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      April 21, 2023

      My role as a mentor to continental IT graduates

      My name is Michael and I joined Continental as a dual student in 2000. In the past 22 years, I have built my career in the fields of logistics, supply chain management, purchasing, business analytics and IT, as my work experience with Continental took me to Malaysia and France, and has now brought me back to Germany.

      Today I am the head of Strategy and Projects in Continental Group IT, and I am also proud to be one of the IT Graduate Mentors.  In this blog post, I’d like to share my perspectives as a mentor.

      The roles of a mentor

      As mentors we are there to help familiarize the graduates with our business and technical environment, as representatives of different IT fields and functions in Continental. But the program creates a close bond between mentors and graduates and we are also often the graduates’ go-to person for their questions about career development directions, work opportunities or the contents of their presentations, and we help them to grow their network within the organization.

      The beauty of the Continental IT Graduate Program

      The IT Graduate Program opens all the doors to the graduates and the mentors help them to take the right steps.

      You don't have to decide on a particular career path in advance. The program offers you the opportunity to get a taste of different IT areas first, to discover whether you want to take a more technical or business-oriented path.

      On the other hand, if you know exactly where you want to go and what kind of expert you want to become, the program also offers the opportunity to deep-dive into a certain function, in different countries and in different business areas. Continental is a very diverse technology company, so there are always new topics, challenges and opportunities for you.

      We use the latest technologies to improve our products, optimize our business processes and deliver the right solutions to our customers. We offer our people the “Freedom To Act” to learn, to explore, and to contribute to technology. “Freedom To Act” is also built into this program, as the graduates choose their assignments for themselves. If you are curious about new things, I am sure that this two-year program is a perfect match for you.

      I have two graduates from the IT Graduate Program in my team right now. They have different backgrounds, skills and personalities, and they do fantastic jobs. I am really amazed by the great talents we get through the program.

      What it takes to be successful at Continental

      I am often asked what it takes to have a fulfilling career at Continental. My answer is: anyone who lives the core values of our company is already well on the way. First and foremost, there should be a Passion To Win. You need to stay motived to deliver results with great quality and enthusiasm. Second, it's about being there For One Another. You need to be a team player. That's very important in our company with such diverse colleagues. Third, take the Freedom To Act. We work in an environment where you can do and explore things by yourself. And last but not least, Trust. You gain trust and give trust to all your stakeholders in our company. That's all you need to be successful and happy at Continental.

      Michael Okon

      Head of Strategy and Projects