Stay tuned to read the follow-up of part 1 from Lauras Gap Year at Bayer. 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.
Training, training, training – Stay on top of things
The tasks and responsibilities of my internship are right on target. I mainly supported the area of training and was able to work independently on parts of projects. Because only two people work in HR at Bayer Ltd., the roll-out of a project means being involved in every single step from beginning to end. The Bayer approach, of viewing people as the most important factors of business success, is well-implemented throughout the Bayer world, as I can confirm for Leverkusen and Dublin. Internal and external training opportunities, coaching, individual career planning, being an expatriate, flexible working times or a sabbatical are just some of the opportunities provided by the company globally. For this year’s local training initiative in Ireland, a complex gap analysis was high on the agenda for improving everyone’s job-related competencies. My task was to become familiar with every single job role at Bayer Ltd., implement a job demand analysis, the individual gap analysis, design a customized training plan and make sure evaluation tools are used in the future. At the same time, Jairo, a short-term expatriate from Bayer Portugal, developed a different training program. This 54 year old colleague, who refers to himself as a “crazy Brazilian,” came to Ireland with the same objective as I did: To become more fluent in English. Jairo is a very experienced sales manager and has worked for several years in Brazil and Portugal as a trainer for Bayer. By supporting him, I gained a lot of experience, got a few career tips, heard some funny stories and even learned a few words of Portuguese. In addition to HR development/training, I gained insight into Recruiting, Compensation & Benefits and Payroll (as I mentioned before, HR business partners are responsible for almost everything). I was happy to be able to offer some input from HR Marketing, inspired by my previous internship in Leverkusen.
Oh, right: Free time and the European Football Championship – #highlights
Besides my time at work, carrying out my tasks and working on projects, I really enjoyed the social interaction at Bayer in Dublin. The team spirit is great, maybe enhanced by the small workforce, and it was always great “craic” (Irish for “fun”). The outstanding highlight was the summer conference. This event took place in a gorgeous venue called Carton House, 30 minutes from Dublin. Imagine once more the green landscape from of the butter advertisement I mentioned in the beginning, add a beautiful mansion to that scenario and welcome to the Summer Conference 2016! It all started with a business review in the morning, followed by market stands with information about our pharmaceutical products, a treasure hunt in golf carts, and ended the first day with a great BBQ and party – an area in which we can really learn a lot from the Irish. On the second day, we held a workshop and presentations of the different work streams at Bayer Ltd., such as Flexible Benefits, Health & Wellbeing and Innovation. By far my biggest highlight!
But don’t forget: the European Football Championship is in full swing! The Irish fans are really passionate! The Italian, French, Spanish and German people in the team spurred on the competition in the office. Our office draw fuelled a passionate interest in the results even more. Unfortunately, I got Ukraine, so I don’t need to give any more details on my chances of winning the local sweepstakes. Otherwise I supported Germany (obviously) and a varied group of German interns, students and au pairs met in the pubs around my neighborhood to watch the matches – having the same homeland in a foreign country makes things easy.
On top of that, I also took several day trips around the island. The west coast and its famous Cliffs of Moher are absolutely recommendable. Hard luck for us: When I went there we had now view at all, but the weather did change a few hours later. The south and its Wicklow mountains and former capital Kilkenny are incredibly beautiful. You can find movie spots here, such as the ”PS. I love you” bridge, the “Braveheart” road (which was actually set in Scotland, but filmed in Ireland), or the set of “Vikings.” Belfast in Northern Ireland and the Dublin Bay, Howth or Greystones are lovely places to go. I forgot so many times that Dublin is located by the sea and has beautiful, wide beaches there – you definitely need to check it out.
A big THANKS A MILLION – #timeflies
You have probably already come to the conclusion that my time in Ireland was unforgettable and unique! I would never trade that outstanding experience with anything else and I am more than glad with how it all worked out. This is mostly because of my fantastic colleagues, my fantastic manager Lisa, who always supported me and is a great reference even for non-work related topics, and Jairo and his translation app, which never worked. But we still communicated with no problem – coming back to the beginning, this application really needs a further innovation process! And of course a big THANK YOU to my former team and supervisor in Leverkusen, who supported and encouraged me to go for this fantastic experience.
This post is also available in: German