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Trainees Report on Their Successful Start at KION

Young, above-average graduates who have a great deal of energy and aspire to an international career—these are our management trainees who took part in the first group-wide KION program. What sets these participants apart is not only that they were quick to take on responsibility in their respective departments, but also that they have learned about the different facets of a multi-brand group. The new trainees starting at KION Group in October will also benefit from the experiences of the first year group to take the 18-month program.


When they began their traineeship in Fall 2019, the wearing of masks, social distancing, and months of remote working were all still unthinkable. Due to the global pandemic, the KION trainees switched from meeting on-site to digital solutions, had to forgo longer stays abroad, and had to restrict their business trips or cancel them altogether. But despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus, the five trainees didn’t allow it to spoil their experience and would recommend the program to anyone: “It was great to be supported and, of course, also challenged for a year and a half and to be able to take on responsibility at an early stage,” says Sina Schmidt, Management Trainee from the first year group of trainees in Procurement. Marie-Elaine Clarysse, Management Trainee in the Intralogistics & Automation department agrees with her: “It was fascinating not only learning about my own specific department but also the different facets and key interfaces of a multi-brand group."

Become a Management Trainee at KION Group

Are you ready to take your first step on the career ladder with a company that will support your progression? One that will give you the chance to take on responsibility and bring your own ideas to life? Find out everything about KION Group’s Management Trainee program below.

With personal development workshops, various specialist training opportunities, and project assignments, the trainee program covers a wide variety of subjects. The training starts with a “base camp” in which the multicultural trainees find out about the program and the company in more detail. With support from external coaches, the aim is to further develop personal and methodical competencies, e.g., in the areas of feedback and conflict management. The third training block actually includes a five-month stay at a site abroad. This way, the graduates have the opportunity to get to know other international sites and to broaden their horizons early on. Unfortunately, this first year group were not able to take advantage of this stay abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic. The next generation of trainees should be able to benefit from this if possible. Halfway through the program, a joint five-day workshop is organized focusing on boosting knowledge of the KION Group, methodical training, and networking. Switching roles within the Group, informal evenings, and presentations by KION Executives complete the program. “With our trainee program, we offer motivated and internationally oriented trainee managers an attractive start to their professional career,” says Anke Groth, CFO and Labour Relations Director of the KION Group. “We provide them with excellent opportunities to develop their potential and bring their own ideas to life—and in return we get young people who can help us continue our success and who want to help shape the future of intralogistics.”

Trainee Program

During the 18 months of the Management Trainee Program, you will get to know several locations and departments of the KION Group.

The trainees from the first year group have been very flexible with their program over the past 18 months. This included, for example, staying on interesting projects at one location for longer than actually envisaged in the program. During their exciting trainee period, the five trainees amassed a wealth of experience and overcame many challenges. For Schmidt, the most important takeaway from the program was, “Never stop asking!” Wen Zhu, former trainee in the Controlling division, adds what advice she will be taking with her as she continues her career: “I regularly apply tips given by Henry Puhl, now Chief Technology Officer and KION board member, on the subject of teamwork.” The former trainees are now excited to see how the second year group does, and are keen to offer them lots of support. In October, six new trainees will start in the fields of Aftersales (KION ITS EMEA), Project Management (KION SCS), Strategy & Business Development (KION ITS APAC), Research & Development (CTO), Mobile Automation (KION Mobile Automation), and HR Management (Corporate HR). In order to qualify for the program, they had to go through a multi-stage application process: From an initial telephone interview to a cognitive online test through to a one-day virtual assessment center. Like their five predecessors, the newbies can expect exceptional career opportunities, a wide variety of tasks in a dynamic future-oriented industry, friendly teams and attractive remuneration.

The first graduating class of KION management trainees with Henry Puhl, Chief Technology Officer and KION board member, in a video call.