Young talent from our own ranks
Julia Caspari, Human Resources Development Officer, on the application process and the procedure for training as Event Management Assistants at Koelnmesse
What do you learn during the apprenticeship?
Koelnmesse trains qualified young people for the trade fair industry. Every year on 1 August, up to six apprentices commence a programme of training as Event Management Assistants. Within two and a half years – and working in different areas such as trade fair management, event and event design, marketing communications, customer service, infrastructure, procurement and finance – they gain experience and insight into the trade fair business.
How does the application process work?
The selection procedure for the start of training on 1 August always begins in the autumn of the previous year. We accept applications directly via our career page. We look forward to receiving complete applications, i.e. cover letter, curriculum vitae, current school reports as well as evidence of internships and part-time jobs. This provides us with a full picture of the applicants.
Following initial pre-selection, we invite the applicants to a recruitment test. The test takes approx. 3 hours and is administered on site at Koelnmesse. After the test, applicants have the opportunity to exchange ideas with our apprentices and gain initial insight into the everyday lives of apprentices at Koelnmesse. Those who score well on the test will then receive an invitation to a personal interview. It is important for us to find out what attracts the applicants to an apprenticeship in the event industry and especially at Koelnmesse. We also like to get to know them as people and better understand what they expect from the apprenticeship. Our apprentices make up a team that should work well together. During the personal exchange, we can provide deeper insight into the apprenticeship and working at Koelnmesse. Our selection process then includes a second interview to discuss questions and details. After the second interview, final selection takes place and, in the best case, the applicant is accepted for an apprenticeship.
What do apprentices earn during their apprenticeship?
Koelnmesse pays according to an in-house collective agreement. In addition to monthly remuneration, our apprentices receive special benefits such as holiday and Christmas bonuses.
Monthly remuneration in figures:
1st year of apprenticeship €965.00
2nd year of apprenticeship €1,025.00
3rd year of apprenticeship €1,095.00
Do you have special offers or projects for apprentices?
Our apprentices are regularly assigned special projects. The highlight for apprentices is the organisation of the Trainee Festival in the second year of their apprenticeship. With this celebration, which they organise entirely on their own, the apprentices thank all colleagues who have supported and accompanied them during their apprenticeship. Other projects taken on by the apprentices include social projects, organisation of Koelnmesse's summer festival, and organisation of the Christmas raffle, in which all presents from customers and service providers are raffled off. The proceeds are donated to a good cause.
What are the chances of being hired following an apprenticeship?
It is important to us to recruit junior staff from our own ranks and to support employees in their development. Many former apprentices decide to study part-time after their apprenticeship or develop further in the company. Typical hirings are in the areas of communication services, i.e. press or advertising, stand construction services or trade fair management as project assistants for one of our trade fairs, for example. With some professional experience and development, you can then pursue various career paths, for example in sales or event management. The areas of event technology, purchasing, visitor services and corporate development also offer exciting entry-level positions and career opportunities.
What tips do you have for applicants?
As the diversity of professions continues to rise, is becoming increasingly difficult to choose the right apprenticeship. It is therefore important to carefully consider what you want and reflect on where your own strengths, interests and weaknesses lie. Ask yourself: What do I enjoy? What can I do particularly well? What am I not so good at? What is no fun for me? And most importantly, familiarise yourself with the job description. Whether you opt for a trade fair company, a conference hotel or a concert organiser for your training greatly affects the activities and everyday training routine. Last but not least, you should be aware that training to become an Event Manager is a commercial apprenticeship. This means that writing e-mails, making phone calls, checking invoices and sitting at your desk will be just as much a part of your apprenticeship as working at our trade fairs and in the exhibition halls.