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Patricia Schiel

Communications trainee

"As a child, I wanted to be a journalist because I liked telling stories. But it's a mistake to suppose that it's only authors and journalists who discover stories and put them on paper. thyssenkrupp has everything that you need to make a story: heroes, settings and developments."

My job: Recounting stories

From a young age I wanted to write and tell stories – and what better choice could there be than studying journalism and PR? So that's what I did, at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen. I also took Management at Kingston University in London. I joined thyssenkrupp AG in Essen in 2015 as a communications trainee.  

My challenges

It's important to be transparent in corporate communications. That also means ensuring that all of our communication can be understood by our stakeholders, and is relevant to all of them. Whether it's clients, the media, politics, co-workers, applicants or investors: Every target group wishes to be addressed individually via their preferred channels. Although we work less with figures than other departments, the details certainly still matter. Getting the right tone and achieving the sensitivity required in communication is the detail work that we do.

My typical working day

There's no such thing as a typical working day for me as a trainee. I'm spending two years getting to know the various communications departments in the company as well as the business areas. I provide my colleagues with support wherever there's something to be learned, and wherever help is needed. Sometimes that means communicating with the Facebook community, sometimes it's preparing press events or even an article for our employee magazine "we".

Our tagline is "engineering. tomorrow. together.". For me, "together" means...

...being inspired by colleagues to think of new ideas, and being supported by colleagues in implementing them! There are colleagues in the Regional Headquarters and business segments whose tasks mirror your own, and with whom you can collaborate very well, even across borders.  This makes you think of things you might not have come up with sitting alone at your desk, and certainly wouldn't have been able to implement without help. And so you always end up sort of "together" in workflows – and that's a fantastic feeling.

Realizing your potential, having fun and being happy

It's just not true that only Google and similar companies make crazy products. Contrary to initial impressions, extraordinary projects are also in the works at corporate groups that are 200 years old. Let me tell you about my first day: "In summer, you can travel around the world with film students for three months, collecting film material at our sites." This project, "Around the World" became my baby and was probably the most exciting project of my career to date (https://engineered.thyssenkrupp.com/en/around-the-world-traveling-to-the-tinkerers-and-technologies-of-thyssenkrupp/). There are 1001 ways to be happy at thyssenkrupp. Other departments, countries or roles – you can take the path that is already set out. Or you can be a trailblazer. For example, one of my colleagues is a professional athlete and Olympic gold medalist in field hockey. While most of his sports teammates are not able to hold an everyday job, but he has a completely individual contract with us that enables him to combine sport and career.

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