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      May 28, 2024

      From Graduate to Professional: My eXplorative journey at Continental.

      My name is Tarra Vamsikrishna from India. I am now working as a Maintenance Engineer and leading some very exciting local projects. But my journey into the big dynamic world of Continental started in 2022 when I joined their esteemed flagship program "eXplore Tires Engineering Graduate Program"….

      Vamsi, how has the eXplore program helped you to kick-start your career? 

      Before Continental, I had close to two years of work experience, but had never found the right opportunity to apply my engineering knowledge and to work on projects that can truly impact business on a very large scale. Fast forward to today, having completed projects and experienced the Home and Central Phases, I can confirm that the eXplore Tires Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program is an incredible opportunity for engineering enthusiasts to develop their passion, to learn essential skills in the field of manufacturing and to advance their career. 

      Tell us about your six months in the Home Plant Phase. What were your daily tasks like and how did they affect your knowledge and development?

      During my initial 6 months in the Home Plant Phase, I had the chance to tackle two fascinating projects. One was focused on manufacturing and gave me a chance to deep dive into Continental manufacturing methods by addressing nowadays real-world issues faced by industries. As a group project, it was a brain teaser for all of us and encouraged collaboration and knowledge-sharing across the various plants. The second project was on futuristic workshop concepts, which gave insights into the technology of tomorrow and improved my understanding of the machines I now work with as a maintenance engineer. In short, it was the gateway to cutting-edge technology in mechanical engineering.


      Moving on to the Central Phase, could you emphasize the experiences you made during that time, focusing on the projects you worked on with the global trainee batch in Germany? 

      After working on these real-time topics and the upcoming tools, we started with the central phase where the focus was on cross-functional experiences. This was also the phase where all 16 trainees from all over the world with different backgrounds worked together in Germany. This was a whole new experience of forming close relationships and working as one big team, putting aside all our differences, and building trust with each other.

      In this phase, we were assigned 3 projects: a Group Business assignment, a Manufacturing assignment, and an R&D assignment. For the Group Business assignment, I worked with like-minded talents from Controlling, IT and Manufacturing. This project is a perfect mix of technology and its business application. It allowed me to learn how different departments work together and stand up for each other to drive the tire business forward. The collaboration between R&D and Manufacturing to develop the best possible customer-oriented solutions has impressed me as one of Conti's most important principles, namely "quality first".

      How would you rate the support and organization provided by the company during your graduate program?

      I would rate it a strong 4.5 on 5. Not only did I get support from my stakeholders, but also from other colleagues in our Conti world, including Conti tech for our projects. All one needed to do was to ask and be vocal about their requirements, and there were always multiple immediate contact points like the trainee pool HR, consultant, assignor and home plant manager to always assist and guide through the journey.

      Vamsi, how did the visit to the Central Plant contribute to your overall learning experience, and what insights did you gain? 

      Visiting other Continental plants was eye-opening. It provided firsthand insights into different scale operations and highlighted the robust and advanced nature of Continental’s engineering. Our visit to R&D centers was another thrilling experience showcasing that testing is one notch above the standards and amplifying Continental’s passion to win.

      Last but not the least, did the eXplore trainee program contribute to your professional development after the program itself and if so, by what factors?

      Yes! It certainly did! During the eXplore Program we met various colleagues from our Central and other plants, which helped us build a very accessible network of contacts from all over the world. This global network provides me with a high level of knowledge enrichment, which helps me in my current professional role. In addition, the principle of teamwork practiced at Continental helps me in my daily work, as it can work wonders when applied properly.

      Vamsikrishna Tarra

      Maintenance Engineer