Talent Stories: What the ZOLLHOF Program taught me
By Mike Klökler
I’ve always been fascinated by innovation and entrepreneurship. When I came across a Facebook ad for ZOLLHOF’s 3-month internship program, I knew I wanted to grab the chance. When I read about the program requirements, I immediately thought: “Sounds just like me”, so of course I applied. Being able to support corporates with their innovation projects and working with ZOLLHOF’s in-house startups at the same time was what made it the perfect fit for me.
On my first day at work, I was warmly welcomed. After a few short talks with my new colleagues, I was already on the job. I felt very comfortable at ZOLLHOF and liked the entrepreneurial mindset that all team members have. It was easy to develop and execute my own ideas, because whenever I had any questions or doubts, everyone was happy to help.
After two weeks of learning a lot about online marketing, we got our own project. I could not only develop some project management skills but I was also responsible for the communication with our corporate partner and the final results of the project. Ownership is key at ZOLLHOF. I was really surprised how much responsibility I got within the 3 months at ZOLLHOF. This independent way of working teaches you a lot, even about yourself.
Besides working on my main project, I was also involved in other projects in which I could support the team with my online marketing skills. I was able to contribute many own ideas and was even allowed to plan, design and execute my own online marketing campaigns. Furthermore, I had the exciting opportunity to write an article about wearables and IoT, which was published on the blog of the Digital Hub Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.
Key insight: Never stop learning!
No matter if you are an entrepreneur or an employee, it’s always a good idea to learn something new every day. Don’t get too cozy in your comfort zone and think that you already know everything. There is always room for personal and professional growth. Especially in a startup, this thirst for knowledge often makes the crucial difference between success and failure.
I am very glad that I took advantage of this opportunity. Not only did I get to know many inspiring people, but I was also able to expand my own skillset. For students interested in entrepreneurship I would always recommend to join the Talent Program.
After finalizing his Bachelor in Economics at the University of Konstanz, Mike Klökler is currently working on his Master’s degree in Management at the FAU. He has gained experience while working as a research assistant at FAU and as an intern at Daimler.