"A steep learning curve" Alexander Jackson on his success story from trainee to procurement executive.

How has your career developed since joining DRÄXLMAIER as a trainee?

I joined DRÄXLMAIER in 2015 as a trainee in procurement and worked in many different procurement areas. Directly after the program, I took on a position as project manager, where I was responsible for procurement and supplier quality in the project. The time as a project manager was extremely instructive and exciting. I had the opportunity to manage vehicle projects for various well-known automobile manufacturers and to get to know the Group's international structure during assignments abroad lasting several months, including China and the USA.

For the past year and a half, I have been in charge of service procurement for Central Europe. In addition to traditional consulting services, the focus also includes commodity groups such as development and testing services, for example for the areas 'Interior' or 'Components & Batteries' at DRÄXLMAIER.

What advantages does the trainee program offer from your point of view?

The learning curve in the trainee program is steep. You have the opportunity to acquire a broad range of specialist knowledge in a relatively short time. You also make a lot of contacts in the company and gain insights into related functions. All this helps you to get to know the company, the processes and the culture quickly and comprehensively. I am still in contact with my former trainee colleagues. I am still friends with some of them and regularly exchange ideas.

Another advantage of the program is its international orientation. On the one hand, you have the chance to gain work experience abroad. On the other hand, you get to know your foreign colleagues and their culture and customs. This proves to be very helpful in global cooperation.

What advice do you have for future trainees to succeed in the program?

Above all, it is important to seize opportunities and approach projects and tasks with a high degree of self-motivation, willingness to learn and flexibility. Take advantage of the opportunity to build up a broad range of expertise and get to know the company in depth. Ask questions, scrutinize processes critically and contribute proactively.