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      My memorable virtual journey within the eXplore Tires Trainee Program

      I have joined the eXplore Tires Trainee program to gain in-depth skills and knowledge about the tires manufacturing processes. I saw it also as great chance for networking. It has definitely helped me enrich my world view.

      My name is Hongxia Li, I am from China and 26 years old. I was part of the eXplore Tires Manufacturing Trainee program in 2020. Since the end of the program, I work as a Curing Production Supervisor in Hefei Plant, China. I decided to join the eXplore Tires Manufacturing Trainee program in September 2019 because it provided a platform to gain in-depth skills and knowledge about the manufacturing processes. This happened via projects which helped establishing and strengthening our network with central, plants and various functions and to thrive in multicultural and cross-functional environments.

      The recruiting experience was great, the assessment center evaluation was professional and I could always reach out to the recruiter. He also gave me constructive feedback and suggestions that helped me in the process. During the onboarding process I gained a lot of support and help from HR and my so-called buddy who was a former trainee and my contact person whenever I needed advise.

      All the project topics are interesting, far-reaching and taught us a lot. They helped us increase our tire manufacturing knowledge, we learned new tools such as AutoCTL, PowerBi and UiPath and we gained experience in project management. However, the most important thing about the projects was that the results actually had an impact on Continental’s business.

      The projects were very instructive but at the same time challenging. During the virtual central training phase, we had three assignments: two individual assignments and one group assignment. Because of the virtual set up we faced several time zone difficulties that we overcame by allocating task to members in the same time zone and booking working slots on TEAMS to discuss and consolidate task results. Even if it was a challenge, problems transformed into experience and skills so that at the end, we were prepared for further international collaborations and for establishing a cross functional and global network.

      The most enjoyable and memorable experience during my trainee program was the networking. Due to the pandemic we, the trainees, couldn´t come to Hannover for the union but we did our best to explore our team, our program and our projects via various virtual options like virtual so called “open house events”, virtual coffee break and other networking activities. Last-mentioned we organized all department presentations and online trainings by ourselves. Therefore, I do believe that each trainee enhanced their task management and self-organization skills in the program.

      As Continental is a multinational and multicultural company we work together with experts and talents from different countries. It helped us to see things from different perspectives and enriched our vocabulary. At Continental we speak openly and have channels to address our voice which allows employees to bring in their opinions and concerns. I am proud of being part of Continental.

      With this trainee program I gained knowledge of best practices and smart and digital solutions from central and sister plants. I try my best to integrate this knowledge and skills in my work at Hefei Plant. The whole program helped me to have a global picture of Continental as a company and to be more open for changes.

      I would like to use our four core values to express my motivation to work at Continental. At Continental, we both give and earn trust, we have the passion to win, we grow through freedom towards responsibility and we attain top value with our team as one Continental.


      This blog was written by our employee.

      Hongxia Li

      Curing Production Supervisor