The Trainee Programme at ŠKODA AUTO attracts young talents from all over the world. In this article, we interviewed two international trainees: Ekin Akkaya from Turkey, with background in Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, and Alexander Tsang from Hong Kong, China, with background in International Management and Law. They both started their Trainee journey in November 2019. Since then, they have gained experience from Marketing, Finance and Strategy.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR CAREER AT ŠKODA AUTO?
Alex: A decade ago whilst residing in Australia, if someone was to ask me whether I would end up pursuing my career with ŠKODA AUTO, I would honestly have replied: “Highly unlikely.” Therefore, it is not surprising that the question I get asked the most nowadays is: “How did you end up in Mladá Boleslav?” Thankfully, my answer cannot be simpler – because I love ŠKODA cars! I was looking for a career path that would allow me to offer value through my academic knowledge in Law and Management as well as my language skills in English, Chinese, French and German. More importantly, it was vital that my career nests itself in my passions, in a company that I truly appreciate. The eureka moment occurred when I discovered that ŠKODA AUTO offers a Trainee Programme – a programme which not only allows me to deep dive into the operations of my favourite global automotive manufacturer but also an invaluable education opportunity, offering time to discover my skill sets, to improve myself as an all-rounded person, and to develop useful networks.
Ekin: After several international student activities and internships in Turkey, I have decided to start my professional career in Europe. I believe that it’s important to quit your comfort zone at an early age. Before starting my Trainee journey, I was a project management intern at ŠKODA. Since I liked it, the next logical step was to apply for the ŠKODA Trainee Programme. ŠKODA AUTO is a perfect place to understand Czech mentality for both working and living. At the same time, it provides an international atmosphere.
LIVING AND WORKING IN MLADÁ BOLESLAV
Ekin: As a Trainee who is living in Mladá Boleslav, it’s essential to find honest people and to get in touch with them in a sincere way. Finding them helps me a lot and makes it easier to feel at home. Furthermore, there are many outdoor activities near Mladá Boleslav that I wouldn’t have the chance to do in Turkey. It was quite surprising for me, because all of my colleagues went on some trips near Mladá Boleslav during the weekends. I still keep on experiencing new activities that I have never done before.
Alex: I’ve never regretted my choice and don’t think I will! It is a privilege to be immersed in an international setting every day, surrounded by other like-minded and positive thinking people. Since I have started, my superiors, my colleagues and the Trainee body have been extremely pleasant and welcoming; constantly offering support to help me get on board as fast and as smoothly as possible. Mladá Boleslav is a beautiful town, and many have been pleasantly surprised by what it has to offer!
A PIECE OF ADVICE
Alex: If you are reading this and happen to be preparing for your assessment centre, the most important advice is not to stress out, be kind, honest, open-minded and be yourself. You may hear this time and again, however, a simple reminder to yourself on the big day does change your psychological state once you enter those doors! And if you have already passed the assessment centre, firstly, congratulations and welcome to ŠKODA! Just remember to be proactive, not to be afraid to face challenges and approach different people to make valuable networks. The activities organized by other Trainees are meant to be fun, informational and constructive, so do make sure that you participate as much as possible. Likewise, some time management skills are advisable as you too might be organizing activities and Trainee projects along with the work from your department. However, nothing is more important than yourself; therefore, relax, learn as much as you can and enjoy the Trainee Programme!
Ekin: When I came to Pub before AC (an event before Assessment Centre organized by Onboarding team), current Trainees were explaining me their Trainee journeys. It looked like a great opportunity on the paper. However, believe me, it’s more than it seems. The important thing is for you to find the way to reach more than it serves. Don’t forget, networking opens every door, try to find different ways to achieve your goals and don’t give up if you cannot achieve them at the beginning.
Ekin Akkaya, Trainee – Product Marketing SUV
Alexander Tsang, Trainee – Controlling of Foreign Projects