What does a board member actually do? And what does a typical working week look like? At the Volkswagen Role Model Program, a young administrator looked over the shoulder of Thomas Ulbrich.
"A working day can easily last for 16 or 17 hours," says Michell Limpek, 23, an industrial engineering student and employee in the overall project management of the Volkswagen plant in Zwickau. He accompanied Thomas Ulbrich, member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Brand E-Mobility, for one week – to learn, to exchange knowledge within the Group and to build a better understanding across the Volkswagen Group through all hierarchical levels.
Huge Range of appointments and topics
Numerous appointments are on the agenda, in which the student participates alongside the board member, giving an impression of the wide range of topics and areas that a Volkswagen board member has to deal with - including a meeting with the Board Committee for Digitalization, a team meeting with the "E-Mobility" department, a visit of the supplier Leoni, a meeting focusing on the conversion of the Zwickau site into an e-factory, as well as the MEB Supplier Day and the Handelsblatt Auto-Gipfel conference in Wolfsburg, where top-class experts from business and politics highlighted the transformation of the automotive industry from various perspectives.
Starting the future in Zwickau
“This is a huge experience”, says Limpek enthusiastically about his time with Ulbrich. “For example, the visit to the supplier. It was very exciting for me to fly to Munich in a brand aircraft with a board member.” Limpek is delighted that he will be able to take a lot out of his week and learn from it. Ulbrich says about Limpek with a view to the conversion of the plant in Zwickau into an e-factory: "He comes from Zwickau, and in Zwickau we want to start with the future". After all, implementing e-mobility is an important piece of the future.
Remove distances and learn from each other
For the format „A Week in the Life of“ Ulbrich also finds words of praise: “I think the Role Model Program that we as a group have set ourselves is really exciting, it's a really interesting experience.” The Volkswagen program comprises a wide-ranging package of measures by which top managers of all Volkswagen brands work together with their employees to improve the corporate culture, reduce distances and thus move the company forward. Other formats in addition to "A Week in the Life of", experienced jointly by Limpek and Ulbrich, include:
- Innovation Lift: Here employees can accelerate their ideas.
- Culture for Breakfast: Networking at the breakfast table.
- Try, fail and learn: Learning from failure together.
- Solve Another's Problem: Better use of knowledge for solutions.
- Blind Date: Random lunch partners exchange ideas.
- Book Your Boss: The boss is booked and gives impulses.
- CEO Diaries: Short video messages create transparency.