Exactly two years ago, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, or where I wanted to be. After taking my high-school exams, my path led me to Deutsche Telekom, where I began a cooperative degree in business administration in October 2018. However, it was a lengthy process. This period of my life had a formative effect on me, and I would like to share my experiences of the application procedure and my first few days at Deutsche Telekom to help you make a decision about your future career.
High-school diploma – what next?
Before starting the degree program, I attended a high school which specialized in economics and business studies, so I already had some experience of these subjects. I particularly enjoyed business studies, and so I decided to build on my prior knowledge and study for a degree in this field. From the outset, I knew that a cooperative study program was right for me, because the alternation between practice and theory, coupled with the financial support available, appealed to me more than a regular university degree.
Initial contact with Deutsche Telekom
Once I had decided what I wanted to do after leaving school, the next step was to apply for a place. It was a matter of researching which companies offer a cooperative Bachelor’s degree program, and more importantly, which of them interested me the most. I attended the job fair in Karlsruhe to get an idea of what was available. This led to contacts with a number of companies, including Deutsche Telekom, whose representative at the fair was very nice, answered all my questions, and ultimately persuaded me to apply to Deutsche Telekom. Incidentally, a list of all current events where you can meet Deutsche Telekom as an employer can be found here.
What happened in the application process
Having decided to apply to Deutsche Telekom, one year before sitting my high-school diploma exams, I went onto the Telekom Career website and read up on Deutsche Telekom as employers and the application process. Applications are submitted online, comprising a resumee and a covering letter. Once I had prepared these documents, I applied online and waited excitedly for an answer, which arrived very quickly.
I was invited to take a personality test, which involved gaging my personal response to a variety of situations, and checking the relevant boxes.
Not long after successfully passing the test, I was invited to a selection procedure. This involved giving a presentation about myself and an interview. My interview partner was very nice, the discussion was interesting, and I felt at home straight away. Unfortunately, I received a rejection letter the next day, but this was accompanied by a new invitation to attend another selection procedure for a different department. This one went well, and I was offered a place on a cooperative study program in the Recruiting & Employer Reputation team. It was a no-brainer: I signed the contract, of course, and therefore knew well in advance that I would be studying and working at Deutsche Telekom the following year.
Nailed it! – So what happens next?
There was a bit of a wait between finishing my exams and starting the degree program. However, I was keen to find out as much as possible about the study program and what to expect. Monthly newsletters were sent out to all cooperative students, containing facts and useful information about Deutsche Telekom and the course. This gave me a deeper insight into Deutsche Telekom in general, and the cooperative study program specifically. We were also invited to attend two web conferences to discuss any questions we might have (a bit like a Skype call). These conferences were a good opportunity to ask questions, and ‘meet’ the other students. I loved this personal atmosphere, and it gave me a better idea of what to expect at Deutsche Telekom.
My first day
Finally, on October 1, 2018, the big day had arrived. I was fairly nervous driving to the Deutsche Telekom training center in Bad Cannstatt. I didn’t know anyone, it was an unfamiliar environment, but nevertheless I was excited and looking forward to this new chapter of my life. The induction days were attended by all new cooperative students from Stuttgart and surrounding areas. Together with around 50 of my fellow students, I waited for it to begin with keen anticipation. It didn’t take long to meet and start chatting to the other students. The first seven days were spent at the training center. During this onboarding period, we were introduced to Deutsche Telekom-specific programs, procedures and codes of conduct to ease our paths into the practical phase.
It’s been a long journey from my initial career guidance session through to the Welcome Day for cooperative students. There’s no space to reproduce every last detail here, but if you have any further questions, please write them in the comments and I’ll be happy to help :-).