Benchmark analysis, KPI, spin-off… Terms like these are what I became at the beginning of my internship at Mercedes-Benz Group AG in the Marketing and Communications department. My first day at the internship opened up a world full of new impressions, company tradition and practical experience – in stark contrast to theory-filled everyday student life.
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I was immediately hired as a full member of the “Strategy and Governance” team in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department – despite working from home. The team is responsible for corporate citizen communication in the area of global corporate communication at Mercedes-Benz Group AG. The company’s sponsorship and donation activities on a global level are reported here, both internally and externally, across media. Classic areas of CSR are resource protection, climate protection, human rights and road safety education. External channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube or the company’s website are used for communication, as well as internal dialogue formats and social intranets.
For everyone else on the team, the day-to-day work for me was new territory. Every day was exciting, busy and challenging. I was familiar with internal numbers and information and used in cross-site projects. One of them was “Give a Smile”.
A smile with tradition
“Give a smile” is a corporate employee campaign with a long tradition. She was once more 2021 carried out digitally in the Stuttgart and Sindelfingen area. The campaign basically aims to bring joy to socially disadvantaged children from the region at Christmas. Every year we cooperate with various local, non-profit organizations, with the help of which individual Christmas card projects are brought to life. The workforce distributes donations to these projects over a set period of time.
I was allowed to work directly with project management. Despite the mounting mountain of tasks, she always managed to put the team in the best “we can do it” mentality. As a result, I never found the work arduous. I was allowed to participate in every step of the work: from the development of required projects together with non-profit organizations to communication work.
A new strategy is needed
In addition to handling daily orders, the department faced unusual challenges with a new task: developing an innovative CSR strategy for Mercedes-Benz. CSR concepts, partnerships and initiatives had to be designed, promoted and implemented in no time. It’s important, I’ve learned, to always be aware of what the competition is doing, even if you don’t follow them directly. Monitoring trends and the market, so-called benchmark analyses, are an integral part of communication and marketing work. In order to develop something new, you need to know which ideas are already known. One of my tasks was to compare processes and methods with those of other companies and derive optimization measures from them.
Addressing key performance indicators is of utmost importance when creating a strategy. A KPI is a quantitative metric that shows how a company is progressing toward important business goals. To do this, it is necessary to compare and interpret business figures from different years. It was definitely a challenge for me as a non-entrepreneurial scientist. First, I had to research terms like EBIT, which stands for the company’s financial result. But after familiarizing myself with the terrain, I became more confident and confident every day. I quickly learned that communication is not just about letting your creativity run wild. Comparing business data is as much a part of everyday business as fine-tuning formulations.
During my internship, the company took a historic step that you will probably never experience again. On November 1, the shareholders of Daimler AG decided on a new arrangement: Mercedes-Benz AG and Daimler Truck AG, previously united under one roof, split into two separate, independent companies. With this spin-off, Daimler underwent a radical change in corporate structure. The goal was and is to use the full potential of the Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans and Daimler Trucks & Buses divisions.
A spin-off for employees of the former Daimler AG and therefore a fundamental change for me as well. We had to adapt immediately. From now on, he was no longer allowed to discuss business topics with former colleagues from the trucking area, violations would be punished according to the anti-monopoly law. The corporate identity, i.e. the external appearance of the company, also had to be adjusted.
practical experience during the course
The famous economist Peter Drucker said that marketing can be learned in a day. But life wants to handle it. So it’s never too early to start gaining practical experience in the world of work. Thanks to the internship, I realized how much I enjoy working in the editorial office, processing information and promoting the concept, creation and implementation of communication activities. Since then I have been able to fill vague ideas with vivid experiences. A: Not only do I enjoy my work, I enjoy it.