YOUNG PROFESSIONALS & TRAINEES
Are you highly motivated, full of enthusiasm, and keen to deliver new ideas? Have you completed your vocational apprenticeship or degree, and perhaps even have some professional experience? Then a career at CHG-MERIDIAN is just right for you. You will have the chance to express yourself in a highly motivated team and continue your professional development. CHG-MERIDIAN not only offers an excellent start to your professional career but also many opportunities for promotion to specialist or management roles.
CHG-MERIDIAN is the ideal employer for professionals in the initial stages of their career. Come and join us!
My name is Verena Rauch and I live in Friedrichshafen. After my degree in business sciences at the Free University of Bozen, I started my career two years ago in the Group Accounting department at CHG-MERIDIAN.
The work at CHG-MERIDIAN brought me back to Lake Constance
After my Bachelor degree I had the choice – do I take a Masters degree or do I start my career straight away. I was able to get to know the company and challenges of my current job through a two-month internship at CHG-MERIDIAN, which I completed during my degree. I decided to directly join CHG-MERIDIAN. I was much more excited to actively be a part of the company than to continue to deal with just theoretical questions. CHG-MERIDIAN was able to convince me as a growing company, above all with its international alignment and a very collaborative and team-oriented working environment. I would not say that I have given something up. If anything, I would say that CHG-MERIDIAN helped me find my way back to my home on Lake Constance after studying abroad. The quality of life isn't as high everywhere as it is here in this region and it is just nice to have the lake and the mountains right on your doorstep.
I wouldn't like to miss out on the exchange with my colleagues abroad
In my working day, I expect to receive new, interesting and responsible tasks and questions time and time again. As an innovative and future-oriented company, CHG-MERIDIAN offers development potential in many areas which allow a varied scope of duties. The regular exchange with colleagues abroad as well as stays on site in the national subsidiaries are valuable experiences for me which I would not like to miss out on. I see dealing with cultural differences and getting to know country-specific peculiarities as a special enrichment of my daily work.
CHG-MERIDIAN allows for a family and a career
My hopes for CHG-MERIDIAN are that my work and my working environment continue to motivate and inspire me and that I can continue to find new paths and opportunities. It is also important to me that CHG-MERIDIAN gives career-focused employees the opportunity to continue their chosen career path with a family through flexibility. It is important to me that a company does not get stuck in a rut or rest on its laurels. I trust that CHG-MERIDIAN will continue to be a profitable and secure employer, even in times of crisis, thanks to its far-sighted company management which reacts to change.
The variety of tasks and the various areas of topics motivate me a great deal
A great motivation to work for CHG-MERIDIAN is the variety of tasks which CHG-MERIDIAN can offer me as a medium-sized company. In a large company you rarely have the opportunity to get insights into so many different areas of topics.
My name is David Schöner, I come from Stuttgart. Five years ago I started at CHG-MERIDIAN as part of a cooperative degree and moved to the Lake Constance area as a result. Now I work as an executive assistant at CHG-MERIDIAN.
CHG-MERIDIAN was always my first choice
As I have always had a great interest in economic connections, after finishing school I decided to do a degree in the area of business administration. Convinced by the cooperative apprenticeship system, I studied for three years at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). CHG-MERIDIAN was my course-related apprenticeship company. CHG-MERIDIAN was my first choice as a partner company because I wanted to work at a dynamically growing and internationally operating company in the financial sector.
My degree perfectly matches my practical work
My cooperative degree in „financial services“ perfectly matched the business activity of CHG-MERIDIAN, which offers financial services for technology investments as one of its four service areas. Along with fields of study in general business and economics, practical banking, insurance and leasing-specific topics were particularly on the curriculum. In the three-month switch between the theory and practical phase I was able to implement the theory I had learned into practice or scientifically work through questions from the practical phase at the DHBW. As I was able to go through all the departments of CHG-MERIDIAN during my practical phases, by the end of my degree I had attained a complete overview of the business areas and processes.
I support management in project planning, coordination and implementation
I was taken on by CHG-MERIDIAN upon completing my cooperative degree and have worked as an executive assistant ever since. My exciting main tasks include supporting management in project planning, coordination and implementation and to accompany the operative control of strategic decisions on a company and national level. This also includes the independent processing of concepts and improvement suggestions for the optimization of processes and procedures in national and international daily business.
CHG-MERIDIAN offers me every opportunity for my further career development
I am happy working for CHG-MERIDIAN because individual responsibility and entrepreneurship is demanded and supported from a very early stage. CHG-MERIDIAN offers me every opportunity for my further career development in a cooperative, open and creative environment.
My name is Liz Hageney, I have been working at CHG-MERIDIAN for three years as an executive assistant. I have also been responsible for the coordination of international customer projects for some time. Previously, I have studied in Düsseldorf, England and the USA.
An internship at CHG-MERIDIAN completely disrupted my career plans
After completing my Bachelor degree, I wanted to do a Masters degree abroad and then I was to begin a career in management consultancy. That was the plan. But then, after my studies, I did an internship at CHG-MERIDIAN – just as a stop-gap, really. However, I liked the work and the company so much, that, after a brief hesitation, I happily accepted the job offer I subsequently received.
I gave up my dream of living and working in a big city for CHG-MERIDIAN
It wasn't easy for me to leave Düsseldorf and to move to Ravensburg. Hence my initial hesitation... I really like big cities and always wanted to live and work in one. The advantages and development opportunities which starting a career as an executive assistant at a company like CHG-MERIDIAN offers me finally convinced me, and I have not regretted that decision to this day.
New work on a daily basis means my day is never boring
The thing I like best about my job is the fact that no day is like another. There are new projects, tasks and challenges every day. I am continuously challenged and supported. I am constantly learning new things and getting to know new people. Also, I get around thanks to my position at CHG-MERIDIAN – we are now represented in 19 countries. I very much enjoy travelling and working together with my international colleagues.
I hope it continues to stay this exciting and that I can continue to accompany CHG-MERIDIAN on its course for success and growth. I would like to take on new challenges and greater responsibility. I could even well-imagine a longer stay abroad – ideally in a big city...
Good cooperation and the various opportunities to work are my greatest motivation
As I've said, I in no way regret my decision – quite the opposite. I feel very happy at CHG-MERIDIAN. I really appreciate my colleagues and like working with them. The greatest motivations, however, continue to be the opportunities which CHG-MERIDIAN offer. Unlike in a large company, you can quickly take on responsible tasks and projects and work closely together with the management of the company thanks to the flat hierarchy and support structures and learn from them.
You are familiar with the theory from your vocational apprenticeship or degree – are you now ready to gain the practical experience that will prepare you for working life? CHG-MERIDIAN offers trainee programs in which you will learn to put your skills into practice.
Do you have a business degree or comparable qualification? Are you highly motivated and see your future in sales? Then choose the TrailS career path and learn what it takes to become a real sales professional.
The trainee program starts every year on May 1. Applications are accepted from October of the previous year.
The perfect match
There are many things that you demand from a job after finishing your degree. It should be varied, exciting, and challenging.
You also want to develop as a person and find your own approach to working life – ideally in an international setting. Finally, you want to apply the knowledge that you acquired while being a student. Like so many other university graduates, I knew what I wanted.
I wanted to get out and meet new people, get in touch with customers and business partners - and gain experience. Facing the challenge and proving myself. The thought spending hours just in front of the computer screen every day drove me to find a way into the world of work that lived up to precisely these expectations.
I found all of this at CHG-MERIDIAN – as a sales trainee on the TrailS program!
As a young, dynamic- and growth-oriented company, CHG-MERIDIAN is the ideal place for me to reach my professional and personal objectives, whether in Germany or at one of the many sites in other countries.
Knowing where you're heading, right from the start
From the outset, I was convinced by CHG-MERIDIAN's professionalism. Even the recruitment process left a lasting impression on me. It not only focused on the work-related aspects, it also looked at whether I was the right person for CHG-MERIDIAN and whether CHG-MERIDIAN was right for me. The company values its trainees, as can be seen from the clear structure and the focus on the goal of training tomorrow's sales professionals.
From the outset, senior managers are interested in supporting the trainees' development. You're not left alone at CHG-MERIDIAN. Experienced mentors from the sales team take the trainees by the hand and share their expertise with them. Long-standing experience with the CHG-MERIDIAN business model is combined with new sales techniques.
Priority is also given to ensure each trainee finds the right style that will enable him or her to be successful in the market later on. We trainees can also turn to the trainee guide who coordinates the program and, in consultation with each trainee's mentor, puts together a schedule of training courses and other activities designed to meet the trainee's individual development needs. Regular feedback sessions make sure that I'm making good progress and allow that adjustments can be made to my program if necessary.
The start of a journey
My journey began with a training in internal sales. Alongside the field sales team, this is the linchpin in the business relationship with the customer. There lease schedules are drawn up, business processes carried out, and much more. The time that I spent here was crucial in helping me to be a better account manager later on.
Besides internal sales, I also visited the other departments with relevance to sales in order to understand how CHG-MERIDIAN works. The goal is to establish a network of the contacts that I would need in my subsequent role. The invariably positive working atmosphere and my friendly colleagues, who take the time to explain everything, deserve a special mention.
Change of roles
There are also visits to customers in parallel with the time spent in the various departments. Meetings with new and existing customers, contract negotiations, and presentations – with key decision-makers from industry always in attendance – mean that every day presents a new challenge. Having started out in an observational role, I am taking an ever greater part in the discussions as the trainee program progresses. Mentors increasingly let their trainees fend for themselves but always remain on hand to help or intervene if necessary. I also have to make cold calls, try to arrange meetings and establish my first relationships with customers and business partners. This is a real challenge, even after the training sessions at the inhouse academy, but it gets more and more fun with each telephone call I make!
I'm now half way through the trainee program and, looking back, I can say that I have made a great deal of progress, both in my job and personally.
The coming months will be exciting as I increasingly grow into my role of an account manager. I am also due to spend time in one of CHG-MERIDIAN's international subsidiaries in a few months' time.
For me, the TrailS program at CHG-MERIDIAN is anything but boring!
Where and how should my career path begin?
I decided early on that I wanted to work in sales and stay in Berlin. My degree apprenticeship had already introduced me to the basic theory and given me some initial hands-on experience of what it was like to work in sales. With that in mind, I began to look for a suitable job. I knew, however, that I wasn't ready to jump right in as I didn't yet have the necessary skills. So I decided to look for trainee positions and found a job advert at CHG-MERIDIAN on a recruitment website. The position as a sales trainee appealed to me straight away. The opportunity to work in IT and the content covered by the program convinced me to send off my application to CHG-MERIDIAN.
I heard back relatively quickly that I had made it into the selection process and I then had a first telephone interview. Here too, I was impressed with CHG-MERIDIAN because of its focus on ensuring candidates had both the right personality and the right skills.
The positive impression seemed to be mutual and, after completing an initial online assessment, I was invited to attend an assessment center at the headquarters in Weingarten.
Perfectly organized, from recruitment through to induction
The two-day assessment center was something I hadn't experienced before. But yet again, I was impressed by CHG-MERIDIAN, firstly because it spent plenty of time closely observing and assessing the candidates and secondly because we were able to gain a detailed picture of CHG-MERIDIAN, its business model, and our potential colleagues.
This picture was what ultimately convinced me that I had applied to the right company. You could see that team spirit was a priority and actually put into practice and that the company really was a kind of 'extended family' where everyone can rely on each other. Not least, I noticed the emphasis that CHG-Meridian puts on people when we were invited to dinner with the regional managers and our potential line managers. This gave us another chance to have one-on-one discussions – outside the setting of the assessment center. All in all, I thought the assessment center was very good, making my wish to launch my career as a salesperson at CHG-MERIDIAN all the stronger.
And this wish came true. Two weeks later, I received a call to say that I had been accepted as a sales trainee at CHG-MERIDIAN. I was delighted with the news – as were my friends and family!
My first day began with a kick-off event for the new trainees at the headquarters in Weingarten. We were given another introduction to the CHG-MERIDIAN business model and provided with the basic information that we would need for our day-to-day work. Later, the trainees and all the other new employees at CHG-MERIDIAN were invited to a start-up seminar at which the various departments introduced themselves and we took part in various workshops to give us a more detailed understanding of the company's processes and solutions.
A fully fledged member from day one
I spent the first phase of the program in internal sales, at my assigned branch of Berlin. I remained there for three months, acquiring the fundamental skills that I would later need to work efficiently and effectively as a salesperson. After all, internal sales acts almost like an interface to all departments at CHG-MERIDIAN that are relevant to sales. My colleagues, too, are incredibly friendly and helpful. From the start, they made me feel welcome and gave me a structured induction, enabling me to carry out tasks in some areas by myself after a while. They also made sure that I was always focused on sales and got to experience more than just internal sales. Even at this stage, I could see that the whole program – although partly divided into different phases – was completely integrated and the overarching aim was to produce a fully trained salesperson. This was also the case when I spent a month at headquarters working in all the departments so that I could get to know the people and processes better that I would be dealing with on a day-to-day basis later on.
Following my time in internal sales and all the other departments, I embarked on the sales phase. I was assigned a mentor, an experienced salesperson from the team who keeps an eye on me and lends me a hand in challenging situations.
Not least, various sales training courses at the company's inhouse academy ensured that we were also equipped with the theoretical knowledge for our time in sales. The training courses benefited me a great deal! They were professional and very practice-oriented, and I really learned a lot of things that I still use today in sales.
After my first few weeks in sales and equipped with the knowledge from the training courses, I began to work on winning new customers. Thanks to the thorough preparations, I was able to arrange a number of initial meetings and attend customer meetings with my mentor. Right from the first meeting, he has given me the freedom to experience things for myself and thus to develop as a salesperson. Whenever I have been stuck, he has always supported me. He and my other sales colleagues have often taken me along to their meetings so that I can learn from their wealth of experience. This gives me the chance to learn about the various aspects of sales and to see the different approaches that salespeople take in their everyday work. This means I can acquire the tools that work well for me and will help me to find my own personal style of selling. After a few months, I even felt confident enough to meet with customers on my own. I am given the space I need to develop my potential and organize my day-to-day business for myself.
A company with the feel-good factor
Applying for a sales trainee position at CHG-MERIDIAN was definitely the right decision for me. From the first contact through to today, I have been made to feel very welcome both in the CHG-MERIDIAN team and in the team at my branch office. And, I feel like a part of the team. If someone has the opportunity to start their career at CHG-MERIDIAN, particularly on the trainee program, I would certainly recommend that they take it. I am still delighted that this chance was offered to me and that I can help CHG-MERIDIAN through my work.
My experience as a trainee at CHG-MERIDIAN began not with my first day of work but at the assessment center. Having studied innovation management abroad, I was particularly keen to work in an international environment at a company with flexibility, innovative strength, and respect for employees. These reasons led me to apply to CHG-MERIDIAN. Ultimately I can say that no other company and no other assessment center have made me feel so personally respected as CHG-MERIDIAN. The company showed such a strong interest in the person behind the résumé. It was repeatedly emphasized the need of a good fit between company and employees and that both sides needed to feel comfortable. At the assessment center, we were asked to be ourselves, to behave as we really were, as this was the only way to make sure that everyone was happy with each other. I had a feeling it had gone well and that I would be able to learn a lot here, so I was really pleased to be accepted.
After a few weeks, my first day of work finally arrived. We trainees got to know each other and also many of the company's employees. At the headquarters we received all the information and equipment we required and our trainee guide briefly introduced us in all the departments and explained us the most important to be able to start. He really helped us to have a good start and to tackle the first little administrative hurdles.
Afterwards, we went straight to our assigned sites, in my case Munich, where I began working in internal sales for three months. The goal at this stage was to understand the business processes and to get a better idea of what it means to work in sales. I also took part in customer projects from the very beginning, where I could actively participate providing my opinion. Moreover, my colleagues in external sales took me along with them to experience my first meetings with customers and, at subsequent meetings, they let me present the first solution areas to customers.
But what is it that you're actually presenting? What exactly does CHG-MERIDIAN do and what makes it so special?
CHG-MERIDIAN's core business is IT project finance and it has been established in this market since 1979. Because of its non-captive status, i.e. its lack of ties to particular manufacturers and banks, it is able to provide neutral advice for every customer situation. This makes customers feel that they are in good hands. But today, the requirements are no longer simply financial; processes and customer service are also important. That is why CHG-MERIDIAN forms the link between the worlds of IT and finance. This means that our customers not only get full cost control and cost transparency, they also know where their equipment is located, to which cost center it is assigned, what the agreed service levels are, and what hardware is installed in their equipment. This one-stop solution represents a unique selling proposition in the market. At the same time, CHG-MERIDIAN remains flexible at all times and develops a made-to-measure solution for each customer.
To make sure that we fully understood the business, the company's in-house academy regularly offered us training courses - e.g. on mathematical finance, successful sales pitches, and presentation techniques - so that we were able to advance ourselves at both a theoretical and a practical level. They often made videos of us during the courses so that we could see ourselves in various situations. This perspective especially helped me to reflect on myself, and also to improve myself.
After the period in internal sales, things really got going for us in the new year. We started working directly in our future department and had the chance to prove ourselves. Specifically, that meant making cold calls, preparing, attending, and following up meetings with customers, writing quotations, and talking to customers. All of this makes it clear whether the position that you are aiming to take up matches your expectations.
At the same time, the trainee program always made sure that trainees have the best possible understanding of the company as a whole by constantly switching between ´on-the-job´ and 'off-the-job' training. This meant visiting the individual departments in Weingarten from time to time, starting with the mail department then on to contract management, service design, service delivery, invoicing, financial accounting, tax, and the legal department. Now and then, we also attended training courses on various topics, such as business etiquette, an important topic since people who have contact with customers need to know how to conduct themselves. Visiting various departments was a chance for us to get to know the relevant points of contact within the company and to put names to faces. You learn that, particularly in sales, you need to establish a network of contacts, both internally and externally, in order to be successful. That is why CHG-MERIDIAN's program aims at preparing trainees both in the internal and external sales areas, to ensure that, when the trainees are finally thrown in at the deep end after the training period, it's not too much of a shock. And that's not all! The Management Board also finds time for the trainees. We have a 'management attention' day with each board member during which they spend a whole day with us discussing and presenting challenges, strategies, and visions.
This is exactly why the graduate trainee program is a great way of developing yourself and furthering your career. I think there are very few employers left nowadays that offer such a steep learning curve and give young employees a great deal of responsibility, while having a lot of fun in a fantastic team. If this is just what you're looking for, then grab this opportunity and become a sales trainee at CHG-MERIDIAN!
YOUR FIRST JOB IS A BIG DEAL
Let's be honest, graduates typically have specific ideas about what they want their first employers to look like, as well as the direction they want their careers to take. "Soft facts" like employer branding, corporate culture, and Facebook posts are equally important as "hard facts" like working hours, salary, and job profile.
Luckily, I knew exactly what I was looking for! I wanted an employer who would both challenge and support me, one who'd finally give me the chance to put all my theoretical university knowledge to practice and find out what I was capable of. I wanted to push myself and test my own boundaries.
CHG-MERIDIAN WON ME OVER
Why? Simple: from Day One, I had the feeling that both the company and its Trainee Program were an excellent fit for me, and vice-versa. Not just that I fit the candidate profile in their job posting, but I also identified with the company culture.
Our Trainee Guide, Jan, was my most important contact person. Jan not only welcomes new trainees and introduces them to the company during the first week, but also coordinates the whole trainee program. Personally, I can say that he was always there for me with help and advice and that's really worth a lot!
JUMPING OFF THE DEEP END
Launching a successful career in sales means more than just learning essential sales-related skills and abilities. It's also about understanding the machinery behind it all and developing an eye for the bigger picture. CHG-MERIDIAN's Trainee Program seamlessly combines the theoretical and professional components of successful career preparation.
Targeted on-the-job training lays a solid foundation of professional expertise by taking participants through every administrative department that plays a role in sales work. Joining the Internal Sales team for the first time is especially challenging, just like jumping off the deep end! Business transactions, offer calculations, customer contact, operating systems, and a ton of CRM. After picking up the fundamentals, it's off to the Service Design and Service Delivery departments. This means managing customer projects independently and responsibly, working out solutions, and advising customers and account managers in-house. Sounds like a challenge, right? And it is!
MANAGEMENT ATTENTION: MEETING THE BOARD
What's more, CHG-MERIDIAN wouldn't be CHG-MERIDIAN if they didn't place at least as much importance on off-the-job training. Our in-house Academy organizes and designs training and continuing education courses that naturally complement practical sales experience.
For me personally, it was important to have a constant contact person who would keep me on the right track as I was learning all my new responsibilities. My assigned mentor was extremely valuable to me, as well as the regular feedback discussions with my direct supervisors and trainers in each of the different departments I visited.
Management Attention days were particular highlights of the Trainee program, where every member of the Executive Board took the time to meet trainees like me. Of course, it involved a few new challenges as well— beginning with the tasks we had to complete and later present in meetings. But it truly was an exciting and engaging experience to work side-by-side with the Chief Sales Officer during the igloo-building workshop.
TRAILS, A FUNDAMENTAL BASIS FOR A SALES CAREER
All in all, CHG-MERIDIAN's Sales Trainee program gives young people the opportunity to gain a great deal of theoretical knowledge and practical experience in a short amount of time, helping them develop into genuine sales professionals. It's the basis for a successful career!
I fully took advantage of that opportunity. Knowing that personal development would be the foundation to my professional future, I accepted the Sales Trainee challenge. Will you accept it, too?
As I was getting ready to start my career, there were a few things I knew I wanted my day-to-day work life to involve. I wanted a job in sales because I'd always enjoyed working with customers directly. But, I also felt the need to really get to know a company before I could start speaking to customers as its representative. In terms of my new employer, my most important criteria were customer-oriented growth, staff development, and a global perspective.
THE ASSESSMENT CENTER LEFT A LASTING IMPRESSION
The remarkable appearance of the CHG-MERIDIAN headquarters in Weingarten is impressive even at a distance. At the Assessment Center, the CHG-MERIDIAN staff left a lasting impression on me as well — not only through what they said when introducing the company and its TrailS Trainee Program, but through the overall organization of the Assessment Center. Even though the tests, exercises and conversations were mainly designed to help them find suitable candidates, the atmosphere was still relaxed. After everything I experienced during those two days, how could I not want to become one of the select few trainees?
A WARM WELCOME AT MY CHOSEN LOCATION
My joy upon being accepted only increased as I arrived in Baden (Canton of Aargau), Switzerland, my top location choice from the beginning. After being warmly welcomed and shown around, I officially began my trainee program working for the Internal Sales department. That was in October 2013; in January 2014, I began moving to different departments, getting to know both the staff and the CHG-MERIDIAN business processes. Most company departments are based at the Weingarten headquarters, therefore the time spent there as a trainee helped me gain a comprehensive understanding of the organization. Trainees rotate through various departments, depending on how relevant each will be to their future sales work. In some cases, a general understanding of a department's activities and responsibilities is sufficient; other times, I got to play an active and responsible role in their day-to-day operations and assist with customer projects.
THE TRAINEE GUIDE AS FIRST CONTACT
A Trainee Guide accompanies all the trainees throughout the entire TrailS program, serving as a contact person for any trainee-related issues. The Trainee Guide always places importance on the exchange of feedback—which allows me, as a trainee to understand what I still need to work on, while also providing the opportunity to make suggestions on how to better the Trainee Program. The program also includes regular supplementary IT and sales training courses, run by either CHG-MERIDIAN employees and sales reps or external trainers. In addition, regular meetings and events help trainees maintain their connection to their chosen branch location. To help trainees progressively work their way into CHG sales life, the program introduces the customer acquisition process in their area. The trainee will then begin to accompany experienced sales staff to increasingly more customer meetings.
STAFF IS ALWAYS OPEN AND HELPFUL
Back in Weingarten, acclimating didn't take long. For one thing, all trainees are in the same boat, so they naturally gravitate toward one another. In addition, the Weingarten team is very open and helpful not only when it comes to finding your way around the office, but also Weingarten and Ravensburg. Luckily, there's no lack of interesting sports and cultural opportunities in the area.
FOREIGN EXPERIENCE IN PARIS
The time you spend abroad is a perfect way to get a sense of the broader international picture. Trainees have the opportunity to indicate which country they'd prefer to visit; I made my selection based on my language skills and project capacities of different branch offices. Starting in January 2015, I'll be spending three months at the French office in Paris, which will help me prepare for the French portion of the Swiss market. Of course, I'm completely optimistic that I'll be greeted with the same welcoming atmosphere in France as in Weingarten and Baden.
Have you completed your banking traineeship or business degree? Are you interested in working with corporate clients, or do you already have some experience in financing for businesses? As a fast-growing company we are looking for committed individuals who want to learn about our business model from the ground up and work on credit decisions and financing solutions.
If you would like more information about starting your career at CHG-MERIDIAN or about our trainee programs, please get in touch.