Please tell us about yourself
I am a Master student of Materials sciences enrolled at the University of Augsburg and currently pursuing my master thesis at the Benecke Kaliko AG, Vinnhorst, Hannover. I plan to successfully finish my thesis and continue with Continental via the graduate trainee programs or go on to do a Phd in Materials science.
It’s kinda funny, how life can change, can flip 180 in a matter of days“. If only I could relate to this song, then I would say yes. It is actually funny how after joining the Benecke Kaliko AG (part of Continental) life has changed for good. I remember aimlessly wandering around different cities of India.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?
Well, let me first introduce myself: my name is G Anjankumar, I hail from the smallest state in India popularly known as the land of beaches, “GOA”, after having completed my Bachelor in physics and chemistry, I moved to Germany for my masters degree and am now an end semester master student of materials sciences at the university of Augsburg, Germany. I am currently pursuing my master thesis at Benecke Kaliko in the fields of thermoplastic polyolefins and polyvinyl chlorides.
So coming back to my story and my entry into the land of opportunities called “Continental” and why I relate it to the first sentence. After my Bachelor I did not know what to do and where to go, I ended up in 3 different cities in India searching for opportunities in my field of study. However none amazed me until I attended the DAADIndo German mela in Pune, after which a compact decision to come to Germany and pursue my masters took me a mind boggling year. Moving to a different country has its own pros and cons, while you are exposed to a wide international career and opportunities, a chance to learn about other cultures, travel and explore yourself. At the same time you miss the life in your own country, specially for people like me who do not move out of ones own hometowns; come what may!
How was the experience studying in Germany?
Once I landed in Germany, for a moment everything seemed like a dream, and I promised myself to live it like one. I arranged my accommodation, insurance and travel from India, which made the first few days simpler unlike other students who struggle for the above after their arrival. The professors at the university were seemingly helpful, but even then, the first semester started with utter chaos leading me into a catastrophe. I took just one exam while I was to complete at least 5. As time passed, things started falling in place both personally and professionally.
During the first three semesters life went by like they say in Hindi “Haste khelte” meaning “a life full of joy and happiness”. I explored a few places in Bayern, Prague, Salzburg, Grenoble, Bern, Zurich, Stuttgart, etc. But, once at the end of 3rd semester, things started to look different. Everybody around talked about internships, jobs and all serious talks began falling on my ears. Some of my friends even stopped hanging around late nights stating “I have to go work early morning”. At once everything changed, the bright shining sun, the cold winds, the semester opening parties none amazed me anymore. What I now wanted was an internship to broaden my knowledge and get some first hand experience. While at this stage, friends, colleagues, warned me that it is not easy getting an internship or a scholarship, but remember? I promised myself to live it like my dream! And here I go: I started with my applications to various highly acclaimed companies for an internship, a month passed by, 10 applications, all rejected, left me dejected.
How did Continental internship happen?
But I did not give up, I continued with my efforts. I was offered an opportunity to pursue my thesis and internship at 3 different companies, but like they say in India “Yeh dil maange more” (my heart wants more). I knew, that there is something bigger than the big. Just then I came across Careers@Continental and instantly made up my mind. “This is it” I said to myself. “This is where I want to work, today, tomorrow and forever”. I was instantly attracted to the various career possibilities at Continental, the growth it promised, the support, the intern salary, the locations, the work culture, it seemed to be a complete package! I sat down carving my application just as to suit what Conti was looking for. I created a search agent on the Conti careers website setting my preferences. (I advise all prospective applicants to create a search agent to receive your preferred jobs directly into your mailbox as and when they open up).
One fine day as I woke up, opened my mailbox and saw an internship opportunity at the Benecke Kaliko AG, a subsidiary of the Continental AG. I applied for it right away as it suited exactly my profile. As soon as I applied, I had a feeling that I am going to succeed. But I had to wait to celebrate, 2 weeks passed and I hadn’t received a reply, I was literally counting each day. I even stopped my applications to other companies, and one day I decided to call the company and ask for the status, and believe it or not, the moment I called her up and told her my name, she said “I am just writing you an email”. I asked her swiftly with the lowest tone I could ever possible reach “Am I rejected?”. I could see her smile from the phone: “No, further details you may read in your email“, she said. I was called for an interview a week later, I was very confident about it and indeed nailed it! “When do you want to join” asked my interviewer, and here I am! An intern, master thesis student at the Benecke Kaliko!A contract for 9 months, a beautiful location (Hanover) and world class research facilities is what was promised, in actual, its more than what was promised ;).
Yes, I am just an intern, a master student completing my master thesis here, but I am sure with the various possibilities in store, like the graduate trainee programs in various fields, the fact that with each coming day Continental and its subsidiaries are expanding continuously to different parts of the world, I have nothing to worry. I am just a month old here, but things already have changed. The way I live, I am more responsible, more active and most importantly, SATISFIED!