Imagine two frogs in a bucket of milk. One frog is the pessimist and one the optimist. The pessimist moans “I’ll never get out of here anyway!” and drowns in the milk. The optimist, on the other hand, thrashes around for so long that the milk is churned into solid butter and he leaps to safety. Do you have a particular career goal? Take a leaf out of the frog’s book and start churning! I’d like to tell you why I can write this with the utmost conviction, despite being only 27.
Since my first internship in the Communications department of a DAX-listed company, this sector has been my dream career. But why? I like the mix of creativity, variety, strategic thinking and empathy for a wide range of stakeholders. I’m now in the second year of my traineeship and enjoy every day. I talk to people from all over the world on a daily basis, learn about a wide range of subjects and develop all the time.
Continuous development, including from a technical perspective, is essential to communication, as my department in the Bayer holding company, “Corporate Brand, Communications and Government Relations”, prepares the key corporate messages and formulates content for the entire Group. My colleagues and I ensure the company speaks with one voice throughout the world. Did you know it took television 13 years to reach 50 million viewers? Facebook managed this in just three. Bayer, too, is harnessing the wide reach of social media, which thankfully have become an indispensable part of everyday communication.
Traineeship Part I: Social Media and Executive Support
The first section of my traineeship is Social Media and Executive Support. But of course it’s not just about Facebook. Day-to-day life with my team is a colorful array of interesting tasks and challenges, ranging from the communication strategy for Bayer AG’s global Twitter account and live reporting of Bayer events to daily interaction with international journalists, farmers, medical experts, employees etc. on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ and online dialog with critics that can be viewed throughout the world.
Traineeship Part II: Public Policy and Environment
No less exciting is the second area of my traineeship – Public Policy and Environment. Here, the focus is on Bayer’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Among other things, my team and I communicate the activities of the Bayer foundations. Disaster aid from the Bayer Cares Foundation was used for several reconstruction projects in the Philippines following the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, for example. My press release on this topic can be found here.
All areas are naturally closely interlinked, with my duties also including redesigning the corporate social responsibility (CSR) online presence and the CSR strategy for our social media.
What happened before
I completed my bachelor’s degree in Language and Communication and Business Administration at the University of Siegen in 2011. As it happens, I wrote my thesis on Twitter as a valuable channel for corporate communications and analyzed the 140-character medium’s unique economy of language.
Following my thesis, I began my Bayer story in Leverkusen. This was a path I continued to pursue with an internship in Human Resources, as I developed a social media strategy for marketing of training. After a number of master’s seminars in Professional Communications, also at the University of Siegen, further communications internships and around 1½ years at an agency alongside the master’s, I had the opportunity at the end of 2013 to start the traineeship at Bayer.
Finally, I can only urge you once again to be the optimistic frog. It’s worth it. 🙂