JIG Class: 2010
Current position: Aftersales Director
Sales Unit: Singapore
I grew up in a village close to Bielefeld in the western part of Germany. After my apprenticeship in banking, I decided to enter the University of Applied Sciences in Lübeck, faculty of industrial engineering. The driving part for me was that this degree had an interesting mix of commercial aspects from my banking background and also technical knowledge such as mechanics and electronics. I found myself in the right business.
In the course of my studies, the first contact with forklifts happened during my internship. Searching for my first job after graduation, I was focusing on medium-sized organizations and on very internationally driven companies. I was convinced that medium-sized companies were more personal: you know your colleagues and team feeling tops the single fighter behavior in huge enterprises. I wanted to work for a company with good products and operations all over the world. Few companies meeting the above characteristics were located in northern Germany. One of them was Jungheinrich.
Gladly I found an interesting position on the internet - After Sales management Graduate – and I was quite excited about the Program because it was in the same business field that I had worked for during my diploma thesis. When I attended the assessment center, I was quite surprised to realize that Jungheinrich was not interested in bringing the candidates to their very limits but they really wanted to understand the candidate in order to determine if he/she was a fit to the company in terms of abilities but also from a personal point of view. That was the type of company I wanted to work for!
In the end, it worked out. On March 2010, I started the Graduate Program. There were six of us in the group at that time. Not all of us started in March, few started in January and few came after, we were working on different departments: Finances, rental & used trucks, controlling, R&D and after sales.
After the Program, each one of us chose our own way. Some of us wanted to focus on a quick start career. Others went deeper into their specialist role and in the end; everyone got what they were expecting. Personally, I like to set my footprints before I move on. This does not need to be after 2 years immediately. Starting things and leaving them unproven, is not my thing.
I definitely think the Graduate Program help me with my career because one of the biggest gains you can have is the network within Jungheinrich. With a mentor who directly reports to the board, some crucial contacts are established but also I was given the chance of influencing my way of proceeding. This enabled me to work in all the after sales departments and in some operative units, in the Netherlands and in Norway.
I currently work as the aftersales Director in Singapore and I got involved in the organization on the International After Sales Conference. Another huge in-house-networking event with all After Sales directors from the whole world. I still have those contacts - now being one of them.
If I could give future Graduates or people who are thinking of joining the Program an advice, I would say that if you are ready and fully willing to bring positive and motivated attitude, ambition and if you show some success in the things you start, you will have all the chances you would like to have in return. I am fully confident to say that I have never regretted my choice of Jungheinrich as the company to work for in this Program. Best decision ever (at least from the proportion I could influence).
One remarkable thing about the Jungheinrich International Graduate Program is that the JIG’s can influence themselves, where the whole process goes to. I was not the only one who did not know exactly what my “dream job” would look like immediately in the beginning. Otherwise, I could have applied for it directly, couldn’t I? And as long it stays like that in Jungheinrich – it’s great!
You will have a chance to work in an international environment, rapidly growing company, superb team while still being able to influence where you like to go to topic wise, department wise and country wise. During their studies students learn theoretical approaches which are often far away from practical reality. In this Graduate Program you can apply what you have learned theoretically and see how it works out for you. You can really be strong and productive. There is a saying «Strengthen your strengths» rather than «work on your weaknesses». Following this approach, improve what you are good in, expand it and use it. Jungheinrich and the JIG Program will give you the chance to make the best out of your talents.