CONTRIBUTION WRITTEN ON 16. May 2018 BY Dejana Radovanovic

From mere cooperation to friendship

Did you know that most of us spend nearly half their waking hours at work? That’s why it is all the more wonderful when colleagues become friends!

We apprentices usually start forging friendships during our vocational education at the BZE (Training Centre for Retail). These new relationships are shaped by the many rounds of “getting to know you” activities in class, informative group work, learning together, and through different group activities that promote group dynamics.

During this phase, our initial nervousness already begins to fade and we quickly discover parallels between ourselves and other students and colleagues that we didn’t know about before. Some colleagues have already met before because they work in the same showroom or are apprenticing together; others know one another from the assessment centre. Because of these acquaintances, even the fellow students and colleagues who meet for the first time at the BZE have some common topics for conversation.

That’s how it was for a colleague from Hamburg and me. We were both lucky to meet at the BMZ and be assigned to the same class.

Outside of class, we studied together for our exams at the BZE, exchanged tips, wrote study notes and quizzed one another on the material. During our free time, we often did things with the class, went to the cinema, to the Christmas market in winter, or just explored the city. Even though she lives in Hamburg and I work at the Wempe showroom in Stuttgart, we maintain regular contact and visit one another as often as we can in our free time.

Today I am happy to call her one of my best friends, who is also going through the exciting training time side by side with me, and with whom I can share the great experiences and events.

This is why both the BZE and the company Wempe are very concerned with laying the foundations for communication and cooperation among colleagues during the first hours of the first day of school. That way, colleagues and fellow students form friendships that live on beyond school and work.

Wempe ensures that colleagues connect not only during their studies at the BZE. We apprentices can always look forward to seeing each other again at one of the many training events and seminars, for example manufactory trips, sales trainings or visits to trade fairs.

Thanks so much, Wempe!

CONTRIBUTION WRITTEN ON 20. November 2017 BY Dejana Radovanovic

The Junghans Academy – from the Black Forest into the world

“With Junghans, you show not status but style.” I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Junghans Academy. Values like design, tradition, trust, ‘Made in Germany’, technology and brand recognition were the focus of my visit. At the Junghans brand, these values are a matter of course, but also a daily incentive.

Once the largest watch manufacturer in the world, the company faced rough seas in 2009, when the very existence of the brand was in peril. That year, Dr Hans-Jochen Steim and his son Hannes Steim took over the company. In terms of units produced, the watch factory has once again achieved its former level of success. With about 50,000 watches per year, Junghans has reclaimed the position of largest German manufacturer, and the brand is more successful than ever in its long history.

The highly motivated employees at the academy told us all about this exciting history, the company philosophy, some simple and some complex technical information, and the innovations of 2017.

After we had the chance to take a look at the new pieces in this year’s collection, such as the “Meister Driver Automatic”, the “Form C”, the “Meister Pilot” (with DLC coating), or the “Meister Driver Day Date”, we certainly understand why Junghans employees are so enthusiastic about the watches. My personal highlight was the “Max Bill”, an edition limited to 222 pieces, whose creative and artistic caseback fascinated me above all else. Max Bill describes it as “a pure interplay of form and colour… with the only purpose of bringing joy through its very existence”.

Apart from the watches, we also had the chance to see the Junghans Museum and the watch factory. What’s interesting about this is the fact that the architecturally impressive terraced building is landmark protected.

At one point in the day, the participants’ attention was tested in a game. We were given a sheet of tricky multiple-choice questions to answer together with the other people at our table, and had to find errors in the display decorations, all to earn points. Before the very informative and educational day came to a close and we finished the evening over a cold drink at the hotel bar, the winners of the game were presented with a prize by the Junghans Company.