My experiences as a former apprentice
Should I leave the company or not? Do I have any chance to come back after having finished my studies? These questions and many more were running through my head during the last stage of my apprenticeship as an industrial management assistant (in German: Ausbildung zur Industriekauffrau, IHK) at the adidas Group at the beginning of the year 2007. Now it is summer 2012, and I am back in the company I have always wanted to work for. In the time in-between, I studied, spent one semester abroad in Spain and worked for several very interesting companies. Looking back at the time between my apprenticeship and the Public Relations Trainee Program I started in August 2011, I would not have wanted to miss any of these experiences. Some people confronted me with the statement that an apprenticeship was a waste of time if you want to study afterwards. For me, however, it was totally different …
(Image: This is me with the “Fiitest on Earth” Rich Froning Jr. and Annie Thorisdottir during a media event in Copenhagen)
My initial position and how it helped to discover what I really wanted to do
Starting the two-and-a-half-year apprenticeship after my German Abitur (school leaving examination) was probably the best thing I could have done. I had the chance to work for a period of three months in many different departments, like Public Relations, Brand Communications, Sports Marketing (during the FIFA World Cup in Germany), Company Sports, Investor Relations, etc. I learned a lot about projects, processes, computer programs and the organization of events, and I got to know many interesting people from various countries and cultures.
For my final six-month project at the end of the apprenticeship, I worked for Public Relations and I knew that a communication-related position at adidas was the kind of job I really wanted to do in the future. But I was told that, without a university degree, it was almost impossible to get such a management position. I therefore decided to leave the company in order to study.
Drafting a personal road map
During my apprenticeship, I realized how important it is at adidas to have an international background and, especially, to be able to speak different languages fluently. I therefore decided to apply for the International Business Program at the Georg-Simon-Ohm University in Nuremberg which is taught exclusively in English and includes studying a second foreign language, a 20-week internship and the possibility to study one semester abroad. As my apprenticeship already ended in February, but the first semester of my university course didn’t start until October, I looked for a job for this period of time. Thanks to the support of the HRHuman Resources (HR), is the organisation within the adidas Group which is responsible for the management of our workforce. Responsibilities include attracting, selecting, training, assessing and rewarding employees as well as fostering a corporate culture of performance, passion, integrity and diversity. manager responsible for our program, I could take on another communication-related position at Business Development EMEAEMEA is the abbreviation for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which is a regional designation used for adidas Group business purposes. and could even convert my contract into a work/study contract after starting my studies.
At the end of my three-and-a-half-year Bachelor program , while I was still writing my Bachelor thesis, I was already looking for a job and saw the open position of Public Relations Trainee (Volontariat) for Reebok at the adidas Group Career portal. I applied for it and, after some phone calls and the final interview, I got the job. During this program, I have had the chance to manage my own projects and have had much more responsibility compared to the time when I was an apprentice. Moreover, Just recently I got the opportunity to go abroad for four weeks to work for the global and local Basketball PR department in Portland – for a basketball player (as I am) a dream come true!
What will be next? I do not know yet. But I am confident that the PR Trainee Program was not the last step of my career at the adidas Group.