Dusty legal texts, boring Excel files and your typical business administration graduate complete with tie – these are the images that most people associate with accounting. I want to sweep away these clichés with this blog post. My name is Fabian Brune. I am 27 years young and studied engineering management in Ilmenau in the German state of Thuringia.
After graduating, I faced the choice between starting off in consultancy or going straight into a company. Well, the trainee program at Bayer very quickly convinced me as the far more versatile and internationally mobile option – not to mention the wide range of career paths it opens up. And so I joined Bayer at Leverkusen.
The application process went like clockwork. After submitting my application via Bayer’s career portal, I was invited to take part in a telephone interview and attend the assessment center. I was particularly keen on a flexible starting date so that I could spend a few months traveling beforehand. This wasn’t a problem for Bayer.
What’s special about my trainee program is that I move between many different departments in the course of 18 months. Every six weeks, I switch department and sector – and frequently even location. As a result, I have already been based in Leverkusen, Barcelona and the United States within the eight months I’ve been here so far. My upcoming placements also promise to be very exciting (professionally speaking), as I will be visiting the Pharma division in Berlin before the end of this year and then Controlling and Internal Audit after that.
These regular moves constantly throw up new challenges – be it complex new tasks or a new city, country or culture. Having said that, you’re never left to fend for yourself at Bayer, as there are always co-workers around to assist you in any way that they can, which has helped me to rise to all the challenges I’ve encountered so far. And, by the way, hardly any of these people has worn a tie. I have also been able to gather plenty of experience with my colleagues outside work. For example, it was only during my second week that I went to a FC Cologne soccer match at the local stadium and attended my first ever Carnival party. I also get together with other trainees to play squash or round off the day with an evening beer in the park.
An engineer in accounting?
Most of my fellow students never even considered going into accounting, as no one could imagine what an engineer could possibly do in that field. However, it’s not an unusual career path at Bayer, as hardly any of the Accounting departments requires an in-depth understanding of accounting standards. It’s much more about implementing processes, digitalization, project management and a certain ability to grasp mathematical logic, which engineers are very good at – at least having learned different approaches to tackling problems as a student and as part of a team.
I hope you continue to enjoy reading the Careers Blog. Maybe we will bump into each other sometime soon over a drink at a trainee event or lunch.
This post is also available in: German