My traineeship will last three years. What I especially like is that we trainees are sent to a new department every six months, giving us an in-depth view of the internal workings of the company. This variety of assignments also helps us decide what professional goals we want to pursue later.
It was a bit difficult for me to settle into the working world at the beginning of my traineeship. The new environment and, unlike at school, the responsibility towards others have brought me new challenges. I think this is the case for many people. In school you are only responsible for your own work, but in a company you are part of a large team, whether it's a department, a division, or for example Hilcona AG itself and its workforce. Everyone has to pull their weight, otherwise there could be disastrous mistakes.
I've since settled into the new environment and I like working for Hilcona very much.
Which departments have you worked in so far and which are still to come? Do you have a preference for a particular department? Which has been your favourite so far?
I was previously in Transport and Purchasing, and I'm currently in Human Resources. Later I'll work in Order Processing, Accounting, and Food Service. I would still like to build something like corporate communication and marketing into my traineeship.
Right now my favourite department is Human Resources. I really enjoy working with people and on the variety of tasks that I'm given here. I find the work challenging, I can manage my tasks independently and work to my own schedule. I appreciate the staff's trust. I also like the fact that I can count on the support of my supervisors and trainers.
What does your working week look like?
My week consists of three work days and two school days. Starting in the third year, I'll only go to school for one day each week. From Monday to Wednesday I'm at Hilcona, on Thursday and Friday I attend the vocational school in Buchs (BZB). In school, I am learning extended basic training as a commercial employee ("E-Profil") and am taking business, French, English, computer science, German, mathematics and sport. As for work, every morning I basically write down the priorities that I have to deal with that day. I should have my work completed before I go home.
Which do you enjoy more, school or work? And why?
I can't say. I like going to school, because I always enjoy learning new things and because it's a change from the work day. On the other hand, I like work because I can put the things I've learnt into practice. And because I have a shorter trip home to Austria.
Why did you choose this specific career option?
I have always had a keen interest in economics, history and politics. Prior to my traineeship I had attended a secondary school, but unfortunately I wasn't happy there. At some point I started to think about what I wanted to do professionally, and it was clear that I wanted to attend university. However, I found it sensible to gain vocational experience first, and not only through internships and temporary or side jobs, but through comprehensive training. So I decided that the right path for me would be a commercial traineeship followed by the study of history, sociology, political science, or similar. Things ran their course and happily it turned out that I was offered the traineeship at Hilcona.
Decisions that extend far into the future, like career paths, can often be difficult. Nevertheless, I personally think it is something that everyone must think about and ask themselves – what really brings them fulfilment and happiness.