20th February 2017

Humans of SKODA: Iryna Kasumava, Trainee

Our SKODA Trainee program is a development program tailored for fresh graduates to enhance their potential. During one year, they experience 3 job rotations across different departments along with one stay abroad. But let’s not reveal all the secrets at once. We have asked our Trainee, Iryna, to talk about her experience.

Hi Iryna, firstly I would like to ask you where you are from and why you decided to study and live abroad?

I’m originally from Minsk, Belarus. My first experience of living abroad happened when I went to the United States for the summer as a participant of Work and Travel program. I think that triggered my search of personal challenge of living abroad. In many European universities it is a must to go for an exchange semester, but in Belarus such opportunities are quite limited and those few places are usually granted on competition bases.

After my bachelor studies and 3 years in IT company I started to think about master degree outside of Belarus. The main driver was to take my theoretical and practical skills to the new heights. So I checked my options of universities keeping in mind just three criteria: area of study, language and tuition fee. I have short-listed 4 universities in Germany and Austria and started to work hard to pass TOEFL test and save the money I needed for two years of study in a foreign country.

What is your experience with double degree from SAVS and University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria?

University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH Steyr) has an obligatory exchange semester abroad. The school has a long list of partner universities from which we could choose. With some of them, like SAVS, there is a mutual double-degree agreement. Meaning, if FH Steyr’s student during his/her exchange semester at SAVS fulfils credit requirements in specific subjects, SAVS recognize the degree granted by FH Steyr and gives the diploma as well. It works the same the other way around for SAVS students. So I wasn’t actually studying in two universities at the same time. I studied at FH Steyr and went to SAVS for one semester during that period.

I know that you did your internship in SKODA AUTO. What was your experience?

There was a lot of time-consuming paper work with Czech authorities before I could start as I’m not from European Union. But thanks to the patience of my internship supervisor and coordination of company’s HR and lawyer I was able to join Sales department for six months. My main tasks laid in the area of SKODA dealer network in specific regions. For instance, one of the projects was rebranding of Taiwanese dealerships. I have been working on this also when I came back for my second internship in a year. Both internships made a great contribution to broadening my mind. I have learnt about the structure and processes, met interesting people, and applied knowledge I gained during studies.

Recently, you have entered the Global Trainee Program SKODA AUTO. How do you like the program? Which department have you visited as the first one during your rotation and what did you do there?

So far Global Trainee Program SKODA AUTO proved to be the right choice. From my perspective it gives me the chance to steer my career in the company in the direction that would ensure full utilization of my potential. Firstly, the various trainings help to develop or improve different useful skills. Secondly, trainee rounds make sure we orient ourselves in the company structure, its activities and industry in general. And finally, rotations in different departments help to touch processes in various areas and carefully select the right one for you.

I did my first rotation at Network Development and Corporate Design (VBO) department. I assisted with preparation for the workshop with Board Member and did the research and developed a business model for one of Smart Mobility projects. Recently I have moved to my next rotation to Business Development After Sales (VAD) department and will continue working on Smart Mobility.

Do you have any idea about your target area in SKODA AUTO? Where would you like to work?

I give myself time and space as it is quite an important choice. So far, I know what kind of work I like doing, which is Business Development, but I am not rushing with the choice of a specific department. At the moment I take the opportunity to rotate to see different areas in a company.

Do you have any advice for the students, who have just entered their first job? What do you think is the most important in this situation?

The most important from my point of view is to make sure you like what you do. Work takes at least 8 hours of your life per day, so you should be really passionate about it to be sure you invest your time wisely.

Second thing is to be open. And by that I mean not to limit yourself or narrow your eyesight working by rule “It has always been done this way”. Seek for continuous improvement. Also look for opportunities to learn new things around, be curious about what is going on in the industry you work in and adjacent ones. Broad mind will pay off in the form of high quality decisions.

Would you like to join our Trainee program? Get more information in the section Trainee program.