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      Let your ideas shape the future
      June 29, 2023

      What makes the group finance graduate program special? A Graduate’s perspective.

      My name is Nour Machaka, and I am a current Group Finance Graduate in my final rotation. I am 26 years old and am originally from Lebanon. I moved to Germany about 4 years ago to pursue a Masters in Finance. After that I got the opportunity to join Continental’s Group Finance Graduate Program (GFGP).

      1. Why did you apply for the GFGP?

      I joined the graduate program almost immediately after finishing my Masters. Therefore, I did not have a lot of professional experience. I wanted to be able to experience multiple positions and get an idea of what areas of Finance I am most interested in. Continental’s GFGP gave me this opportunity. However, it was not just the experience that I was after, I wanted to also learn and grow through my professional life. Being part of a program that focuses on the ability to take part in different areas of finance and learn from them helped solidify why I wanted to work for Continental and be part of the GFGP.

      2. What are your current tasks/ position?

      Currently I am in my final rotation of the GFGP in Group Investor Relations. Some of the tasks that I am involved in revolve around the communication with investors and analysts. This includes what data can be communicated and how you communicate this data effectively. This position is showing me a new perspective into Continental, an outside view of what and who Continental is.

      3. Highlight of the program?

      For me one of the highlights of the program is the network you build. At the start of the program, you take part in a team building activity with the graduates from your year; this allows you to create a support system. Personally, I was able to cultivate a great relationship with my peers. In addition, the GFGP gives you the opportunity of also connecting with past graduates where you learn from their experiences and benefit from their network. This is reinforced by the buddy system where new graduates are matched with past graduates. Your buddy is there to support you through their experiences and give you insights on future rotations. Moreover, this support system is further enhanced by networking events and get togethers that we often organize. We are always finding opportunities to meet and connect through dinners and team building activities. Recently, we were able to launch the GFGP Networking event, where we ask speakers from Continental, be it department heads, executives, or CFO, to join us at an event planned by a different group of graduates every time. This gives us the opportunity to further widen our network and get to know Continental executives further. Networking does not stop with the GFGP, because throughout the rotations you get to meet different people from various backgrounds, be it professional or cultural. Moreover, the international rotation, gives you the opportunity to experience working for Continental abroad. I specifically had the great opportunity to be part of the Plant Controlling team in Toulouse. During this experience I learned a lot about our products and our diverse working culture. Another important highlight of the program is the different skills that you learn throughout the rotations. Each rotation will require a different skill set and the possibility to use your strengths and skills to contribute to the different tasks and responsibilities.

      4. What can future graduates expect?

      I think future graduates can expect different elements from this program. The first would be the sense of community that the past graduates have cultivated within the program. This was built based on our shared experiences; we support each other and want to see each other grow within the Continental finance community. Secondly, the network that you are capable of building not only through the rotations but also through the buddy program and the Graduates Networking events will impact your future greatly. Moreover, the different departments that you can take part in will widen your understanding of finance and the reach that the financial community has within a business. The program provides a platform in which people can experience different aspects of the Finance and Controlling world. The finance graduates have the chance to get diverse and multi-level insights into different departments from Group Investor Relations to Plant Controlling. The graduate program gives you a unique opportunity to build a better foundation and financial knowledge to further your career and to gain insight into your professional interests.


      Nour Machaka

      Group Finance Graduate