focus at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University was on business administration, he is now also enthusiastic about IT. It is not chosen yet, which business sector will appeal to him most after graduation. He is currently interested in the fields of strategy or finance. In his apartment, he shares with two fellow students, he is particularly enthusiastic about cooking together. It's clear that the son of an Italian father likes to put Mediterranean dishes on the table. In his free time, Luca regularly goes to the gym, has been playing team handball since he was a child, and is passionate about almost any sport.