Learn about his experience abroad in Chile and how that, along with the various experiences of the trainee programme, offered Alexander learning opportunities.
1. Why did you join Jungheinrich as a JIG?
I think a trainee program is the best way for young professionals to find out what they like and in which direction they want to deepen their career. A good friend of mine successfully completed the trainee program and recommended it to me.
To be honest, this was associated with a lot of luck. I had written my master's degree in Florida. Afterwards I traveled through the southern states and returned to Germany very late that year. Almost all application deadlines had expired, except for one vacant position at Jungheinrich, exactly in my field of study.
2. How are company values and culture reflected in our day-to-day business?
What comes directly to mind are two things:
First, entrepreneurship through the high degree of independence and responsibility that every one of us is given. We are given free reign. As a result, most employees at Jungheinrich challenge theirs preconceptions and are willing to learn more. They see themselves as creators, not as victims of circumstances.
Second, passion through the high motivation and identification of the employees with the company. At Jungheinrich, we tackle the task with full dedication.
3. Where did your assignment abroad take you?
My stay abroad took me to the other end of the world, to Santiago de Chile, where I supported the After Sales Management for 4 months.
4. What was the biggest challenge in your abroad assignment?
Definitely the language, I hardly knew any Spanish and so I attended various Spanish courses 3 months before departure. I felt relatively comfortable in speaking Spanish after that short time. But I had to realize that the Chilean Spanish is very different from the rest of the world. The first weeks were more like "Lost in Translation". However, my dear Chilean colleagues helped me a lot and encouraged me.
Another big challenge was the driving. In Chile, there is a completely different culture around driving a car. Pushing and shoving into a gap is good manners.
5. Describe your personal highlight of the project and the experience abroad
My personal highlight were the many customer visits, I was able to get an insight into the Avocado and Lemon businesses as well as into various Chilean meat factories (which made me rethink my meat consumption).
6. What is your feedback on the JIG Program?
I am firmly convinced that it was the best decision after graduation. The many exciting tasks and stations in different departments at different locations were a great positive input for my personality and professional future. Moreover, the best thing along the way is that I have met great people.
7. What were you able to see/learn during this time?
Through the diversity of tasks and departments I have passed through, I have gained a good understanding of the processes and business models of Jungheinrich. In addition, and most importantly, it helped me discover my professional strengths and affinities.
8. What is your personal highlight of the JIG Program?
It is hard to limit myself to one. I have to admit that especially the trainings and the after work outings with the other trainees remain unforgettable. In my trainee class, there are so many different characters from almost every corner of the world. We get along great and it is always a magical moment when all of us come together.
9. Describe the JIG program in one sentence:
It is a great and challenging journey.
10. What tips can you give future candidates?
Be yourselves, do not pretend, and stay casual.