I am talking about Ireland, more specifically, Dublin. The capital city of Ireland has less to do with the lush meadows, rough cliffs or grass-chewing cows in an Irish butter commercial. Dublin is creative, colourful, loud – and full of innovation. This is not only because Dublin is home to the EU headquarters of companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Microsoft or Google. It’s also because of the 112 employees at Bayer Ltd. Curious? Come along, and I’ll show it to you! Follow me on my exciting journey from Leverkusen to Dublin!
That’s me and how life goes – #background #information
My name is Laura. I am 23 years old and, if you like, you can apply the super adjectives in the title of the blog to me, maybe changing them just a little bit and adding some new ones. But all in all they fit. I decided to do a gap year after my graduation, although that wasn’t entirely clear from the beginning, because as we all know: “sometimes life happens while making plans”. I had completed a bachelor’s degree in business psychology with a major in human resources. And with that, my dream had come true. I have to admit that my dream of working in human resources began with a German soap opera called “Falling in Love in Berlin” back in the early 2000’s, more specifically with the actor who played a human resources manager in the show. I wanted to become exactly like him. Even though I forgot about this ambitious plan in middle school, I still found my way to the diverse field of human resources in the end, and the conclusion of the story is that I was right: This is exactly where I belong!
HR…dull? No way! – #Innovationofitsbest
The incredible experience I’ve had within Bayer has definitely contributed to this conclusion. At Bayer, Human Resources is not as conservative as its reputation. Talented, highly qualified and inspiring experts work here on innovative concepts for “Industry 4.0,” “Candidate experience” and the “War for talents,” to name just a few buzzwords. I am really grateful to be working with different people within HR, supporting and attracting talents, far away from a boring office job. But it’s up to you: If you have the passion to innovate, then Bayer gives you the power to change. At Bayer, innovation is encouraged and nurtured in every individual employee. It doesn’t matter in which role he or she works, everyone can present innovative ideas to their managers and actively shape their own career, workplace and job. Implemented ideas relevant to daily business are rewarded appropriatelyJ. It’s really a great place to work, where you own your own destiny, with all the imaginable benefits (and that from someone in Gen Y). You get back what you put in.
Opening match in Human Resources Marketing
That’s exactly what I did during my six-month internship in the HR Marketing department in Leverkusen. I took ownership of my ambitions and Bayer supported me. What once had begun as a usual internship between my bachelor’s and master’s degree would end up being one of my most spectacular years. The absolutely thrilling, varied and innovative work, with such a great HR marketing team, fascinated me from the very first day (take a closer look at the blog entry by Anne to see what we did each day). There were so many amazing experiences, but if I had to narrow it down to the top three, they would be: Getting insight into the virtual reality project, supporting the implementation of our Instagram channel and participating in online career fairs. Moreover, I took the opportunity to meet other departments as part of the “shadowing program,” in which all Bayer employees can participate. This is another innovative program at Bayer, which enables you to contact a department you are interested in and agree on a date to visit them. I met great people, like a digital accelerator, an innovation manager, a recruiter and a talent manager. Because I liked it THAT much at Bayer, I decided to extend six months to a full year. Fascinated by the Bayer World’s variety and the impressive HR projects they are working on and also excited to know more about other departments, I decided I really wanted to discover Bayer at a site abroad. To quote Werner Baumann: “If you want to know Bayer in all of its facets, you have to go abroad.” What’s the reason for his statement? At our smaller sites all over the world, you can get a great overview of how different departments work together, such as Regulatory Affairs, Medical Affairs, Pharmacovigilance and Finance. In addition to learning more about Bayer, I also wanted to strengthen my business English skills, so I set my sights on Ireland. After an interview and lots of finger-crossing, I was offered an opportunity to go there and work with the local HR business partner. Three fascinating months would follow.
Dublin Adventure – #nevercomplainabouttheweather
Arrival Dublin, Sunday April 17, 4.25 pm (GMT +1). Usually the word “island” makes you think of white sands and palm trees, but as I had visited Ireland before, I already knew it would be slightly different! After a wonderful city trip to Dublin a few years ago, I was ready to become a real short-term Dubliner now. A cosy apartment in the busy Portobello area would be my home for the next few months. The location is absolutely perfect, within walking distance to the busy city center and with cute boutiques, food markets, great restaurants and authentic pubs – all filled with locals – right at my doorstep. The boardwalk along the Grand Canal is great for a run or for relaxing if it’s sunny outside, even if the canal isn’t really “grand.” On my way to work, I am always greeted by two swans as a daily ritual – “lovely!” as the Irish would say.
My first day at Bayer Ltd. in Dublin was full of information. As only 112 employees are responsible for the entire Irish territory, it isn’t enough to just concentrate your knowledge on your professional area. The induction program therefore included everything from pharmacovigilance to appropriate supply chain for drugs. From a customer perspective, every employee at Bayer Ltd. represents the products and the company. Every employee was really friendly and welcoming. Irish people in general are chatty and interested in others. Quite similar to North Americans, they will always ask how you are doing when you meet them – with the difference that your answer matters. They expect an answer which contains more than only “thanks, good.” But anyone can imagine how that easily leads to a very a long walk across the office, so remember to add some extra minutes if you still want to arrive on time to an appointment. You’ve entered the second level of handling this situation, once you feel ready to get rid of German punctuality and take the excuse for arriving late of chatting with a colleague for granted, like the Irish do. I have to admit that I am still struggling with this point in the work context.
Next week you can read the follow-up from Lauras Gap Year at Bayer.
This post is also available in: German