For more than one year, since spring 2014 when I signed the contract to become an international management trainee at DAW Nordic, have I been looking forward to my half a year in Germany. Suddenly, with a lot of new experiences was it time to go back to Sweden. By that was it also time to reflect upon the period abroad.
For me, the most important part of the time in Germany is the meetings with all the new colleagues, products and brands that I have got to know. I spent my first three months in Ober-Ramstadt at Alpina Marketing. Alpina as a brand is currently not available in Sweden so the contrast to Germany where Alpina has 95% brand awareness is big. Furthermore, coming from a country where we own part of our distribution network ourselves via 19 own Caparol shops and where focus is on SSO’s, small scale outlets, it has been very interesting to learn more about the LSOs, large scale outlets, and how the Do-It-Yourself market works. I hope to one day be part of the group that introduces the brand Alpina to Sweden and if/when that day comes I think that the three months at Alpina Marketing will be useful. I think the benefit of an international trainee program like this is to build connections within DAW and get valuable insights outside the home country.
After my stay at Alpina, I changed to Business Development where they every day build connections between the headquarter and the local subsidiaries. One part of that work is the new Market- and Competitor Database that I got the opportunity to work with. The Database will enable the gathering of valuable information at the same place and facilitate knowledge sharing between countries and be an important analysis tool for all DAW countries.
Finally, another aspect of working in Ober-Ramstadt for half a year as an international trainee is that you are part of a group with other current and former trainees that are or have been in the same position. That became especially clear during events such as the „Young Forum“ or the regular trainee forums where there is an opportunity to exchange experiences, knowledge and learn about projects that are going on in different parts of the company. Being part of a trainee community provides you with opportunities and information that would not have been available otherwise. What it also gives you is a lot of new friends!
Text published by Sara, November 2015