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Global Graduate Accelerator: Andrea on experiencing work culture abroad

Global Graduate Accelerator: Andrea on experiencing work culture abroad

Reading time: 9 minutes

Extraordinary learning opportunities, mentorship, a stay abroad and an unlimited contract with BSH – the 12-month-long Global Graduate Accelerator program aims to foster young talents. Working in diverse teams and different areas of BSH, the Graduates can collect a variety of impressions together with peers and their mentors. Today, we want to share Andrea García Aldrett’s experience with the program and how her Mexican heritage helped her to connect with the people and culture of Paris, France, where she absolved her stay abroad.

1. Please give us a brief wrap-up of your time as a Global Graduate. In which area(s) did you work?

The Global Graduate Accelerator has different focus areas – I was in Operations which includes Innovation, Technology and Supply Chain Management. 
My first rotation was in Innovation Management, working on a technology foresight project at the global headquarters in Munich, Germany. In short, my responsibilities were to identify and evaluate new potential technologies that could be introduced at BSH or that could disrupt the market. The second rotation was at the production site in Giengen, Germany, where I worked with the Projects department in the Cooling division on a project for the new BSH site in Mexico. In specific, I supported the set-up planning of this location by coordinating the procurement of new machinery and equipment as well as the layout planning of the shop floor. During my third rotation, I worked at a regional warehouse in Tournan near Paris, France where I supported the Global Planning & Logistics department. This was my designated place abroad on which I’ll go into detail later.  

2. What was your motivation to apply for the Global Graduate Accelerator at BSH Home Appliances?

I had two main reasons why I applied for the Global Graduate Accelerator: One was the company, due to its innovative and high-quality products, its global footprint as well as its values. The second reason why I applied to the GGA program is that I was keen to gain experience in different areas and broaden my international work experience. I wanted to get a holistic overview of the company and its processes, not only in Germany but also internationally, without losing the flexibility to shape my career path during the program according to my own interests.

3. Where was your placement abroad?

In the outskirts of Paris, France, where the regional warehouse of Tournan is located. In the department of Global Planning & Logistics, I had the opportunity to work directly with the Logistics Director of France.
Here I supported the department in projects to reduce CO2 emissions within the French supply chain. Amongst others, my activities included the analysis, evaluation and selection of an energy management system as well as the coordination of changing to intermodal transports. 


4. How was your time abroad organized? Which kind of support did you get from BSH?

One of the most important things is that we were completely free to decide where we wanted to go and in which department we wanted to work. You can choose from a pool of offered projects or through your own contacts.
Due to the set-up of the GGA, the station is 3 months long. The company supported me with accommodation and transportation to and from Paris. In addition, my manager and the local HR department helped me to fill out the necessary paperwork and gave me valuable tips for everyday life in France.


5. How did you experience the culture in France? Was it similar to your Mexican culture or did you encounter big differences?

Before my stay in Paris, I didn't have much exposure to French culture. However, my time in France was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I got to know the French as friendly and uncomplicated people who always try to enjoy life. At work, I have found a great environment full of hardworking people who like to lead by example just like my manager, Gabriel Schumacher. He has also played a big role in introducing me to French culture. For example, he has made sure that I taste the best dishes of French cuisine and learn more about the cultural heritage and diversity of each region of the country. It was very similar to my Mexican culture because we also like to enjoy life, no matter how difficult times may be. We like to celebrate many different occasions and just find joy in everyday life. Also, the timing of being abroad at the beginning of spring and summer was great because it allows you to really experience the city, all the events, the buzz of the big city and everything that comes with it which made it even easier to adapt.


6. Would you consider working in Paris, or France in general, again?

Yes, definitely! Paris is a great place to live - you'll find lots of work opportunities, a very diverse group of colleagues and, of course, everything non-work related that goes with it.


7. Would you like to share your favorite memory of your time abroad with us?

Well, it's hard to pick just one because there are many great memories. But I think the memory that stands out the most was the day we had a "Mexican Day" at the office. 
This day gave me the opportunity to show my colleagues some of my Mexican culture through a culinary experience. For this occasion, I prepared a very traditional Mexican dish called "Mole", along with guacamole and other snacks, which was just a lot of fun. It also helped me to connect with some colleagues on a more personal level, which is why this is my favorite memory of my time abroad.


8. After your year as a Global Graduate, you got a permanent job at BSH. What is your new job?

In my new position, I work as Change Manager Logistics in the Global Planning & Logistics department in Munich and focus on the deployment of logistics programs.
This position is exactly what I was looking for. Here I can contribute my previous experience, participate in the implementation of state-of-the-art processes and stay up to date on the latest logistics technologies.

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BSH all over the world.

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, with a total turnover of some EUR 15.6 billion and 62,000 employees in 2022, is a global leader in the home appliance industry. The company’s brand portfolio includes eleven well-known appliance brands like Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff as well as the ecosystem brand Home Connect and service brands like Kitchen Stories. BSH produces at 40 factories and is represented in some 50 countries. BSH is a Bosch Group company.