Connect Cultures Program
What you can expect
The individual modules of the program are tailored to your specific qualifications and the requirements of the planned target area. One of these projects is in your target area and the other projects take place in various divisions at the German site. In addition, you will complete modules in production and catering, where you will experience close proximity to the Audi product. Your program is rounded out with seminars, CIP workshops and various working groups as well as fireside chats and networking events with members of top management or the Audi Board of Management.
In light of the international nature of the program, all communications and interactions within it are held in English.
Our trainees introduce themselves
Three participants in our Connect Cultures Program talk about their experiences and their motivation.
Marcos is from Brazil. He is enthusiastic about the program because it will open a lot of doors for him. Siwei comes from China. For her, the decisive factor was the maxim that we live by here at Audi: “Some call it work, we call it passion”. She feels this passion every day in the company. Mudassir from Pakistan greatly appreciates the fact that, during the program, he can experience different departments within the company.
Work with passion
A single sentence on the Audi website was enough for Siwei to make her decision: "Some call it work, we call it passion." Years ago, Siwei from China read this headline on the Audi website. Today she is a trainee working in Audis "Connect Cultures Program". "The phrase fascinated me from the very beginning. We all spend a big part of our lives working. We should use this time and work on something that we really do with passion." In the Connect Cultures Program, she works for different departments within the company during a time span of 12 months.
"Passion is the key. I sense this spirit every day in the company. People at Audi work with a real passion, that's not just a phrase on a website. This attitude impressed me very much. My personal highlight up until now was my time in production, when I was actually helping to build our automobiles. Everyone in the company is working to design, build, improve and market these products. It was a great experience to be so close to the product."
Siwei carries this passion over to the Connect Cultures Program. She manages and organizes some of the activities the trainees do. "It is very inspiring for me to get to know all these people with their different cultural backgrounds. We spend our free time together and we work together. Trainees with different cultural backgrounds approach problem solving in very different ways. The Connect Cultures Program awards us all with the opportunity to learn from each other." She felt an initial shyness, that she has long since abandoned. "At first I was very uncertain about moving to Germany and being alone in a completely new environment. Since then I have learned that cultural differences and diversity are very important and I have become a proud ambassador of my culture. I see my role as a bridge between China and Germany and I hope that I can do a lot to ensure that the cooperation between both cultures succeeds."
Marcos from Brazil is a rookie in the "Connect Cultures Program", but he is already a veteran of Audi and the topic of cultural diversity. "Years ago, I did an internship at Audi in Brazil. My studies focused on cultural differences and since my youth most of my friends have had an international background. Moving to Germany was not a cultural shock for me," says Marcos with a bright smile. "My previous experience is an advantage and I feel well prepared for everything. I work in human resources and it’s important to know how to work and communicate with people from the beginning."
His enthusiasm for the program shows: "Audi does a good job here with an initial integration week and different courses about this topic, then there is the trainee day and suddenly you realize how fast a group of strangers already has become a community. Audi makes it all possible. We also have the opportunity to spend time with members of the board and talk to them as part of the program. We get many opportunities like this to exchange with other people and network cross-departmental and hierarchical. The program opens many doors for us."
If there is anything to criticize at all from his point of view, then it concerns something that Audi cannot change: "I am well integrated here and Germany is my home just like Brazil is. But when I'm in Germany, I miss Brazil and when I'm in Brazil, I miss Germany. That's a vicious circle. Apart from that, I miss my family and the relaxed atmosphere in Brazil." Maybe Marcos will succeed in establishing some Brazilian serenity in Germany. That would indeed be a success for the Connect Cultures Program.
Learning and evolving
When trainees start the "Connect Cultures Program" or reach the middle of their 12 months, they have different priorities and impressions than someone who has already completed the program and is working as a permanent employee at Audi. Someone like Mudassir. Born in Pakistan and raised in the UK, he didn’t expect to work for Audi or in Germany at all. "I wanted to see the world, live and work in other countries. Originally I had other English-speaking countries like the USA in mind." His decision for Audi and the Connect Cultures Program changed all these plans.
"I believe the whole program was an excellent learning opportunity. This was not only constricted to technical terms. I improved myself as a person and learned a lot from people who had different previous experiences than me. I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with some of the best people from all over the world. Very creative, talented, intelligent and motivated people. They all have a different background and bring something completely different with them.” The transition to full employment at Audi went smoothly. “Audi helped me with the integration process. Here I learned to use my skills and interest in the right place for the company. My current supervisor was and is very supportive. I have gone through many departments during the program. I was in planning, technical development, in series management and also in sales, often thinking ‘that's exactly what you want to do later’. To be able to get an accurate picture of the whole company and the different departments is one of the biggest advantages of the program."
Mudassir likes Ingolstadt, his home away from home. "Ingolstadt offers many opportunities. I like to play football and I am always active. As long as I am surrounded by friends, meet good people and enjoy my work, everything is great."
- Successfully completed studies with above-average academic achievements and two years of professional experience
- At least six months of practical experience within the field
- Fluent, excellent English; further knowledge of foreign languages is an advantage