Between Dual studies and Exceptional Commitment
When Jan Rohde joined thyssenkrupp in 2018, the 21-year-old had already prematurely ended two study courses.
An early failed career? Quite the opposite – three years later, Jan had completed no less than three courses and is now also exceptionally committed to his colleagues.
Jan Rohde joined thyssenkrupp after doing his law and teaching studies. As it turned out, the young man discovered that both courses weren’t right for him with too much theory and not enough practice. Jan didn’t give up, why, after all, should he? He knew what he certainly did not want and because he wanted to put what he had already learnt into practice he thought that a dual study course would be the right thing for him.
“I thought about what study course would be interesting for me and then I looked for suitable places on the relevant training websites,” reveals Jan. “Here, I luckily found the position at thyssenkrupp.” Jan applied and impressed the interviewers in the recruitment test as well as in the interview and went on to start his dual training at the thyssenkrupp Quartier in Essen in 2018.
Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration
“Firstly, I completed a dual training course in office management which I was able to shorten from three to one-and-a-half years,” says Jan. “I did my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the FOM in Wuppertal at the same time.” He also did a foreign language correspondent course and the result of all this is rather impressive: after three-and-a-half years Jan has completed three courses with the last one ending successfully in January 2022.
Today, in the Employer Branding division, Jan works on the positioning of thyssenkrupp as an attractive employer. “I’ve finally found something that fulfils and challenges me theoretically as well as practically,” says a pleased Jan who can only recommend the dual studies at thyssenkrupp. “We are involved in smaller projects already during our studies which ensures plenty of variety and also highlights the appreciation of the different departments.”
Committed to the LGBTQIA communities
Appreciation and respect are also important to him in another area – Jan is also actively involved in the protection and acceptance of same sex lifestyles and gender diversity, particularly at the workplace. “It would be nice if, one day, it would be normal to have people of a different sexual orientation in our society without it being an issue or subject for discussion,” says Jan. “However, as long as people are being discriminated against there is a need to work for the LGBTQIA communities and their representation.”
A couple of colleagues therefore established the informal thyssenkrupp LGBTQIA network – a community of and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual/transgender, queer, intersexual and asexual colleagues. “It all began with the desire for an informal lunch for the LGBTQIA community where people could talk to each other and share experience,” recalls Jan who joined the network already early on and has been actively involved in the community ever since.
The rapidly growing thyssenkrupp LGBTQIA Network
Human Resources Director Oliver Burkhard was also interested in the regular LGTBQIA get-togethers which gave the informal network a more formal structure. The network members and the HR director discussed the needs and goals of the community and how events such as the Christopher Street Day can help create visibility on a broader level. “It’s great knowing that management is supporting us and this is also a positive driving force in the whole company culture,” emphasises Jan.
In the beginning, the network only had a few participants who regularly met for lunch without an official agenda to discuss common experiences. However, they were soon joined by more. “There were only about six regular participants to start with and today it’s about 100.” Unfortunately, the regular lunch time get-togethers can’t take place at the moment because of the coronavirus pandemic. “However, the network continues to exist and everyone is in regular contact,” says Jan. “And, in the future, we will, of course, meet more often.”
From representative for young people and trainees to works council member
Jan also got involved in working as a representative for young people and trainees (JAV) at thyssenkrupp in Essen. “I ‘ve always tried to help those who are weaker (or who are perceived as such), even when I was in school and in my previous work,” says Jan. “And that’s why the work in the works council committee really appealed to me, already early on.”
After three years spent working in the representation of young people and trainees, Jan took the next step in 2021. The next challenge for the 24-year-old was being voted into the works council in September – a position with considerable responsibility. “As a JAV member, all issues were, ultimately, resolved by the works council. Now I am a member of this myself and have a much more active role.” He therefore sometimes finds it difficult to combine his actual job with the work in the works council. “But, as I really enjoy both, I am only too happy to take on this challenge!” explains Jan.
So, after prematurely ending two study courses, Jan has now found something that he really enjoys. “I am so pleased that I successfully started my job in employer branding in 2019 and also that I was able to complete my studies in January 2022. It wasn’t always easy but it makes me really proud when I look back at all that I have achieved and that I can now take on new challenges.” Sometimes, therefore, it’s well worth taking a slight detour to get to where you want to go!