A brief introduction: the first trainees at Eppendorf
Linda Meschter is 26 years old and, following her Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management, she started a trainee program with a focus on Quality Management. She enjoys horseback riding and traveling; she is frequently out on her bike, and she is also an avid photographer and filmographer.
Prasanth Karthikeyan (27) finished his degree with an MBAE in Lean Management. The passionate hiker and chess player is completing his trainee program in the area of Commercial Excellence, after which he will be introduced to, among others, the area of marketing.
Michel Pieper completed his Master of Science in Management with Specialization in Strategy & Entrepreneurship in Lisbon. Within Eppendorf, the 26 year-old’s home department is the Digital Transformation Office. The enthusiastic hiker, soccer-player and Werder-Bremen fan has recently moved to the area of Digital Solutions.
You are the first post-secondary graduates who are completing a trainee program within our company. What was your experience during your first months?
Linda: During the first four months, I worked at Eppendorf SE in Hamburg. Right now, I am in Leipzig, where the company manufactures centrifuges. We in Quality Management interface with all areas; I enjoy being a part of the decision-making process and feeling the team spirit.
Michel: I experience the reality of how the transformation at Eppendorf is lived and driven forward, and how people everywhere work with great enthusiasm on innovative products. This is where we can help shape the future.
Prasanth: With the focus of my degree having been Lean Management, I am now met with an incredible openness for using methods and tools for analyzing and optimizing the business process. We take a holistic view of the commercial organization of Eppendorf.
How did you learn about Eppendorf as an option for starting your professional careers?
Linda: I have had a long-standing interest in the area of “Human Health” and simply started googling. This was when I came across the Eppendorf website, and immediately, I was impressed by a special kind of atmosphere – this openness, and the fact that everyone is welcome to contribute.
Prasanth: The field of Life Science was completely new to me. I found it online; I continued researching on LinkedIn, and I saw that the implementation of Lean within business processes would be exciting. That’s when I knew: this is the place for me.
What was your experience with the application process?
Linda: The interview was one hour long, and theAssessment-Center took a full day. Due to COVID, both were conducted virtually. I am sure it would have been easier in person. Everything was really well organized – very professional, and our dealings with one another were characterized by mutual respect from the get-go.
Michel: I could feel clearly that it was important to really get to know our strengths and to define where in the company these strengths might be of the most benefit.
Prasanth: What impressed me: following our appointments, we received personal feedback immediately, without delay, including the evaluation provided by an external assessment professional who had been a part of the assessment process. Even in the case of a rejection, it will help the applicant.
How were you as trainees received by your colleagues? How is a "newcomer" included in the work process?
Linda: The colleagues were really welcoming all around. I started in April, and on my first day at the office, I was greeted by flowers on my desk and a chocolate Easter bunny. We have a truly great company culture.
Michel: Even as a trainee, you are immediately considered a full-fledged team member on every project; our ideas are welcome at any time, and we are in the position of assuming responsibility quite early on. At Eppendorf, the motto "Collaborate On New Ideas" is alive, and we collaborate in global teams in an interdisciplinary fashion.
Prasanth: Also, we were initially able to have conversations all across the company, in different departments, in order to get to know one another. This was meticulously organized, and I was thrilled that throughout the entire company, colleagues made time for us.
Why did you choose a trainee program rather than apply for a job directly?
Prasanth: The trainee program is so versatile and flexible. We spend a number of months in our main department and are able to choose an additional station. Each of us has a mentor who is always available for support.
Linda: Versatility was important to me as well because in Quality Management, we interface with many departments. It really helps being familiar with as many areas within the company as possible and viewing overarching projects with an integrated perspective.
Michel: Rotation throughout the program is an exciting opportunity for personal development. I traveled a lot and studied abroad, and I look forward to the opportunity of working abroad with Eppendorf. I hope this will be possible despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
Can you tell us a little about your actual work – perhaps about a project?
Prasanth: I analyze commercial processes in order to optimize them for our customers using Lean methods and tools. I am also responsible for training the commercial teams in this area – we want to secure the Eppendorf philosophy of continual improvement worldwide.
Linda: I work in a team that is implementing a process for the analysis and remediation of errors through corrective and preventive measures – currently at four additional Eppendorf locations. I am responsible for two of these. A consistent approach allows us to generate synergy as well as learn from one another, as well as together.
Michel: In the Digital Transformation Office, we are the drivers of digitalization at Eppendorf. For example, I led a project on the evaluation of the feasibility of a digital business idea. To this end, we analyzed the commercial, technical and legal aspects of the business idea. We developed a product prototype, and throughout the process we gained important insights for the digitalization of our product portfolio.
What is your experience of Eppendorf as an employer?
Linda: Very caring – with great social responsibility!
Michel: New Work is actively lived. Knowledge and competencies are shared everywhere; we can all learn from one another. I have just participated in a Working Out Loud circle – totally exciting.
What do you envision for your future careers at Eppendorf?
Linda: I made an informed decision to join the field of Quality Management, and I am headed for responsible and exciting work.
Prasanth: There are so many opportunities for the incorporation of Lean Management/agile methods and tools into the area of Commercial Excellence in order to drive the culture of continual improvement forward. This is what I am looking forward to.
Michel: With a versatile set of experiences gained from the stations of our trainee programs, we will return to our main departments where we started out. This is where I plan on taking on responsibilities and drive strategic projects forward.
And finally, do you have any advice for all those who will come after you? What are some important characteristics that applicants should bring to the job?
Prasanth: They must be curious and ready to learn. Everyone should be excited about the transformation.
Linda: Also, a team spirit and openness. And, in some areas, it takes a large capacity for flexibility. For example, I had just moved to Hamburg in April, and for the past two months I have been living in Leipzig. But Eppendorf also supported me during my move.
Michel: The work at Eppendorf will challenge you. In addition to good qualifications, applicants will definitely need to enjoy designing and creating and be ready to take responsibility early on.
What can new trainees expect?
Michel: A basis of open culture, respectful dealings with one another and mutual support.
Our "Experts of Tomorrow" are perfectly networked
Many jobs at Eppendorf require interdisciplinary knowledge that cannot be acquired directly at university. We want to ensure that our trainees are ideally networked as the "experts of tomorrow"; we encourage and support interdepartmental work and convey an integrated understanding of the processes and interfaces. A mentor supports every trainee.
This year, each advertised trainee position attracted approximately 200 applicants. On October 15th, two additional university graduates started their trainee programs with us in Hamburg in the areas of Controlling and Regulatory Affairs, respectively. In addition, we are in the process of generating a trainee position each in Dubai as well as in Kuala Lumpur. More locations will follow.
By the way: An application for one of the trainee positions may well open the door to a different entry position at Eppendorf. We look forward to every application.