In his first blog entry at the beginning of 2016, Ferdinand Fingerhut talked about his career development prior to starting the program, the reasons why he applied, the application process itself and his first days and months at Bayer. Today, a year and a half later, having experienced so much that was new, he continues his story about his career stations so far, including assignments outside Germany.
What happened in the first few months?
In the first few months, I gained valuable insights into the processes that are managed from Animal Health headquarters. I worked on a number of topics within Quality Assurance, Supply Chain Management and Operational Excellence and was given the opportunity to contribute my own ideas. Steadily I was able to expand my network and I got to know people who have proven to be very helpful later on in the program. I gained experience by working in various departments and attended training courses run by the Bayer Academy. These additional training measures have helped me develop leadership competencies and provided training directly related to my areas of expertise.
Following my time in Monheim, I spent six months at our largest Animal Health production site in Kiel, Germany. My assignment was at the Solids – Injection Molding & Secondary Packaging process unit. The Seresto® collar, designed to combat fleas and ticks, is manufactured and packaged at this unit, for example. Besides supporting the department in operational day-to-day production management, I completed my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, which included theoretical training and conducting a process improvement project.
Right now, I am in the process of completing my third assignment in the Consumer Health Division at the production site at Myerstown, Pennsylvania in the United States. This site provides the market with both over-the-counter products such as Aspirin® and Alka-Seltzer® and dietary supplements such as One-A-Day®. To give me a different perspective of the Product Supply organization, this assignment is now in the Process Technology group, a support department with task areas in product transfer, process validation and equipment qualification activities. My task is to manage a project on cleaning validation together with stakeholders from the Production and Quality departments.
Which experience has been particularly valuable for you so far in your time at Bayer?
You gain incredibly valuable experience both for your career and personal development during the different stations of the trainee program – in Germany and abroad, in various divisions and departments, and together with colleagues of different backgrounds and cultures. For example, the topics and tasks I dealt with in the Process Technology department during my time in the United States were really quite new to me. Thanks to the experience I gained in independent projects and through close cooperation with my colleagues, however, I can now draw on my experiences in process technology matters.
What has been your impression of Bayer as an employer?
As a company, Bayer places tremendous value on developing its employees, supported by its strong values, development aids and guidelines. Your own desire to perform combined with a globally networked company organization opens up a tremendous number of opportunities and doors.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?
After my trainee program, I hope I can be part of a working environment at Bayer AG that lets me build on my experiences and impressions as a trainee. And I’m really quite interested in the topic of personnel management in production. This is where I could well see the next steps in my development.
Looking ahead, what else is coming up during the trainee program?
My last assignment will be at the Animal Health production site in Banwol, South Korea and will round out my program with the opportunity to learn about sterile manufacturing. So there’s still a lot of excitement ahead of me as an International Trainee for Production Management.
This post is also available in: German