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Interview with Amy

When did you join Kroschu?

I have been completing my apprenticeship as an industrial clerk since September 2022.

How did you first hear of Kroschu?

On the Internet. I was looking for companies that offer apprenticeships close to my home, and that is when I encountered Kromberg und Schubert. The name seemed familiar to me. So I set about learning more about the company and finally submitted an application to Kroschu. And now I’m here.

What made you decide to start an apprenticeship with Kroschu?

It was more of a gut feeling. The interview with Kroschu was the most pleasant of all, and I felt more at home at the company. Compared to the other interviews, they also talked about everything Kroschu provides and what it offers its trainees in particular: from free fruit on Mondays to Christmas parties and excursions to internal English lessons. That was one of the reasons why I was keen to work at Kroschu more than at any of the other training companies I had applied to.

To which departments have you already been assigned, and what were your tasks in each one?

So far I have worked in order management (tasks: updating orders, idents or prices), logistics (tasks: updating supplier addresses, completing the incoming goods log and scheduling for China etc.) and sales (downloading enquiries as well as preparing and submitting quotes). I am currently in financial accounting. My tasks vary, depending on the department. Mainly I am asked to do things that assist my colleagues in their daily work. But I have already been allowed to take over some of their tasks and deal with them myself.

Which department did you find most interesting so far?

That’s a tough question. It’s really not easy to answer. But when push comes to shove, the most interesting one so far has been sales, where I was able to help out for three months. During this time, I learned how enquiries are processed and how OEMs nominate particular companies for projects. Quite early on, I was allowed to take care of the enquiries on my own and prepare and send out the quotes (assisted by a colleague, of course). It gives me a bit of a buzz to see my initials on documents, especially if they are going to a major automaker like Audi or BMW. That’s another reason why I found those tasks so cool. I really enjoyed the three months, so sales has been my favourite department so far. But there are still a few more to come. Let’s see if I change my mind.

What else are you responsible for as an apprentice, aside from your work in the departments? Which special projects are there?

People completing an apprenticeship as industrial clerks are also in charge of the incoming post. A driver picks up the mail from the post office in Abensberg every day. It is then sent to the sorting room. Two apprentices are assigned to the task every day. They look after the post together, so stamp and sort the mail and place it in the right departmental pigeonhole. It has to be done every day, and if you ask me it’s fun. Basically it adds some variety. We chat while we’re working, of course, so you can share your thoughts with the other apprentices as well. I am also in charge of doing the monthly post roster for the apprentice industrial clerks, so I decide who does the mail and when. Apprentices are also allowed to help out with the design and planning of parties or take charge of smaller projects like preparing flyers or renaming a conference room etc.

How was your first week working at Kroschu?

Exciting and nerve-racking. I was really nervous on my first day. Getting to know new people, making a good impression and never knowing what will come next. But they really looked after us, so the nerves subsided really quite quickly. We started by playing an introductions game, and then the trainer explained what was coming our way and what to expect. The older apprentices gave us a guided tour and introduced the team managers in each of the departments. They also accompanied us to the departments in the beginning or picked us up from there. It was a real relief for me, because I was initially scared of getting lost. The other apprentices were also always on hand to help if we experienced problems. We set off on an excursion for a few days right at the start. It was a great way to get to know each other and make friends. Looking back at that first week, I am actually proud of myself. I would have thought it would be far more difficult to embark on an apprenticeship.

What has been your most exciting project at Kroschu so far?

I really think it was planning my first Christmas party. We were asked to make Christmas cards and baubles with our logo and to take charge of the gifts for employees. We also decorated the company grounds and put up and decorated Christmas trees. It really was a lovely experience. I really enjoyed taking care of these things with the other apprentices. Certainly it was stressful, but also a blast.

Tell us about some of the other special events you’ve experienced at Kroschu. How were they for you?

We visited one of the other Kroschu locations in Germany right at the start of the apprenticeship. Almost all the other trainees from Germany were there. Looking back, I have to say that the excursion was the perfect start, because we were able to get to know each other and share some fun and memorable experiences. One thing I definitely remember was revising the scheduling standard in the logistics department. Two colleagues in our Romanian plant look after of the order procedure, just like we do in Abensberg. We were tasked with reworking the induction process so that we are all on the same page and everyone knows what to do. The Romanian colleagues visited us in Abensberg to revise the scheduling standard, and I was invited to take part. It was fascinating for me to see how things like that are dealt with.

What kind of support do you receive as trainees?

Everyone is eager to listen if you experience difficulties. I know that I can go to my trainer at any time if there are problems and that we will find a solution together. You are never left to fend for yourself here at Kroschu, especially as an apprentice. I really feel looked after.

Do you have a lot of contact with the other trainees? Do you regularly do things together?

I would say that I have lots of contact with the other apprentices. You can write each other messages on Webex if something is happening or ask the others how they are doing. The apprentices meet up every day to eat lunch, chat with each other and share news. And the apprentice industrial clerks meet more often anyway, as we look after the incoming post. We also meet up away from work.

Which measures does Kroschu take to promote collaboration between apprentices?

Every now and then we have smaller projects that we work on together. For instance, we were asked to produce a flyer or a poster for one program. We are also in charge of planning the Christmas party. Another thing is that we are allowed to use one hour of work each week to prepare for school. And if you are struggling with a certain topic, you can ask the other apprentices to explain it. All the apprentices are also invited to attend internal English lessons.

How positive is the collaboration in general?

The teamwork is really quite good from what I have seen so far. You sit down and look for a solution as soon as an issue emerges. Kroschu does a lot to foster cohesion. On the one hand, there is the summer and Christmas parties that are planned each year. There are also frequent staff workshops, for instance the sports day with exercises to strengthen your back.

What sets the company apart?

The variety. Kroschu has a large workforce and is represented around the world, so you are often in contact with colleagues from other countries. There are also frequent visits; the people bring traditional sweets from their home countries or tell stories about where they come from, which I personally find very nice. It is often said that we are all a big family here at Kroschu. That might sound a little odd or even implausible, but it is actually true. We are not just a bunch of lone wolves here. We discuss things and clarify how to proceed if uncertainties emerge. Everyone is open about the projects they are currently working on. You have a lot of contact with your colleagues and are not left out in the cold. These things, together with all the staff benefits, are what set Kroschu apart if you ask me.

What do you like in particular about your work at Kroschu?

My contribution to the company’s success. I find it fascinating to see what makes a major company like us tick and how we managed to become so big. It’s a real cool to be able to say that I play my part in this, too.

Which benefits do you appreciate especially?

Definitely the flexitime arrangements. You do not have to stick to rigid work times and can arrange them the way you prefer. You can start and theoretically stop when you like. I find it really quite practical, for instance if I have an important appointment in the afternoon. Then you just start work and go home a little earlier. Flexitime makes it easier to prepare for school as well. Let’s say I have a school assignment or a paper due the next day, I can go home earlier and stay longer on another day. You would probably have to put in a night shift if the working hours were rigid.

How would you describe the mood at Kroschu?

Pleasant. The people here are really nice and helpful. I never have to worry that someone might give me a ‘dressing down’ if I’ve made a mistake or something like that. So far I have really got on well with my colleagues in the various departments. You notice that everyone is on the same wavelength. The mood is never downcast or bad. We are all very professional in the way we deal with each other.

What would you most like to do once your training is over?

Let me be frank: I have never really thought that far ahead. Let’s just see what comes my way. My main goal for now is to enjoy my time as an apprentice and get good grades. I definitely want to continue my studies and develop my skills. But I do not yet know which direction I will choose in the end.

Why would you advise people to complete an apprenticeship at Kroschu?

Good question. Training as an industrial clerk is extremely varied, and you get to see a lot of the company. It never gets boring, especially as you move on to a new department every few months. So you are constantly learning new things and meeting different people. Training as an industrial clerk is a wise choice if you like fresh challenges and don’t want to spend three years doing the same things.

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