I’m com­ing back soon!”

Fran­ces­co kommt aus Ita­li­en und war über Expe­ri­en­cing Euro­pe für zwei Wochen im Aus­lands­prak­ti­kum bei Con­ti­nen­tal in Regensburg.

First let me intro­du­ce mys­elf: my name is Fran­ces­co, I am 23 y.o. Ita­li­an who is cur­r­ent­ly stu­dy­ing Busi­ness Admi­nis­tra­ti­on and Law in Tren­to (Ita­ly).

I am con­stant­ly loo­king for new expe­ri­en­ces, espe­cial­ly if they for­ce me to get out of my “com­fort zone”. For this rea­son, I deci­ded to go to Regens­burg (Bava­ria) to attend to a two weeks internship at the huge Con­ti­nen­tal local branch the­re located.

I left the city of Tren­to on Novem­ber 10th in the com­pa­ny of Leo­nar­do, ano­t­her UniTN stu­dent, who app­lied for the same type pro­ject. In the evening, after a long train trip, I arri­ved to Saal an der Donau, whe­re I final­ly met Lau­ra, which would have been my host for the next 2 weeks. She dro­ve me to Essing, a beau­ti­ful and peace­ful small town near Saal, that in some way remin­ded me my home town in Ita­ly, Revò.

The day after Lau­ra dro­ve me to Regens­burg for my first day at Con­ti­nen­tal: I was very impres­sed by the sight of such a huge indus­tri­al com­plex, orga­ni­zed and fil­led with so many peop­le, almost a “dif­fe­rent city in the city of Regens­burg”. For me it was over­whel­ming: in Tren­ti­no (my home regi­on in Ita­ly) the­re isn’t anything that does­n’t even come clo­se to this huge dimen­si­on. Insi­de the faci­li­ty I rejoi­ned Leo­nar­do (we split­ted in Munich the day befo­re), for a brief intro­duc­to­ry mee­ting con­cer­ning our just star­ted jour­ney in Con­ti­nen­tal whe­re I was infor­med about the four core values of the com­pa­ny: trust, free­dom to act, pas­si­on to win, and, last but not least, for one ano­t­her. The­se values are very important for Con­ti­nen­tal and they real­ly influ­ence the view peop­le here work and rela­tes with each other.

I was assi­gned to the Con­ti­nen­tal Idea Manage­ment office (most fre­quent­ly cal­led CIM), who­se main task is to check and appro­ve all the ide­as of the employees con­cer­ning opti­miz­a­ti­ons and impro­ve­ments of the inter­nal com­pa­ny pro­ces­ses. This office has a very important and deli­ca­te role in the com­pa­ny life and for this rea­son I am very gra­te­ful to the mem­bers of the office for the time they dedi­ca­ted to me, for their pati­ent and, most of all, for their pre­cious tea­chings. I was flat­te­red by the warm­th and kind­ness with which I was recei­ved. So Diet­mar, Tama­ra, Karin, Andrea, thank you so much for making me feel part of the team sin­ce the first day, it meant a lot for me! 

Most of my free time has been occu­p­ied by the many acti­vi­ties plan­ned by my host Lau­ra and by the com­pa­ny its­elf which allo­wed me to dis­co­ver Regens­burg and Bava­ria in gene­ral: cities, music, tra­di­ti­ons, food, (very good) beer and, most of all, incredi­ble people. 

During the­se two weeks in Ger­ma­ny the time has flown: I couldn’t belie­ve it when I found mys­elf again at Saal sta­ti­on on Novem­ber 23rd to return to Ita­ly! This expe­ri­ence gave me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to obser­ve a rea­li­ty far from my own (both becau­se of the distance from my coun­try and becau­se of the actu­al size of the com­pa­ny) which I real­ly appre­cia­ted. I would the­re­fo­re like to thank InCo Asso­cia­ti­on, Continental’s human resour­ces depart­ment (inclu­ding interns), Lau­ra, Leo­nar­do, the CIM and whoever else has con­tri­bu­t­ed to making this expe­ri­ence so beau­ti­ful and important for me.

In con­clu­si­on, I also want to wri­te a few lines to warm­ly recom­mend this kind of expe­ri­ence to anyo­ne who is curious and has a gre­at desi­re to find out how big and full of oppor­tu­nities the world is: you will find it hard to find some­thing to com­p­lain about (may­be coffee)!