"Win a Chief Executive"
Hanover, 6 September 2007
Call to senior school classes in Lower Saxony: Talanx Board Chairman Herbert Haas and Continental Chief Financial Officer Dr. Alan Hippe are promoting “Win a Chief Executive” and playing a proactive role – Bringing board members into schools for a day – Apply by 30 September
“Win a Chief Executive” – karriere magazine published by Handelsblatt-Verlag intends to use this campaign to reach out to senior school classes and strengthen links between schools and companies, as well as giving students the opportunity to gain a practical insight into the world of a business manager. Alongside the Board Chairman of insurance group Talanx, Herbert Haas, and Chief Financial Officer at Continental, Dr. Alan Hippe, the “main prizes” also include two top managers based in Lower Saxony. Dr. Hippe: “As far as we were concerned, taking part in this campaign was an absolute must”. Haas commented on Thursday in Hanover: “We took the challenge literally that more business has to be brought into schools.”
Every year, the initiative “Win a Chief Executive” is aimed at senior school courses and classes in grammar schools, specialist colleges, secondary vocational schools, upper vocational schools. Classes or courses can compete for a total of nine top managers by correctly answering quiz questions on subjects relating to the participating companies and submitting a lively and enthusiastic letter outlining their motivation by 30 September. A Jury will then select the best applications.
The two managers from Hanover focused on encouraging senior school classes in Lower Saxony to take part in the competition: “It would be great if at least one of us were to work with a school in our region for a “home game”, said Haas. Like Dr. Hippe, he will talk to the relevant winning class and will be available to answer questions. In March 2008, the selected school groups will visit the relevant managers in their companies.
“As an international automotive supplier with a wide range of high-tech products, we are extremely dependent on highly qualified and committed young high-flyers,” explained Dr. Hippe as he outlined his personal commitment to the campaign. This year, the Talanx Group is allocating around 360 training places across Germany and there are currently some 1,230 individuals undergoing training worldwide. This year, Continental will appoint more than 1,300 high-school leavers to jobs, including some 400 in Germany.
Continental has a long track record of cooperating with schools and training institutions in the community with the aim of assisting school-leavers in the transition to a purposeful training or university course. “The school provides support for education in schools by delivering services ranging from application-training sessions carried out by our specialist trainers, initiation of project weeks in schools, through to sponsoring laboratories for carrying out chemistry experiments, explained Dr. Hippe. Both sides always benefit from practical campaigns such as “Win a Chief Executive”: The students gain direct access to the functions of a manager, we get the opportunity of a first-hand insight into the mindsets and future aspirations of teenagers.”
This is also an important issue for Herbert Haas from Talanx. “We want to promote contacts with teenagers and highlight the wide range of opportunities on offer to these young people for professional and career development.” Insurance practitioners are not the only people working in an insurance group. Companies are also looking to employ mathematicians and economists and they also have jobs for lawyers, doctors, engineers and humanities graduates – even geologists! The range of jobs available offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for individuals starting out on a career as well as for highly qualified and committed young high-fliers. “When I meet senior school students, I’m able to provide them with support in identifying the vocation they want to take up by providing practical information and ideas,” explained Haas. “We are only too pleased to offer assistance in coming to the right decision with a realistic presentation of vocational profiles and requirements within the Talanx Group.
The Talanx Group currently has a workforce totalling 10,924 in Germany and is training some 480 people. Each year, the Group employs around 130 high-school leavers. Talanx offers three training programmes: insurance and finance practitioner, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science (business information technology) in cooperation with universities of applied economics and vocational academies in the community. Out of more than 160 apprentice trainees employed throughout Germany in any one year, 52 apprentices from HDI Versicherungen have been awarded the “InnoWard” training prize by the German insurance industry over the past two years. “Our apprentices have set up a real business through a junior company (small company within a big company). The company carries out its own customer transactions and the trainees take responsibility for managing the company independently. The project allows trainees to learn a great deal because they gain a lot of experience at an early stage in real customer situations. They are also able to draw up their own annual report,” explained Haas. Other initiatives for trainees have also received awards, such as the annual “Young for Young” campaign. Trainees at HDI Versicherungen help school classes in the community with information they have developed themselves on topics such as the risks of driving under influence of alcohol. This project enables them to make a big contribution to the safety of young road-users.
“We are very much looking forward to the participation and enthusiasm of students in senior school courses and classes, to lots of interesting applications and in particular to an eventful and informative time with the winners,” declared Haas. “We are certain that this initiative will be a success for all those involved,” emphasized Dr. Hippe.