The graduate answered the questions of a Student’s union representative.
How long have you been working for Škoda Auto and where did you spend your mandatory internship?I have been around Škoda Auto since 2000. My first contact with Škoda was a classic summer job in Řepov’s Part Center, where I worked as a warehouse keeper for a couple of weeks. Later, in the course of my secondary school studies (I studied at the Business Academy in Mladá Boleslav), I spent every summer as an intern in the Controlling of aggregate production department, where, within some five years, I gained quite a thorough knowledge of how Škoda Auto and its processes work. I also spent my six-months’ mandatory internship in this department, later, as I was studying at the ŠAU.
After a year’s pause from Škoda Auto internships, I came back in the spring of 2007 and did my internship in the newly formed HR department, which was being redesigned. And I work in the Human resources care department till now, because, after some 18 months, I switched from being an intern into being a regular employee and I did my last semester of my Master studies in the part-time form of study. I should thank Štěpán Lacina for my stay in this department, because he recommended me to the department’s manager and she picked me. Her name is Mirka Nigrinová, who was coming over from the Škoda Auto University, where she had worked formerly as a vice-rector for strategy and school development. So much, briefly, to my Škoda work from its start till now.
Did you undertake any stay abroad?Yes, but they were no long-term stays. My first piece of experience with studies abroad was a 14-days-long study stay in Cambridge. We went as a group of 10 or 12 students with the best study results average, because they stay played the role of a sort of motivation tool and so we could go to the cradle of all university studies under great circumstances, as a large part of the stay was paid for by our school. We were a great team back then and apart from the daily studying business, we had the chance to explore the local culture both in picturesque pubs and in our host families. These 14 days have been one of the most unforgettable memories of my student years.
A couple of semesters later, roughly the same number of us went to represent our Alma mater to the German city of Gorlitz, where we went to school daily and explored their study programme, facilities and culture of the local university. These are all pleasurable memories of my studies and looking back, you see how many possibilities the school has offered you and how much did these possibilities enrich your (not only) student life.
Going back to your transition to Master studies, a lot of my schoolmates say that a Bachelor degree is enough for them. What motivated you to go the extra mile?First of all, it was the feeling that a Bachelor degree was not enough. That was very important, but it was just one of the two conditions that led me to continue my studies. The other vital and fulfilled condition was the full support of my family, both material and psychic. I owe this support and trust to my parents and my girlfriend. And my great schoolmates were the icing on the cake, as they motivate me, too. Not all of my former classmates decided to go on with their studies and some of them chose for their Master degree another school.
It is hard to estimate, but I think that from our Bachelor studies, about a quarter of us went on to study at the Master level. But they were my closest schoolmates, who with we had settled that we will together apply for a full-time university place here. What was more, the university helped us maximally and went one step further - the step being that we could start the follow-on studies directly in February, so, atypically, in the summer semester. Thanks to that, we did not have to wait until September, thus not losing half a year, which was the cost for those, who chose another school to finish their university studies.
Where are you working now at Skoda Auto?I work as a specialist in the Human resources care department, which is a department focusing on the entire operative or, if you like, executive personnel management. We take care of the employees from the day they come to their job until they leave for their retirement. Seeing that our department is also superior to the departments of staffing and personnel marketing, we also get in contact with our potential future employees. It is very important to “discover” interesting and apt people even before they become our employees.
That is why we collaborate with universities via various marketing activities, their main point being the introduction of Škoda Auto as an attractive employer, thus attracting apt students to become our employees.
The Human resources care department has, basically, five pillars. First of them is staffing, which also contains the above mentioned personnel marketing. The second is the care for management, followed by the care for all of core employees. The fourth pillar of our department is the care for those Škoda Auto employees, who are going abroad to our filials or the concern’s companies. The last pillar of the department is the care for our foreign staff, who work in Škoda Auto. These are employees both from the mothering company Volkswagen and from our concern and filial companies, coming from destinations such as Germany, Russia, China, Spain, Slovakia or India.
But back to school - you are one of the students who remember the 6th elementary school. Could you make a comparison?There is no way to compare this. The facilities are absolutely different and I have to say that the environment, where you are every day in the course of your studies, does have a tremendous impact on your overall feeling of the whole studies. Just the atmosphere that the educational center Na Karmeli radiates onto its students is unbelievable. The educational center Na Karmeli eventually gave us the vital student dignity.
The moving of the ŠAU from the 6th Primary to Na Karmeli reminds me, once again, of my stay in Cambridge. It was where I realised for the first time how important the study environment is for the student’s perception of themselves. We, students coming from a primary school building, where we had to watch not to trip over little pupils, were suddenly in the hear of the university life, where the local students go to libraries and study rooms of the importance and size of the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. This fact had a magical influence upon me and I could imagine what sort of joy and gusto for their studies the local students must feel. And now, also the ŠAU students can experience this feeling, thanks to the atmosphere and facilities given to them by the amazing educational center Na Karmeli.
But I would definitely not want to say that the Primary school’s facilities were all bad. If it wasn’t for them, the university would have probably never emerged. This means that we have to be grateful for the fact that, for a transitory time, we could worm our ways through the corridors full of little pupils, who would more often than not buy all the food from our vending machines and we would then sit all day long in our lectures and stuff our faces with crisps just not to starve to death (laughter). So, once again, I would like to appreciate the facility Na Karmeli and thank to everyone who helped with it.
Studies are one of the unforgettable pieces of experience in one’s life. Have you got any piece of experience you like looking back at?Certainly, there is a lot of them. They are the already mentioned short stays abroad and also tons of pieces of experience from school and out-of-school events with both the teachers and my classmates. I would like to pinpoint one concrete event, which was our school’s Majáles (May Rag-Day), which we managed to organize thanks to the deployment of all my classmates and the school’s support. I think that it worked out very well and the loads of positive feedback speak for themselves. Of course, I need to mention the out-of-school activities, which would often take place in the restaurants near the school. We would often lengthen our lunch break until late at night and, I have to say, not many lecturers were happy about this (unlike us, who devoted the lecture block to more pleasurable activities). But that is also a part of the university life.
I would hereby like to thank everyone for the time we spent together during my studies at the Škoda Auto University.
I worked in the Purchase Department in the Projects team which consisted of 16 nice colleagues who were always prepared to help me kindly if I needed it. The beginning was quite exacting as we had to manage our bank account and request all Bentley systems such as SAP, TEVON, AVON, B-release database, but everything was arranged sooner than we expected.
If I had to evaluate my stay in Athens, the words I could use would be amazing and unforgettable. Not only that, I met with great friendly people from many parts of the world, and I also learned about Greek culture.
My daily task was to negotiate discounts with suppliers and ensure a steady flow of orders in the internal system called Workflow.
One of the main reasons why I decided on Škoda Auto University was the possibility for extensive internships, not only at Škoda Auto a.s. but also abroad with companies such as VW, Audi, Seat and Bentley.
ŠKODA AUTO University offers a lot of options for an exchange semester abroad. As a result, it was not easy to decide which university is the most interesting. I decided to study at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.
From 10th February till 25th July 2014 I had a great opportunity to be a part of the Purchasing department in Bentley motors Ltd. in a small town called Crewe. Crewe is situated in the north-west part of Great Britain.