Experiencing as much as possible, discovering new things, and learning from other cultures: this has always been important to Natalie Baral — not just during her studies, but also when it came to choosing who she wanted to work for. This is why the master’s graduate decided to join the TRATON GROUP’s trainee program.

Text: Roman Scherer

Natalie Baral enjoys being out and about. Outside of work, she loves to travel and discover other cultures. But the 25-year-old also believes that a wide range of experiences is important for her career. This was already the case when she was studying for a degree in international business: not only did Baral spend several semesters abroad, she also split her master’s degree in corporate finance & accounting between a university in Germany and one in Poland. So when the time came to start her career, it made sense that she chose the TRATON GROUP Global Champion Trainee Program. She joined the Company in September 2021. “My home department and where I spend most of my time is the holding’s Treasury function,” Baral explains.

Treasury trainee

The first two months at the Company were mostly designed to help Baral get her bearings. The trainee learned what the different departments within Treasury do. “Then I focused on coming up with a plan: what sorts of things do I want to see during my 15-month program?” she explains. This is where the special approach of the TRATON GROUP traineeship really came in handy: “I already got the chance to meet trainees from other brands during the official onboarding.” Scania, MAN, and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus all participate in the program as well. Not only does this give the brand and holding trainees the opportunity to build a Group-wide international network, it also means they discover what a day in the life looks like at other Group sites. Baral is planning to spend three months at Scania in Södertälje. “I have already managed to meet the Swedish colleagues in person,” she says, clearly excited about getting to explore the country on the weekends.

Keen learner

Baral already became interested in cultural differences between countries when she was a student. “International teams always bring together a variety of points of view, which are also informed by the culture they come from,” says the master’s graduate. “I find it interesting to get to know a wide range of perspectives.” Her aim is to learn from other people and discover points of view that she would have been unable to come across alone. She believes that personal connections are key to making that happen. This is why her involvement in the Global Champion Trainee Network, the program’s networking community, makes perfect sense. “We are currently planning our first virtual event so that the trainees can chat and connect in a more relaxed setting outside of formal meetings.”

Photography enthusiast

In her spare time, Baral enjoys practicing yoga. “It is a great outlet and was also something I could easily do at home during lockdown.” She is passionate about photography, although her current schedule does not allow her much time to pursue it. “That just means I really throw myself into it when I am on vacation,” she explains. It also helps her to take a step back and reflect after a trip: “Especially when you take a lot of photos, special moments can sometimes get lost in a sea of pictures.” This is why she takes her time choosing her favorites, prints them out, and sticks them into an old-school album. That way, her highlights stay fresh in her mind — even if life gets chaotic again.

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