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      July 26, 2022

      Coming back to Continental – How finding what drives me brought me back to the company.

      I worked at SiemensVDO (Vitesco Aerotech), and later at Continental, since 2003. I quickly advanced in my career and changed to 6 positions. After spending nearly 14 years with Vitesco Aerotech and Continental, I came to a point where I felt dead-ended in my career, and I wanted to gain more experience into other businesses and processes. At that time, there was no option to exchange within the company, so I was looking for other opportunities outside of Continental. I was quickly recruited by a known manufacturer of automobile driveline and drivetrain components and started a new position as Manufacturing Manager in August 2017.

      This new job opportunity felt like a new beginning. After fully arriving in that new company & position, I got the chance to learn more about product development, new technologies in the industry, production line setup, stating a greenfield as well as diverse management styles and company culture but quickly realized what this new opportunity was lacking most: my Conti Family.

      After living more than 14 years with Continental, a time in which I also experienced the most emotional moments of my life like becoming a father, the company values transferred into my private life and had a lasting impact on my character and way of working.

      Although I was happy with my new role in the other company, I never lost track of what was going on at Continental’s side and stayed in close contact with my former colleagues. After a while, I came to the realization that no matter how hard I tried, I would never be able to fully integrate into the new company as my way of working and living were so strongly shaped by the Continental values: the Vision for the Industry transformation, the way we care for our team, the work-life balance that we promote and enable our people are some of the things that made me decide to start my way back home.

      After reaching out to my former colleagues and supervisors, I eventually found a new position as Head of Plant Management at the Continental Delicias plant in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. I remember that on my first day back, I immediately felt like coming home. Although I started in a new position, a new team, and a new group sector everything just felt right from the moment I entered the door.

      Now I get to transform the plant as Head of Plant Management with a great team standing behind me, I couldn’t be happier.

      And now, it turns out that these Continental values not only guided me in my career, but also heavily influenced my whole family. Now, my eldest daughter moved to college, setting up her Continental horse in her dormitory bookshelf. I couldn’t be prouder!

      People say “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” – and I believe it’s true.

      Ernesto Flores

      Head of Plant Management