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8Th November 2018

From Trainee Diary: Borders are no obstacle for us

Who doesn’t like to travel? If you’re reading this, you probably do. Now, what if you could couple that with work? The Trainee Programme is tailored for you then.

One of the best part of our programme is the “Abroad Rotation”, where Trainees can visit countries all over the world, from China to Germany and Singapore, to better understand how SKODA and the VW GROUP work. This is just the beginning of it! The “Abroad Rotation” is also your chance to get the experience of a lifetime, while building your network.

But mere words can’t give you the whole picture, so let’s hear what three of our Trainees had to say about this.

José, Portugal

Abroad Rotation: Volkswagen Wolfsburg

As a purchaser from ŠKODA AUTO, I went to the VW counterpart to understand how things work at the group level. I was introduced by my boss to the team, and I asked them to speak only German to me. As I am still learning German, this required a lot of “Sorry, können Sie langsam wiederholen?”.

As I was learning how the processes work at the group level, it made me realize how it’s possible for VW to organize and oversee the general purchasing activities of more than 10 group brands. There was, and still is, a great deal of cooperation between brands that surpassed any cultural differences given the common goal of seeing the group succeeding as a whole.

The two months spent in Wolfsburg where also a great opportunity to visit the Saxon country side and meet VW Trainees. While meeting them I started to observe the differences both graduates programmes have, as well the inner workings of the different brands. It’s like a one man brand bridging, I share my experience with the VW Trainees and they gave their insight. In the end, I learned how similar we are, plus I got some ideas that could be implemented back at ŠKODA AUTO. I also loved hanging out with them, since we are all active people. It was good to build this international network that will most likely be useful in my future career!

Manu, Germany

Abroad rotation: SKODA AUTO India

I was given the opportunity to spend my abroad rotation in the upcoming third-largest automotive market worldwide. I was excited to visit one of the most populated countries on the planet, and get to know a new culture. It was an unforgettable adventure! Due to the fact, that every country has its own customer requests, challenges are always on the rise. Therefore, I went to India to help setting up the organization for the new technical project house in Pune. The support from my Indian colleagues was impressive, and I felt very welcome there. During my stay, the annual “Pandharpur Wari” took place and I saw thousands of pilgrims. One of the highlights of my experience was the opportunity to meet the Managing Director of Skoda India, Mr. Gurpratap Boparai, which insisted on meeting me on his way to the canteen.

From Pune, I continued my journey to Mumbai, where the streets were flooded because of the Monsoon season. After working with the technical project and product management department, the product-marketing team welcomed me in their offices in Mumbai.

I got lucky on Sunday, when the rain stopped for a while. The rain caught me on the way again, but this time it was with a smile on my face!

Martin, Slovakia

Abroad rotation: SKODA AUTO China

It was an experience from both personal and professional point of view. China is the biggest market for ŠKODA AUTO, and communication and collaboration are the key. From the cultural point of view, I saw China as a mix of an Eastern world, with very friendly people, and of a Western world, with modern architecture and thousands of shopping malls. The gastronomical differences gave me a bit of a ruffle, but I got used to the food in the end.

Regarding the job, it was even better! I was part of the “Electrocars” project for the whole year, and this is what I also did in China. I managed to create new connections for the future cooperation with China’s assembly line planning department. I believe this will be beneficial for both parts, Czech Republic and China: networking is essential, because it’s always easier to call someone as a friend, rather than as a stranger.


No matter where you decide to go, all Trainees agree: the Abroad Rotation is one of the best parts of the Trainee Programme, and not just for fun. It’s about networking, developing yourself and bringing back a new mindset. The question now is: are you ready for the Trainee experience?


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