Undergraduate completes internship at AGRAVIS in agricultural technology sales
Steffen Hallmann telephones with a customer of AGRAVIS Technik Saltenbrock GmbH. The appointment for the use of demonstrator tractor has to be arranged. The 27-year-old then creates an offer for a new cultivator with part-exchange of the old machine – all part of the daily work for an agricultural technology sales person. However, Steffen Hallmann is not a salesperson, but rather a university undergraduate on a three-month internship in the Beckum branch. He was involved in everything right from the start.
This is a first for AGRAVIS Technik Saltenbrock GmbH: For the first time, a student at Osnabrück University, studying farming, completed an internship in sales with the AGRAVIS subsidiary. "many students do not see retail as a possible career," finds Wilhelm Jürgens, director of AGRAVIS Technik Saltenbrock GmbH, again and again. The AGRAVIS subsidiary, together with AGRAVIS personnel development, contacted Osnabrück University in order to find potential new employees. "With this internship we are able to show what we as an employer have to offer," explains Jürgens.
The debut was a success, agree Wilhelm Jürgens, Steffen Hallmann and Jochen Nothelle, branch manager in Beckum, who supported the student. Steffen Hallmann immediately joined the sales team, worked to acquire new customers, coordinated the use of demonstrator machines for agricultural companies, bought used machines and also drew up the first quotes for new machines.
"Working in sales is fun and varied, no one day is the same," is how Hallmann summarises his work. The Westphalian was surprised at how many different challenges the sales staff have to master. The extensive product portfolio of machines and equipment of various brands and areas of use requires a large amount of knowledge. The customers are mostly well informed about the technology they want to buy thanks to the internet, magazines and trade fairs. Consequently, they often have very specific questions in relation to their individual requirements, which have to be answered. Apart from an interest in the technology, sociability is also needed, according to Hallmann: "It helps to have some basic communication skills, in order to be able to address every individual according to their requirements." The fact that the fundamentals of communication formed part of his degree was a great help in his internship. As well as an interest in technology, which he already had.
After finishing school, Hallmann completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter and worked for two years as an assistant. He had to give up this profession for health reasons, so he decided to go to university. The internship at AGRAVIS Technik in Beckum confirmed for him that he had made the right decision. It is easy for him to imagine worknig in sales after completing his degree.
Jochen Nothelle sees good chances for ths student, because qualified and motivated successors are always in demand, says the branch manager. The internship provides a good opportunity to meet future employees. At the same time, university graduates can put the company and the work to the test. At present, two more students are using the opportunity to learn about working in technology companies in the Göxe and Northeim branches. Steffen Hallmann no longer has to be convinced – he already has his eyes on his professional future.
AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG offers young people different possibilities, tailored to their individual requirements, to take a look at the career. Whether for a part-time job while at university, an internship or as an entry point after graduating – "future employees are sought with personality, who suit the corporate style," is how Alexander Schmidt, head of personnel development, describes the job profile. This includes, for example, enjoying the corporate thinking and actions, as well as sales and retail. "The people we want like to work in a team, are mobile and have customer-oriented thinking," says Schmidt. "Within an internship, we offer the students the chance to transfer their knowledge gained in the lecture theatre to professional life and to gain practical impressions and experience for their degree." The company also offers support for dissertations.
For students studying agricultural sciences with a focus on animal feed, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG has a particular opportunity: the internship programme grow@AGRAVIS. In this programme, specially structured for cattle, pig or poultry feed, the students intensively learn the many varied tasks connected with animal feed based on practical experience: from product development to delivery of the goods to the customer. An individually created internship plan guarantees that the intern takes into account the entire value-added chain, thereby gaining an overview of the various management functions. "As a result, the students are able to experience the entire spectrum of the modern animal feedstuffs industry close-up in practice, and if they are interested, they can set the direction for their professional future early," explains Alexander Schmidt.