Fostering the Next Generation: Continental “Ambassadors” Honored for Their Commitment at
Colleges and Universities
As voluntary “ambassadors”, employees can provide students with an insight into the working world of the international automotive supplier
This commitment has now been honored at a ceremony attended by Regensburg University President Wolfgang Baier and Continental Human Resources Director Elke Strathmann at the Regensburg site
Regensburg, November 14, 2012.When a Continental “ambassador” enters the lecture hall, students can expect something very different from the usual educational curriculum. Because just as all diplomatic ambassadors represent their country to the world, these Continental employees introduce their professional “homeland” to university life: they make the working world of the international automotive supplier come alive for up-and-coming academics and familiarize them with issues related to practical day-to-day work. The voluntary Continental ambassadors present their company and specific products, organize plant tours and excursions, support university research projects and are involved in many other areas. The commitment of around 100 ambassadors for Regensburg, Roding, Nuremberg and Ingolstadt has now been honored at a ceremony at Continental's Regensburg site, with many of the ambassadors attending the ceremony personally. In the presence of Prof. Wolfgang Baier, President of Regensburg University, and Elke Strathmann, Human Resources Director at Continental, the new employees who have passed their first ambassador year were also presented with an official certificate and welcomed into the ambassador team. The management of the Regensburg site was represented by site and plant manager Thomas Ebenhöch and head of Human Resources Michael Staab.
“Our employees who work as ambassadors are the deciding factor of success in the competition to attract the best graduate students,” said Elke Strathmann, Director of Human Resources at Continental. “With their involvement at universities and schools that goes far beyond day-to-day operations and projects, they do not just create a link between business and education and science. True to the saying ‘People attract people’, they give Continental a face which strengthens our image as an attractive employer and helps us to attract the highly-qualified young academics we need for our business success.”
The honors ceremony at the Continental site in Siemensstrasse was linked with a workshop which dealt with the issue of which concepts are suitable for establishing and further intensifying long-term relationships with important universities. In addition, an exhibition provided information about the opportunities Continental provides for supporting especially talented students, including a “ProMotion” program and various scholarships.
“The close cooperation between Continental and our university in many different areas – from guest lecturers to research projects – opens up new perspectives for all those involved,” said Professor Baier. “On the one hand, the cooperation offers students the possibility of benefitting from the comprehensive know-how and professional experience of the ambassadors. On the other, they can test their theoretical knowledge in a practical setting at an early stage through different joint venture projects.”
Numerous cooperation projects – even including a robot competition for schoolchildren
Alongside the Ambassador Program, Continental also takes an active part in other university projects, such as sponsoring national and international teams for Formula Student Germany – an international design competition held by the German Engineers Association (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure - VDI) since 2006, where the focus is more on the conclusiveness of the overall package than on maximum speeds. Continental has been supporting two Formula Student teams from Regensburg University, the Dynamics and the Regenics teams, for a long time.
In addition, the automotive supplier cooperates with Regensburg University in the form of dual courses of studies, internships and working student projects. There are numerous interfaces in research, too. Vocational project work for students is accompanied, for example, and professors also have the opportunity of spending a practical semester at the automotive supplier and working on concrete projects.
And with its commitment to the global robot competition FIRST LEGO League, Continental clearly demonstrates that the company believes in starting with fostering the next generation early on and building them up “brick by brick”. The competition, which is organized by the FIRST foundation and the toy manufacturer LEGO, aims to get children and young people between 10 and 16 years old enthusiastic about technology and science. Continental Regensburg promotes the FIRST LEGO League as the main sponsor of the regional competition. In addition, Continental employees voluntarily supported two of the 16 Regensburg teams during their research tasks and in building and programming the robot.
With sales of €30.5 billion in 2011, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 169,000 employees in 46 countries.
The Automotive Group with its three divisions Chassis & Safety (sales of approximately €6.5 billion in 2011, 33,000 employees), Powertrain (sales of approximately €5.8 billion in 2011, 31,000 employees) and Interior (sales of approximately €6.1 billion in 2011, 32,000 employees) achieved sales of approximately €18.4 billion in 2011. The Automotive Group is present in more than 170 locations worldwide. As a partner to the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future in which cars provide individual mobility and driving pleasure consistent with driving safety, environmental responsibility and cost-efficiency.
The Chassis & Safety division develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems, sensors, driver assistance systems, air bag electronics and sensors, washer systems and electronic air suspension systems. Its core competence is the integration of active and passive driving safety into ContiGuard®. The Powertrain division integrates innovative and efficient system solutions for vehicle powertrains. The comprehensive range of products includes gasoline and diesel injection systems, engine management and transmission control, including sensors and actuators, as well as fuel supply systems and components and systems for hybrid and electric drives. Information management is at the very heart of the Interior division, which provides a range of products that includes instrument clusters and multifunctional displays, control units, electronic car-entry systems, tire-monitoring systems, radios, multimedia and navigation systems, climate control systems, telematics solutions and cockpits.