Why carry on studying when you’ve found your ideal employer?

Anne Potten, Intern in Project Management, Brand Cooperation

"It wasn’t by chance that I applied for an internship at Tchibo, but the result of extensive research. First of all, the company got great reviews online at meinpraktikum.de. On the career site, I saw how much Tchibo does for its employees and how versatile its business model is. And because Tchibo has operations in many countries, the decision was easy. The fact that I’d made the right choice was quickly confirmed when I became an intern. The open corporate culture is evident everywhere – not only in the lunch break when you can arrange to eat with staff from other departments.

The department I work in is responsible for generating ideas and marketing partner campaigns. To do this we start by finding and acquiring service providers and partners for products and services that we are unable to offer ourselves. Then the task is to successfully market the collaborative projects. As an intern, I contribute my own ideas, help recruit partners and later provide organisational support to the project managers with the execution. This entails a lot of interesting contacts and a huge variety of projects.

I've come to really love the opportunities that Tchibo offers its employees. They also do a lot to promote a good work-life balance – after all, we have a private life too, and need to have enough time to do things like cook or play the piano in my case.

Although I’m now in my orientation year between my bachelor’s and masters degree in business administration, at this point I can imagine just staying on at the company. I feel very much at home here and would love to start working right away, perhaps in purchasing or product management. But the other sectors like energy, travel and mobile communications also offer exciting challenges. We'll see what happens."

A company that lives and breathes sustainability and employee focus

Inka Hüttenrauch, Student trainee in Packaging Production

"As a student trainee at Tchibo I've found the perfect opportunity to earn some money and gain interesting insights into how a large corporation works while earning my masters degree in information and media at the HAW Hamburg.

Specifically, my department coordinates packaging production. We place orders with the lithographers, manage the collaboration with the printers and check the results of their work, such as print proofs for the packaging. So there are many ways to support the team in its day-to-day operations. In the beginning I had to find my way around lots of new computer programmes, but now that's no longer a problem. You handle different issues and products every day, so it’s never boring and there’s a new challenge every day. I was very quickly trusted to independently handle individual steps in the workflow to lighten my colleagues’ workload.

From day one, I was pleasantly surprised by Tchibo’s working environment. We’re all on first-name terms and maintain a very friendly relationship. I wouldn’t have expected that from such a large corporation. No one just sits silently in front of their computer all day. People chat with each other and have a laugh, but not to the extent that it affects their work. I was won over by the fact that sustainability and employee focus are really part of the daily business here, whether it’s the KlimaTeller program, which puts a particularly eco-friendly dish on the menu each week in the cafeteria, or the many employee benefits. For interns as well as working students, there are regular lunch meetings and after-work parties, so I’ve met lots of new people from different departments.

I hope I can spend my next semester at Tchibo as well, or write my masters thesis here, and perhaps that will lead to me being able to join the company afterwards.

Since I see Tchibo as being synonymous with an interesting diversity of products and subjects, as well as with sustainability and positive corporate ethics, I can really identify with the company and can very easily imagine starting my working life at Tchibo."

With the right team spirit all challenges are doable

Christoph Gerlach, intern in the ‘Living’ Purchasing department

"Even while I was studying for my bachelor's degree in business administration I focused on intercultural management, tax consultancy and business appraisal. So it was no wonder that I was excited about starting my career at Tchibo, because it’s an international company with a long history and a good reputation, and it offers many different Food and Non Food products. But above all, the job listing appealed to me: during my work experience in Non Food procurement for furniture, and gardening and pet products, I would deal with all the commercial activities involved in product identification, development and procurement.

What surprised me was how quickly I was able to take on responsibility as an intern. After only two weeks I was independently writing project-related enquiries and sending them to suppliers all over the world. I'm also something of a coordinating link between the suppliers and the various departments in our company, for example, Quality, Product Management and Packaging. Because I simultaneously look after multiple projects I have to be pretty flexible and adjust quickly to tasks that crop up on the spur of the moment in order to process them in time. But even if it is times stressful, my co-workers are friendly and the work is enjoyable.

One great thing at Tchibo is how the staff treat each other – the team spirit here is at least as evident as in the field hockey team I play on during my spare time. What comes after my internship? A Masters degree. Something along the lines of international management, business development or business administration. And after that I’ll definitely be heading back to Tchibo again."

Working as a team and expressing yourself creatively - just the thing for me!

Lena Schlichting, Non Food product management trainee

"Marketing and media management were my focuses during my business studies. After graduation it was important to me to link my business know-how with my creative skills and to continue my personal development. I also wanted to work in a company that matches my own personality, and where I feel comfortable. Tchibo gave me that feeling early on during the selection process.

Last year I started as a trainee in Non Food product management. At the moment I am working on women’s day- and nightwear. In product management you plan and develop new product ideas. It’s extremely varied work: I have to understand Tchibo customers perfectly, and do a lot of work in team settings. My personal highlight was when we developed new weekly worlds for 2013. I was able to realise a lot of creative projects here. Through my work with Purchasing, Quality, Quantity Planning and Marketing, I have a lot of contact with other departments and get a good idea of the big picture.

What impressed me from the beginning was Tchibo's corporate philosophy. For example, by 2015 all the cotton it uses will be organic or ‘Cotton Made in Africa’. And as for my training programme, I have a say in my choice of stations and can even check out other sectors. Also, I was able to take on responsibility at an early stage - and my contacts are there for me if I ever get stuck.

The fringe benefits at Tchibo are also fabulous – where else do you get fresh coffee after lunch at the coffee bar, or Christmas roasts and Easter surprises? And the wide range of offers at the recreation centre is perfect for me as a sports fan who enjoys playing tennis and going to the gym."

Internationality in action, and working in virtual teams

Gesa Müller, Junior HR Business Partner International

“Actually, I've only worked as a Junior HR business partner at Tchibo since early 2012. But during my studies I was a working student in the HR department and was hired as student affairs coordinator even before completing my master's degree. So one could say I've already been with the company for four years. I have particularly good memories of the support given by my superiors during this period, especially when I was handling the job and my master's degree at the same time.

In my first job I was able to make independent decisions from the outset, research strategic issues and gain some experience in the professional management of colleagues. Nowadays I even work internationally. My department is developing Group-wide HR processes for our subsidiaries. We work closely with the local HR managers in matters of staff recruitment, development and evaluation, and look after the expatriate management, i.e. the colleagues we send abroad. What I enjoy most is collaborating as a virtual team and communicating with people from other cultures. Despite the geographic distance, we share an open and positive working relationship. We also constantly face new challenges, where we can do things in a lot of different ways. Granted, the issues are sometimes pretty complex, but my colleagues in Hamburg support me and are a fabulous source of knowledge to tap into!

I also benefit from the many training and coaching offers on topics like project management and intercultural training. Speaking of intercultural: this is a subject that occupies my spare time as well, as I'm a big fan of South Africa and spend my holidays there every year with friends in Karoo. It’s a pity we don’t yet have a subsidiary there for me to manage.”