One programme, dozens of young talents from all over the world. The locals, however, take advantage of the Trainee Programme too. We interviewed two current trainees who come from the vicinity of Mladá Boleslav – Michala Mizerová and Honza Pekař. Both started their journey at ŠKODA AUTO as interns and have been gaining experience as trainees since 2020. How do they see the Trainee Programme?
Was ŠKODA AUTO a clear choice for you right after school?
Míša: I grew up in the Mladá Boleslav region, so I regularly came into contact with ŠKODA as a child. At that time, however, it never occurred to me that I could work there one day because I was always drawn out of the country. I studied International Trade at university, and I spent several years abroad, be it on study stays, internships or volunteering. However, when I started thinking about what I would do after graduation, I realized that for working in an international environment and having opportunities to work abroad – in the Czech Republic, ŠKODA was a clear choice.
Honza: It all started sometime in 2014 when I was deciding which university to apply for. I was considering Czech Technical University and ŠKODA AUTO University. In the end, the latter won because of its close ties to practice. During my studies, I spent a year in an internship abroad in Germany. At the time, I was considering continuing my career there. However, as the saying goes, there is no place like home. Because of my family, friends and the beauty surrounding the town of Turnov where I come from, I decided to return to the Czech Republic. I also really appreciate the fact that in 2018, I received an internship in the technical project management. And when I was accepted into the Trainee Programme in 2020, ŠKODA proved to be the right choice.
The ŠKODA AUTO Trainee Programme is attended by talented university graduates looking to start their careers at ŠKODA AUTO. For a year, they rotate across the company's departments where they develop under the guidance of experienced mentors. As a result, they get a close look at how the company works. Trainees come from all around the world and they form a group of talents from various fields and cultures. The programme also includes experience in production and in our dealer network, or an internship abroad.
You could have also joined ŠKODA AUTO directly. Why did you choose the Trainee Programme instead?
Míša: I started in ŠKODA as an intern and with the end of my studies, the possibility of direct entry was of course a possibility. Nevertheless, I chose the Trainee Programme and I certainly do not regret my decision. During one year, I have the opportunity to familiarize myself with several departments and get a better picture of the operations of the entire company. At the same time, I can make a wide network of contacts and gain a lot of different first-hand experience. For example, I learn about negotiating with people from different parts of the world. There is also a great community of trainees with whom we participate in various work and non-work activities throughout the year. Those may be meetings with the board or helping with various projects in our region, as part of our volunteer activities.
Honza: The Trainee Programme is a great opportunity to learn about what the company does from different perspectives, meet great inspirational people and seamlessly join the target department. I also considered the possibility of entering the department directly. However, the Trainee Programme eventually became a clear choice for me. Despite the various complications associated with the coronavirus restrictions, I certainly do not regret my choice.
TraineeMíša was born in Mladá Boleslav and studied International Trade at the University of Economics in Prague. She joined ŠKODA AUTO in 2018 as an intern, spent half a year with an importer in Finland and has been working as a trainee in ŠKODA since October 2020. So far, she has rotated in the Sales region of Asia, Middle East and Latin America, and as part of the Trainee Programme, she is also preparing for rotations in the aftersales and marketing departments. She is interested in Latin America and in her free time, she actively plays sports, and enjoys reading and travelling around the world with her backpack.
You have already worked at ŠKODA AUTO as interns. Do you see this as an advantage now?
Míša: I joined the Trainee Programme in the midst a global coronavirus pandemic, so I couldn’t avoid the respective inconveniences. It is definitely not ideal to work the first weeks or even months in a new job from home and without the opportunity to meet all your colleagues. However, it was during this period that my prior experience with working at ŠKODA was really helpful. Thanks to that, I have no problem orienting myself in the company structure or various work systems. From the very beginning, I can do a lot of work on my own and from home, without having to call or write to my colleagues all the time.
Honza: Without a doubt, an internship is a perfect way of connecting the university’s theory with business practice. This applies to internships at any company, and twice as much for internships at large companies such as ŠKODA AUTO. Especially in today's hectic times, starting a new company or a new position is very difficult. I see the internship as a great way to gain the first professional work experience and at the same time achieve a smoother entry into the company. After all, the opportunity to gain my first work experience during my studies in the form of an internship played an important role for me when choosing a university.
TraineeHonza was born in Turnov and studied Business Economics and Operations Management at the ŠKODA AUTO University. During his studies, he spent a year in Regensburg, Germany. In 2018, he joined ŠKODA as an intern and since March 2020, he has been working there as a trainee. So far, he has rotated in technical project management and logistics. His interests include foreign languages, the automotive industry, cycling, hiking, scouting and skiing.
Do you have any advice for those interested in the Trainee Programme?
Míša: Although the ŠKODA Trainee Programme is international, it certainly does not mean that locals cannot get accepted and stand out. Everyone has the same chance, whether they are from Mladá Boleslav or the other side of the world. It always depends mainly on the quality of the candidates and their motivation. Even if you have already completed an internship at ŠKODA, I would not dismiss the Trainee Programme as unnecessary, if only because of all its advantages mentioned earlier. In short, if you think that the Trainee Programme is right for you, do not hesitate and try to sign up!
Honza: The Trainee Programme broadens your horizons, opens many doors, offers more insights into the company's activities and, last but not least, creates ties and friendships between many inspiring, positive people. Don't be afraid to sign up. It doesn't matter if you are from the Czech Republic or from far away. Everyone has the same chances. It is important to be honest, positively motivated, and above all, humble.