A dozen perspectives on Bayer’s supply chains
In this blog, Francesca and Alexander will share their experiences as Global Supply Chain Management (SCM) Trainees and will walk you through their journey at Bayer.
Francesca: Alexander, can you tell a bit about yourself and why you applied for this program?
Alexander: After finishing my MBA, I had three main goals in mind: continue working in an international and interdisciplinary setting, joining a global leader in the life science industry, and further developing expertise in operations and supply chain management. As child of the Rhineland, Bayer was obviously my favorite and I was happy to join Bayer in June 2020 as Global SCM Trainee. What about you?
Francesca: I am a Global SCM Trainee since about a year and a half. Born and raised in Milan (Italy), I studied in Netherlands and Taiwan and pursued my master’s in supply chain management. On top of that, I have always been passionate about healthcare and wanted to work in an environment where I could make a positive impact on people’s life. Therefore, the Global SCM Trainee Program perfectly matched what I was looking for: international, diverse experience in the field of supply chain management in a leading life science company.
Application process and Assessment Center – don’t worry!
Francesca: What was your experience with Bayer’s Assessment Center (AC)? Any recommendations for our future candidates?
Alexander: To begin with, we had a dinner with senior managers and current trainees the day before the AC. This really dissolved any nervousness on the first night. The program on the following day was tough, yet insightful. In general, the AC consists of several parts, including case studies, interviews, as well as conflict situations. In the end, each participant receives feedback. I can only recommend being authentic and honest with yourself and others, since the AC is about finding the best fit for the company, not finding the most knowledgeable individual. Anything that stuck to your mind during the application process?
Francesca: The overall process went very smooth and fast. After my online application, I was invited for a telephone interview with a senior SCM manager and an HR expert. This made the interview well balanced in terms of SCM knowledge vs. soft skills topics. After a couple of weeks, I was then invited to the AC. The preparation for it was the most demanding time during the whole application process. After that everything went by quickly and well! And as you said Alexander, being authentic and showing your real passions is in the end what matters most.
Our journey at Bayer - a dozen perspectives on Bayer’s supply chains
Alexander: Francesca, could you map your road within Bayer so far?
Francesca: My journey started in Monheim (Germany), the global headquarter of Crop Science. Specifically, I worked in Risk Management, where I conducted risk assessments on active ingredients and stock levels. Then, I moved to our pharmaceuticals Supply Center in Leverkusen, where I worked as a Material Manager and Bulk Planner. Afterwards, I joined the Production Planning team in Garbagnate (Italy), another manufacturing site within the Pharma division. Currently, I am supporting the local Sales Affiliate in Italy as a Demand Planner for both part of the Consumer Health and the Pharmaceuticals portfolio. Worth mentioning is that obviously the outbreak of covid-19 impacted my assignments plan. Nonetheless, with some flexibility an excellent alternative was always found! All in all, lots of diverse experience: from global functions, to more local and operational ones. As younger trainee, you have a lot still lying ahead. What about your experiences so far and your further plans for the traineeship?
Alexander: I started in Berlin at Global Supply Planning for the pharmaceutical's division, where I was responsible for ensuring the re-supply of over 50 Stock Keeping Units from about 30 countries. The team was very welcoming and supporting, even in times of pandemic-forced home office. There always were colleagues who I could address my questions to or have a virtual break session with. Currently I am in Barcelona, where I work as Demand Manager for the Iberian market at Consumer Health, Bayer’s OTC division. Here, I am placed on the other end of the chain, as I am now responsible for providing precise forecasting numbers. Next stop is planned to be Latin America, where I am going to support the roll-out of a major IT project. The traineeship certainly holds up to its promises!
In a nutshell...
Alexander: If you would sum up your experiences at Bayer in three words, Francesca...
Francesca: I think those would be SCM expertise, flexibility and cooperation with very diverse stakeholders! Any final words to our potential future trainees from your side?
Alexander: There is no better opportunity to gain so various, yet deep insights into Supply Chain Management in the life science industry within a 24-month period. Get ready for take-off and join #TeamBayer!