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Field report from a commercial apprentice – getIT
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Field report from a commercial apprentice

Lena is a second-year commercial apprentice, currently working at the coal face of incoming applications. Together with her team, she looks at all applications for the various apprenticeships, checking CVs and letters of application. In the interview, she tells us how she prepared for her own interview and offers valuable tips on how to convince people of your enthusiasm for the apprenticeship.
Fabienne Maier
Fabienne Maier, Marketing Specialist @ Next Generation
07 April 2021

Fabienne: Hi Lena, why don't you tell us how you opted for a career in commercial management and how your application process at Swisscom went?

Lena: I investigated different career options, mainly through taster sessions or by reading about them on the Internet. Lots of information was also provided at school about the “standard jobs” that many people do. Siblings or colleagues are also good points of contact if you have questions or need more information.

 

My sister completed her commercial training at Swisscom, so I heard about it from her. She told me a lot and I thought, “Yes, that would interest me, but I'll look further.” I didn't find anything I liked better, so I decided to give it a try. I attended a few taster days and was able to gain experience and valuable insights into commercial apprenticeships. In the end, I applied to Swisscom because they offer a lot of options and it's not like a “normal” commercial apprenticeship. I already knew about the apprenticeship model from my sister, who was very enthusiastic about it.

 

The application process went relatively quickly. I sent the required documents online on 1 August. After two weeks, I received an invitation to a video interview, which took place two days later. The very next day, I received a call inviting me to a personal interview.

Fabienne: How did you find submitting your application online?

Lena: Having grown up with technology, I was used to doing everything on my laptop. I found it more convenient to submit the application folder online instead of printing it out, presenting it nicely and taking it to the post office. By applying online, the process for an applicant is relatively short and quick.

Fabienne: What did you think about your first interview taking place on a video call and not in person?

Lena: That was really strange for me. You don’t hear about any other professions where a video interview is the first stage. Because you only see each other on the screen and you’re not physically there, I was more nervous than usual. Fortunately, that feeling disappeared quickly because the conversation was quite brief and the people were relatively young, so we were on the same wavelength right away. It’s mainly about getting to know you a little better and finding out whether you’re really interested and would fit in at Swisscom.

Fabienne: How did you prepare for your face-to-face interview?

Lena: It wasn’t my first interview, so I had a rough idea of how it would go. For the interview, I took my notepad with me with a list of questions that I wanted to clarify. It's important to do some research on the company and think of some questions. It shows that you have done your homework, that you are interested and really want the job.

Fabienne: When you look back, what has changed for you in the transition from studying to the world of work?

Lena: A great deal. In specific terms, becoming independent. Looking and preparing for projects myself. Vocational college is also more rigorous and you study subjects that you never had before. At first, it took some getting used to. You don't “just” have school; you also have work to manage “on the side”. I had to learn to organise both aspects and find a balance. But you quickly get used to the fact that the days are longer and you sometimes don’t get home until 6 pm.

Fabienne: If you were applying again now, what would you do differently?

Lena: I would take a lot more time and think: How can I win these people over? What makes me different? Why should I get this specific job at this company? If you research more and ensure you are well informed, you can show better why you are suited to the position and leave a much better impression.

Fabienne: You are working right at the coal face. Do you have any advice for students about career choices and the application process?

Lena: Don’t use copy and paste. You can spot right away if the application folder is specifically for THIS company or it has been sent to lots of different companies. The detail is crucial. We want to see that the applicant has taken the time to find out about the apprenticeship position and really wants it. We want to sense that the applicant subscribes to our “I want it” credo when we read the application documents.

 

You shouldn’t be afraid of an apprenticeship. Although it’s an adjustment at first, it offers so many new opportunities and possibilities. And most importantly: it’s also lots of fun!

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Fabienne Maier

Marketing Specialist @ Next Generation

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