Before I decided to work for CHG-MERIDIAN, my experience amounted to a degree apprenticeship at a small management consultancy followed by a secondment in London. My first experiences in employment helped me to decide on the direction I wanted my career to take. As a recent graduate, it was only natural that I had some fixed ideas about my future career and my employer. An international outlook, client contact, and handing over responsibility early on, were all criteria that my future employer absolutely had to fulfil. On top of that, I wanted to work for a modern, innovative, and vibrant company.
Nonetheless, it was clear to me that being dropped in at the deep end wasn’t necessarily the right route to take. My degree apprenticeship had already given me a solid theoretical and practical foundation, but I was aware that I needed to gain more experience. So I decided to concentrate my search on a management trainee program that covers all the requirements I had in mind.
One of the companies that caught my eye was CHG-MERIDIAN. The scope of the entire application process hardly differed from that of other firms. Starting with an online test, then on to a telephone interview, and finally an assessment center, all the usual suspects were there.
But what stood out from all the other companies was the greater focus on the actual applicant. Once I received the invitation to the headquarters in Weingarten, all I had to do was concentrate on the assessment center. CHG-MERIDIAN took care of the rest. The mantra throughout the assessment center was that the personal level was highly important and that it had to be the right fit for both sides. Having successfully completed the assessment center, the final hurdle before being offered the position was an informal meeting with my future line manager in Hamburg. As I already mentioned, it is very important to the company that the personal chemistry is right.
All management trainees spend the first three months in Internal Sales at their site. Here it is important to learn more about the processes and procedures, the business model, and how best to work together with your colleagues in Internal Sales. After that, you move to Sales proper. To ensure an easy transition and to provide an overview, every management trainee has an on-site coach and a mentor whom he or she accompanies to customer meetings. Over time, the trainee is involved more and more in the active sales process. At the same time, the trainee can independently gain further experience working on cold calls.
There are numerous interesting training modules that support the trainee’s everyday work and ensure that the program is completed successfully. Business etiquette, mathematical finance, and presentation skills are just some of the many subjects on offer. All management trainees that started in the same year take the classes as a group. This helps to foster a sense of togetherness across sites where knowledge, opinions, and achievements are shared.
About halfway through the traineeship, you are sent abroad, and you have a considerable amount of say in where you are going and on which projects you will be working. I went to Scandinavia and helped to present our TESMA® technology and service management tool both internally and externally in Sweden and Norway. It is quite interesting to see how colleagues outside of Germany deal with particular challenges, which provides an entirely new perspective of certain processes.
The period after your time abroad can be described as the final sprint toward starting your career. You still receive some training, but now it is important to put into practice the knowledge acquired so far, whether it is talking to customers or discussing strategy with suppliers and partners.
I firmly believe that the management trainee program helps graduates to develop their personal and business skills and provides the foundation for a successful start to your career. For me, CHG-MERIDIAN is a ‘hidden champion’ as far as the structure of its training program is concerned, and I can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a traineeship in sales.
the internal efforts in response to it that make the management trainee program at CHG-MERIDIAN so interesting.
Hendrik Cammin I former graduate trainee, now Junior Technical Sales, Hamburg office.
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