I did it! I passed the assessment center and started thinking about what I needed to pack. As I sat on the train to Mladá Boleslav, ready to move to a new city and start my journey as a Škoda Trainee, my feelings were somewhere between excitement and anxiety. This meant my thoughts were still wrapped around one question: ‘’what will I be doing there?”
It was my first night as a Trainee, my luggage wasn´t even unpacked and I was already heading to our welcome party. Nervous feelings were gone when I saw other people, who I had met at the event, which current Trainees organized for us, candidates, before the actual assessment center. During the night, I found out how the Trainee program had been going for them. What was the biggest challenge? Trying to remember the names of all the people I met! Honestly, it has always been difficult for me, however, the great atmosphere in the pub and constant talking with other Trainees helped me to learn a little bit more about them. Okay, not to remember all the names but at least to know who likes swimming or who can cook (which is important information if you live all together in dorms, wouldn’t you agree?). So, now I know that networking will be the thing!
The next two days were full of new information. First, we got to look at inside details about the company, Trainee program and life in Boleslav. Honestly, I was still feeling quite lost with so many people, information and possibilities. The good thing was that everything was solved by meeting my buddy Anička, whose background is quite similar to mine. And guess what? She was born on the same day as me. What a coincidence! Besides Anička I also met my mentor who will be guiding me throughout the whole year. Our first meeting gave me a great insight into how the company works and in the following one we discussed my future job rotations. It got serious quick!
Our on boarding continued with a plant tour. What can I say? I felt like Alice in Wonderland. We had the opportunity to see the press shop, body shop and even paint shop. I walked with my eyes wide open, trying to understand every process of the car production. After visiting the assembly line of Octavia and their self-navigating FTS automatic vehicles, we went to the Česana development center. Here we tried virtual reality goggles and simulation in cave automatic virtual enviroment.
If I told you that you could try to be a part of the car production on an assembly line, would you do that? I hope your answer would be yes as it is one of the best experiences you can have at the beginning of our Trainee program. It was Monday early morning; I put on my working overalls and headed to the factory. My responsibility for the whole week was to test the pressure in the brake pedals. You know, I´ve always thought I could handle a lot of things, however my determination was challenged by the second day. A colleague of mine decided to infect my mind with the German song “Das Kleine Krokodile” so naturally, I kept singing “Schni Schna Schnappi…“all the time. Don´t worry, I didn´t suffer alone as I spread the song to all Trainees working with me, and let me tell you, we are still singing this song today. Back to assembly line experience. Yes, we were tired, yes, our bodies hurt, and yes, our T-shirts weren´t white anymore. Yet, working on an assembly line was a great challenge, which we still value a lot.
My on boarding is over now and I’m sitting in the office of my current department. It´s the fourth month of my Trainee program and I’m at the end of my rotation in the Logistics Planning department. As I am typing, these memories make me smile and remind me of everything we have already experienced.
What about some tips for you, the future Trainee reading this article? Have fun, talk to your buddy, enjoy every single moment of your Trainee program, build your network and let me know which song got stuck in your head during assembly line. I am looking forward to meeting you at our team building in September. We are going to have a blast!
Zuzka Garajová, Trainee – Logistics and innovation