Interview with Susanne Wolf on the Data Science Trainee Programme

from | 27 December 2017 | [at] News

How does one actually become a Data Scientist? Not only since our visit to the IKOM we are often asked this question. We therefore conducted an interview with our Chief Human Resources Officer Susanne Wolf to clarify the most important questions.

Susanne, which trainee programmes does Alexander Thamm offer and what are the company's objectives?

Susanne Wolf: The aim of our Data Science Trainee Programme is to inspire qualified people for AT in the long term and to develop their skills in an exciting professional and, above all, innovative environment and promising market. We want to prepare the trainees optimally for their future work. We also give our trainees the perspective of taking on responsibility in their future positions. Connected and strong for the future, we promote the formation of networks and the resulting close exchange within the company as well as the long-term commitment to Alexander Thamm GmbH. Recurring alumni events guarantee the continuation of the very good community even after completion of the Data Science Trainee Programme.

How can you imagine a classic working day at Alexander Thamm?

Susanne Wolf: From day 1, the trainees support our experienced data scientists on real customer projects. In order to get to know different industries and projects, the trainees rotate every quarter and are thus assigned to different teams.

Every Data Science Trainee is assigned a mentor. This mentor accompanies them intensively through the trainee programme. In addition, there are binding and personal discussions with the mentor, which serve in particular to compare expectations, progress in development and the coordination of perspectives. The great thing about this is that all mentors have either been through the "Data Science Trainee Programme" at Alexander Thamm GmbH themselves, or they know what it takes to become a good Data Scientist. They are always happy to answer the trainees' questions.

What are the requirements for joining AT?

Susanne Wolf: In addition to a degree programme with a strong quantitative orientation, "I Love Data" is particularly important, i.e. an affinity for data. This includes the confident use of one of the common programming languages as well as strong analytical skills.

Are there specific application deadlines for positions at Alexander Thamm GmbH or does the "Data Science Trainee Programme" have fixed start dates?

Susanne Wolf: No, there are no fixed start dates and no application deadlines. The programme is primarily aimed at university graduates. In contrast to corporate groups, there is also no fixed starting date for the Data Science Trainee Programme at Alexander Thamm GmbH. The starting date is agreed individually. At the beginning of the trainee programme, a needs analysis is prepared for each trainee and a personal roadmap is developed together with them. Throughout the programme, we support the candidate with continuous professional development measures as well as internal and external training, workshops and seminars.

How many trainees does Alexander Thamm GmbH take on per year?

Susanne Wolf: Our Data Science Trainee Programme and the number of trainees hired grows every year and is based on the resource requirements and the workload of the projects. This year, we can already report 12 recruitments for the trainee programme. The trainee positions are currently offered at our main location in Munich. But maybe soon in Berlin as well - who knows.

What is the selection process for filling trainee positions at AT?

Susanne Wolf: On our Careers page you can find all currently advertised trainee positions. There you can apply directly for a position via our applicant management system. After receipt of the documents, the HR team of Alexander Thamm GmbH first checks the minimum criteria. Subsequently, the applications are forwarded to the specialist departments.

We have introduced a three-stage recruiting process here, which every candidate goes through. If the candidate's application documents are convincing, they receive an invitation to a telephone interview. If the interview is successful, the next step is a personal one-on-one interview or we invite the candidate to a one-day selection day (incl. personal interview) in Munich, where the candidate can demonstrate his or her professional and social skills. If this step has also been successfully mastered and the applicant has convinced us with his or her skills, there is nothing standing in the way of hiring him or her as an employee at AT.

Which interdisciplinary qualifications are particularly important to you? What do you expect from the applicants in personal contact during the selection process?

Susanne Wolf: Depending on the position, different skills play a role. For all of them, enthusiasm for current data science trends and a strong customer and service orientation are very important. A self-confident appearance and communication skills are also advantageous. For me, culture fit and intrinsic motivation are the drivers for a potential candidate in addition to professional know-how.

What tips can you give to applicants who want to apply for a job with us?

Susanne Wolf: Authentic appearance, definitely an affinity for data and analytical skills. The joy of dealing with people as well as project-related work and hands-on personality are further important criteria. The willingness to learn and continuously develop round off the profile of a potential candidate. Our incomparable team spirit, together with the six AT values Curiosity, openness, enthusiasm, mutual trust, responsibility and excellence - the candidate should be able to identify with these.

It is not uncommon for colleagues to play table football after work or go to the beer garden together in the summer. We are looking for young employees who want to drive the company forward with us - according to the motto: "Join our Data Journey".


Michaela Tiedemann

Michaela Tiedemann has been part of the Alexander Thamm GmbH team since the early start-up days. She has actively shaped the development from a fast-moving, spontaneous start-up to a successful company. With the founding of her own family, a whole new chapter began for Michaela Tiedemann at the same time. Hanging up her job, however, was out of the question for the new mother. Instead, she developed a strategy to reconcile her job as Chief Marketing Officer with her role as a mother.

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