Trainee Program at Porsche Holding © Canva; Elena Preymann (Privat)
Sightseeing in Barcelona | Photo: Elena Preymann; Canva
What exactly do you do at Porsche Holding and why are you in Barcelona at the moment? What exactly is a trainee program?
I successfully completed my master's in International Business & Law at MCI with a double degree from NKUST of Taiwan in July 2022. Since September 2022, I have been working at Porsche Holding in Salzburg and am part of the International Management Trainee Program.
This is divided into 4 sections, Finance, Sales, HR and IT, whereby I have chosen the former. In general, the program lasts 1 ½ years. You change departments every six months and thus complete a total of three trainee stations.
Since I am a finance trainee, I only change in the finance department. My first station was in Controlling Wholesale International in Salzburg, where I was mainly responsible for the monthly financial statements of all wholesale countries. In addition, I helped with budgeting and forecasting, answered ad-hoc enquiries and was in regular contact with the finance managers and controllers of all countries. That means it's never boring, because in the morning you're in contact with Singapore and Malaysia, during the day with Europe and before the end of the day you have a quick phone call with Chile and Colombia.
Since it is an international program, one of the three stations will also be completed abroad. As I had already spent two semesters abroad in Chile and Spain during my bachelor's degree, I wanted to complete my trainee program abroad in a Spanish-speaking country in order to improve my Spanish even further. I was lucky and was able to spend the last few months at the Volkswagen Group Retail Spain headquarters in Barcelona. There I was also in the controlling department, but this time in a retail country and mainly responsible for controlling in the area of used cars. Although I worked in Controlling as in the first station, I got completely new impressions and was allowed to take on a lot of responsibility again. It was also a personal experience, as my working day was completely in Spanish and, apart from the better weather, the food and working hours were different from what I was used to.
My stay abroad will come to an end at the end of August and I will move back to Salzburg for my last part. I am very excited about what awaits me in my last trainee station and I am looking forward to the new challenges.
What content from your studies can you apply?
Since I am doing the Finance Trainee Program, I can apply a lot from my finance courses from my studies. Both my first and second stations were in the controlling area, so I was able to apply a lot of content from the controlling lectures.
As part of the trainee program, we also have so-called trainee modules, in which all trainees come together and complete two days of training seminars. This is where I need my presentation and project management skills, which I was already able to use and deepen during my studies.
What is free time like in Barcelona?
Of course, working is different from studying abroad, so there is not as much free time during the week. The working hours in Spain are also a bit different (9 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.), which I had to get used to, especially at the beginning. Nevertheless, I often go out with friends during the week, go out for tapas or use my free time to go to the gym and do some running.
I use the weekends mainly for travelling, going to the beach and going on excursions. It helps that my office is right next to the airport and it only takes 30 minutes to get from my desk to the gate. So on Fridays after work I often go to other parts of Spain, such as San Sebastian, Valencia, Seville, Malaga and the Costa Brava.