Starting off my career in phyto sourcing at Bayer
Hi there, my name is Heike Dobelmann and I would love to share with you my impressions of the Phyto Sourcing Trainee Program at the Bayer site in Darmstadt. Over the course of the two-year program featuring rotations in a wide variety of roles, I came to know and love the world of phytopharmacy from the perspective of my background in agriculture.
Growing up in the far north of Germany, I knew from the time I was a child that I wanted a job related to agriculture because of my parents’ horticultural business. I earned a degree in horticulture management and my initial work experience was in the seed industry, all of which makes it even more surprising to me that I ended up in the Consumer Health Phyto Sourcing Trainee Program rather than in Crop Science.
The program’s various rotations covering the entire supply chain—from medicinal plant production and purchasing to marketing and sales of phytopharmaceuticals—really appealed to me, so I applied and was accepted. This was reason enough to move from Northern Germany to Darmstadt, where Iberogast® is produced. Iberogast® is an herbal drug based on extracts from nine different medicinal plants. I spent my first year in the training program at the small, more low-key Bayer site, where I worked with farmers and my colleagues on medicinal plant / Iberogast® production.
Highly customizable program
The trainee program’s flexible design allows individuals to help customize their individual program according to their own interests. I went to the Bayer headquarters in North America for six months during the second half of my trainee program. It was quite a contrast to the relatively small production site in Darmstadt. I got a taste of corporate life there while working in the Consumer Health marketing department for herbal products. During this exciting time I gained insight into brand marketing and acquired intercultural skills.
My two thrilling years at Bayer concluded with a rotation in the Supply Chain Management team at the Consumer Health headquarters in Basel.
The trainee program gave me an ideal platform for networking within such a massive corporation and helped me become familiar with cross-functional interfaces between Bayer’s sites and divisions. The local Phyto Sourcing Trainee Program at the production site in Darmstadt provided me with the advantages of a small and innovative production site, while allowing me to get to know the big global world of the Bayer Group, too.