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GKN invests in the millennial generation for future growth

GKN invests in the millennial generation for future growth

 August 01, 2017

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With innovative employees as the beating heart of GKN and the basis for developing innovative future technologies - it makes sense that investing in the millennial generation is key for this global engineering company.

Meet GKN’s Marlen Enders. Marlen is 26 years old and has just completed one of the company’s trainee programs. As an ambitious young engineer, she has now been with GKN Sinter Metals for seven years. Hear why GKN is the ideal employer for young engineers like her. “I started work at GKN in 2010 on a combined university and work experience course in industrial and mechanical engineering. I graduated college and joined the GKN trainee program,” explains Marlen. “At the time I was very lucky to be able to take part in the program. Now I am in the process of completing my final stage here in Bad Brückenau, Germany.”

A trainee program that gets results

“The trainee program includes four projects at different GKN sites, with one project being abroad. Each project lasts about six months, so this takes two years. It was previously only intended for engineers, but now the program exists in many departments such as Quality or Sales.” Having started her first project in Radevormwald, Marlen was seconded to Bonn and then Bad Brückenau - with an assignment at a factory in the USA included as part of the program. “What is great about the program is that you constantly see new things, you learn to work and live independently, and you find out what you are good at in your working life,” she says.

A beneficial start to a great career

When asked how this particular training program has benefitted her, Marlon is certain of its impact on her career possibilities. “Contacts, contacts, contacts... you’re away from your normal environment so you need to make a lot of important contacts. If ever you need help or you’re not getting on very well somewhere, you know straight away who you can talk to. That is a great help to me in my current project, for instance, as I rely on the help of one of my contacts in the USA,” she exclaims.

Living abroad has also helped Marlen develop her confidence and allowed her to see the world from a different point of view. “Living abroad helped me develop. Simply being thrown in at the deep end and getting to know a different culture. As a trainee you also often get to work on exciting projects that a company would like to implement but usually doesn’t have the resources for on a day-to-day basis,” she says.

Career Autonomy at GKN

“I find it good that I am given responsibility here. Of course you have to show willingness, but if you want responsibility, you get it. That’s something I really appreciate because it’s also a mark of approval. I also like the innovative way in which GKN works. You don’t just try to sell existing products - you’re always trying to develop those products further.”

Working as a team

“I have a really good relationship with my colleagues and also my boss. A pleasant atmosphere at work is worth a lot nowadays. “If you have fun at work and have friendly colleagues, you look forward to going in in the morning. You get the help you need, and no one is ashamed of asking any questions.”

Support and training is key

When asked if she feels supported and encouraged to push herself at GKN, Marlen is confident that the company is working with her to help her grow.

“I get support by being trained in things which are new to me, or which I need for my work. I recently went on a training course in Sweden - they made it possible for me and I was very pleased about that. “If I have a look at my training plan this year, I have a couple of courses and training sessions booked already. It is important to show readiness and interest because you get the support you need,” she states.

Career growth at GKN

Following her current role on the trainee program, Marlen is confident that she will sign a permanent contract with GKN soon. “When so much time has been invested in my training, I naturally want to give something back to the company.” she says.


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