Are you thinking about applying for a traineeship in Innovation Consulting with us? Then you're probably wondering what to expect and whether this is the right choice for you. Three former trainees, all of whom were subsequently taken on as Innovation Consultants, give you an insight into their time as trainees at V_labs.
Elise: I first learned about V_labs while reading a white paper on innovation KPIs. I was familiar with venture building, but until then I had only known it from the corporate side. So I applied to V_labs on my own initiative and successfully completed the application process within a very short time. At the time of my acceptance, I was still in the middle of two other application processes for an internship at larger German companies. Ultimately, I chose V_labs because of the possibility of being hired on after the traineeship, which the other companies did not offer.
Sophie: I came across V_labs after my studies when I was looking for a job in the Austrian innovation landscape. The advertised trainee position sounded like a lot of variety and at the same time exactly the challenge I was looking for. This was all quickly confirmed in the interview, as was the assumption that V_labs is a company where humour is not neglected. So the decision was a very easy one.
Jakob: After completing my bachelor's program in innovation management and entrepreneurship, I was eager to gain industry-specific experience. V_labs stood out to me as the perfect opportunity due to its interdisciplinary activities, focus on agile entrepreneurship, and the energetic and ambitious team. I knew it was the right fit for me from the outset.
Elise: My first day at V_labs also marked the start of the first lockdown in Austria. But that was no problem at all, because remote work had already become established at V_labs before Covid-19. Not just because of the three locations that work very closely together. The many video calls helped me to get off to a good start in my day-to-day work, to integrate quickly and to be able to actively work on projects.
Sophie: I received a super warm welcome right away and was introduced to the culture and processes at V_labs. Especially the 1:1 with all employees helped to ease the start.
Jakob: I was honestly surprised how quickly and warmly I was accepted by everyone as a full team member. I was not used to that in previous jobs. An open corporate culture is truly lived at V_labs. I was actively supported both on a professional level, so that I was able to go through a rapid learning curve, especially in the early days, and on a personal level, I was invited to various after-works and other private activities, which really helped me to make friends straight away. I was also able to enjoy one of the legendary V_labs team events at a very early stage, which provides a welcome outlet for the entire company at regular intervals and offers an opportunity for better, joint exchange and celebration.
Elise: In very many projects, we venture into "unfamiliar territory". We are not experts in all areas, but we have mastered the application of methods across all sectors. I have found that working as an innovation consultant is perfect for you if you have a great thirst for knowledge, because you get to immerse yourself in a lot of new topics. It's not just the industry that differs, but also what phase a project is in. The approach is completely different when I am in the conception phase, i.e. at the beginning of our company building process, or when I am dealing with the implementation of a solution.
Sophie: During the traineeship, I got to know the methodologies and processes behind the work of V_labs. From pitch decks to workshops to conceptual work on a company building project, I got to experience all the essential areas that make up the role of an innovation consultant. Even more important than the skills I acquired was the realisation of which areas I particularly enjoy and what I am most passionate about. Even if the result of the former was "actually everything".
Jakob: I was able to improve enormously in terms of organisation as well as learn a lot in terms of content and methodology in various customer projects. I was also able to get to know new tools and acquire additional skills. I was lucky enough to work on many projects, some of which were very different. I was able to take on a wide variety of roles and thus come into contact with diverse areas of responsibility, process steps and also project partners.
Elise: During my time as a trainee, I was able to write a chapter for our book "Company Building - How companies successfully develop start-ups". Then there was the coordination of the entire book project and the absolute highlight was accordingly the publication of the book with Hanser Verlag (although I was no longer a trainee at this point).
Sophie: One of the highlights for me has always been the all-hands meetings. All employees come together to talk about the latest news in the company and afterwards, there is always a joint dinner. Especially at the beginning, this was the perfect opportunity to get to know the team even better.
Jakob: It is difficult to pick a highlight from my time as a trainee, as I experienced and learned an enormous amount in the 6 months which were over very quickly. The team event was certainly an amazing experience that I was able to share with all my colleagues and which brought us closer together. Additionally, I have very positive memories of several workshops and networking events in which I was able to play a supporting and organisational role. Last but not least, I also experienced some highlights on the project side. The mutual appreciation on the part of the project team and the clients has greatly strengthened and motivated me.
Elise: I particularly enjoy working on projects that address sustainability or the circular economy in some way. In these projects, the "purpose" behind the work is even clearer to me. Fortunately, these topics are becoming increasingly important and the need for action in companies is growing. I believe that our explorative approach can offer great value in these areas, as the solutions are not always obvious and there are many uncertainties.
Sophie: During my time as a trainee, I remember one internal project in particular, which involved developing a new digital business model from scratch. We had all the freedom we needed. The project ended with a pitch in front of the whole team.
Jakob: One project, in particular, stood out to me during my internship. Not only did it introduce me to a completely new industry in which I was able to acquire a lot of knowledge in a short time, but it also brought me together with an exciting project partner and various industry participants and experts. Ultimately, it was the varied mix of projects, tasks and activities that made my internship so exciting for me.
Elise: Besides very exciting and varied topics, the team at V_labs is what keeps me going. Since my traineeship, about 15 new employees have joined and there is not a single person who is not fully willing to help and is 99% reliable (1% is for forgetfulness or lack of capacity). The absolute highlights are our team events, where all three locations get together and have a good time.
Sophie: In the end, it was the combination of the challenge, learning opportunities and especially the team, which supports and appreciates each other and contributes significantly to never losing the fun in the work.
Jakob: The combination of several factors and signals quickly made me realize the value of working at V_labs. The positive corporate culture contributed greatly to my sense of belonging and unity within the company. Additionally, the opportunity to pursue my passion for change and innovation professionally was a major factor in my decision to stay. Finally, the trust placed in me by management, as well as the development plan tailored to my personal growth, convinced me that V_labs values and respects its employees and places a high emphasis on individual development and well-being.