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Cooperation at Eye Level

Where new knowledge and experience collide.

In September 2022, Lejla Alomerovic and Sven Kronemayer started their training at Mercedes-Benz: Lejla as an IT specialist in data and process analysis at the Untertürkheim site and Sven as a warehouse logistics specialist at the Germersheim site. Two trainees with different career aspirations that they both can pursue with Mercedes-Benz. We met Lejla and Sven for a double interview and wanted to find out first-hand why they chose this career path, what they think of working at the company, and what opportunities are particularly important to them.

Hi Lejla, hi Sven. You are both completing your vocational training in the commercial and IT sectors, respectively. What made you decide to start your training with Mercedes-Benz?

Lejla: I had heard from my uncle, who has worked at Mercedes-Benz for over 20 years, that Mercedes-Benz is a great place to work. Additionally, I Ireally like the products.

Sven: My parents have both worked at Mercedes-Benz for 25 years, and my brother finished his training as a warehouse logistics specialist two years ago. Because I had heard so many positive things from him, I wanted to follow the same path. And I also think the cars we build are great!

Lejla: "When I finished a three-month project, I was working on during my plant placement, it was a great achievement for me."
Lejla: "When I finished a three-month project, I was working on during my plant placement, it was a great achievement for me."

Lejla, you are training to become an IT specialist for data and process analysis. Sven, you are training to become a warehouse logistics specialist. Can you explain your jobs in a few sentences?

Lejla: From robot-based automation to assembling computers and programming, we get to learn a lot of practical stuff. At the same time, we develop IT solutions and analyse data, so our tasks are extremely varied.

Sven: As a warehouse logistics specialist, you are introduced to a lot of different tasks and processes throughout the three years of training: Things like incoming goods, the warehouse itself, outgoing goods: Picking, repacking, receiving, unloading, and much more. The most important task is making sure we do not end up with any supply bottlenecks.

Why did you choose these professions?

Sven: I am drawn to the various facets of warehouse logistics. I am able to get to know a lot of people throughout the different units. There are almost 2,800 employees working in the warehouse at Germersheim alone. I enjoy coming into contact with people every day.

Lejla: Computer science was always my main subject during my school days. I visited a career information fair, where I heard about the new training programme for IT specialists in data and process analysis. I was very interested in the job profile. And it is exactly these kinds of qualifications that are in high demand at the moment.

How was your start at Mercedes-Benz?

Sven: I spent the first week with other new trainees at the Co-Creation Arena, an innovation centre for seminars and workshops at the Mercedes-Benz Global Logistics in Germersheim. This is where we were able to get to know each other and our trainers better by taking part in joint activities.

Lejla: We had a development workshop at the Untertürkheim site. In our class, we have IT specialists in digital networking, IT system electronics technicians, as well as my specialisation. We all went hiking in Esslingen, which gave us the chance to get to know our trainers better. What I particularly liked is that we are all on first-name terms with each other.

How might we envisage the structure of your training, both at the plant and at vocational school?

Lejla: We spent the first half of the year together at the Esslingen-Brühl training centre as a class that was made up of people from different training disciplines. This is where we received training from our trainer. But we also had a few training courses and tours of the plant. After that, our work placements started. For example, I'm in human resources in Sindelfingen right now. During our plant assignment, we are on-site for six months and have vocational school there for a fortnight every two months as well as the occasional training course. When I have finished my training at the plant, I will later have the chance to work remotely from home, even on a daily basis.

Sven: We are involved on a practical level from the very beginning: We usually work at the Mercedes-Benz Global Logistics Center Germersheim for four weeks, followed by a week at vocational school. During the first year of training, we were in up to twelve different units, where we were trained for a week and then allowed to work independently by the second week. In the second year of the apprenticeship, we also get to know some external locations like Offenbach and Ettlingen over a period of two weeks.

Sven: “I am drawn to various topics of warehouse logistics. I am able to get to know a lot of people throughout the different units."
Sven: “I am drawn to various topics of warehouse logistics. I am able to get to know a lot of people throughout the different units."

How are you finding working at Mercedes-Benz, within your year group, with the trainers, as well as in the specialist units?

Sven: In our year, the youngest trainee is 16 years old and the oldest is 25. Everyone gets along well regardless of the age difference. When you move from one unit to the next, you encounter new trainers. I was shown and given explanations in every unit I've worked in, so I always felt very welcome. No one is angry if you happen to make a mistake. We also have a monthly chat with our trainers, where they ask us how things are going, if everything is going well, or if there are any problems.

Lejla: I also find working in the specialist departments rewarding, and after six months I'm thinking: It's a pity I have to leave now! When we finished the three-month project I was working on during my plant placement, it was a real sense of achievement for me. Because the job I'm training for is not yet so well known, a lot of colleagues are keen to learn more about it. Some even ask me to show them the programming. I think it's great that as a trainee I am also able to teach experienced team members something new! It is a very respectful way of working together. I attend external meetings and get to experience all the facets of everyday work in the specialist unit. There is a lot of attention paid to my well-being as a trainee.

What would you not have expected in terms of training content, tasks or possibilities?

Lejla: I didn't expect to experience so much and to gain so much insight. I also didn't expect that we would gain so much practical experience. For example, we built our own computer. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of the content and tasks. I also never thought that I would be a proper team member of the specialist departments during the plant placements. This is how I've been able to make a lot of useful contacts for my future in the company.

Sven: I also would never have thought that I was going to meet so many people during my first year of training. I was surprised that, subject to agreement with a senior member of staff, we also have the option of doing a placement abroad during our training. And when I found out that I could do my advanced technical college entrance qualification during the training, I signed up for it right away.

What do you think is important for Mercedes-Benz as an employer?

Lejla: The possibility of working abroad was something that excited me right from the start. But there are also lots of little things which are important to me: I think it's nice to be able to work flexitime. I can work more on one day and less on the next day if that is possible at work. I also really appreciate the canteen, the break room and the e-learning opportunities for personal development.

Sven: Personal development is very important to me. There are a lot of former trainees who have made a career in the company by becoming specialist trainers, forepersons, team leaders or site managers. That's why I also like the possibility of doing the advanced technical college entrance qualification. That means I have six extra hours of vocational school every week.

That's an excellent keyword: Where do you see yourselves in five years?

Sven: If I shorten my training, I will be done in a year and a half. I'd first like to do a year of business administration as professional further training, and then get a business administration degree. This qualification takes three and a half years. After that, I would love to work in the commercial area at Mercedes-Benz.

Lejla: After my training, my goal is to start working in one unit for a while. I still haven`t decided yet, which unit that's going to be.

As Lejla's parents run a freight forwarding company in the Stuttgart area, her first departmental placement was in the area of transport logistics. Thanks to her vocational A-levels, Lejla is able to shorten her training to two and a half years. Incidentally, the data and process analysis trainees are mostly female in her year. Lejla likes travelling and learning about new cultures. When she is at home, she likes cooking for family and friends in a large group and sharing experiences over a meal together.
Sven was a professional footballer before he started his training as a warehouse logistics specialist. At the age of 19, he signed a contract with Karlsruher Sportclub (KSC) as a striker, but two years later had to give up his dream of making a living from football due to injury. Nowadays, the teamwork skills he learned playing football help him in his job. He has just completed his first half marathon and is now preparing to take part in his first triathlon. But it's not always about running fast for Sven: He also enjoys hiking in the Pfälzer forest as the perfect contrast to his daily routine.