behind the scenes

onboarding made easy – a dual student shares how it’s done!

Vanessa Kessler

Vanessa Kessler

Carla Märkl

Carla Märkl

Vanessa Kessler has been studying Business Administration – Digital Business Management at the DHBW in Stuttgart since October 2020. Her dual partner is Theobald Software. To gain as much insight as possible into the corporate world, she is currently spending her third practical phase at Peakboard in marketing.

In this blog post, Vanessa shares her impressions, tells us what it’s like to work in the Peakboard team, and how we made it especially easy for her to get started with a well-thought-out onboarding process. Find out now what you can expect as part of our team!

dual studies – so what is it all about?

The basic principle of a dual study program is the combination of theoretical lectures at a college or university with practical work in a company. The theoretical and practical phases usually alternate at regular intervals.
I opted for a dual study program because, unlike a regular study program that only consists of university phases, it gives me the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into a company during my studies. In this way, I gain valuable experience even before I start my career. 

dual studying at Peakboard.

The dual study program at Peakboard is divided into three-month phases: On the one hand, the theoretical phases at DHBW Stuttgart itself; on the other hand, the practical phases, in which I work in different departments of the company.
In each practical phase, I support a different team and deal with new topics. The intention is to gain valuable insights into the different areas of a company, such as controlling, project management and marketing. And since Peakboard offers me the opportunity to look into all departments, it will be easier for me to decide later which area I would like to focus on after my studies.

getting started made easy – with the right onboarding.

Starting a new job, whether as a dual student, during an internship or after graduation, should always begin with a detailed onboarding phase. After all, good onboarding is the foundation for long-term success in the company. 
During onboarding at Peakboard, it was immediately apparent that, due to the small teams and flat hierarchies, all employees treat each other as peers and with respect. The fact that everyone in the team is friendly and that there is a great working atmosphere also ensures that you feel welcome at Peakboard from day one.
The following checklist describes the individual steps of my orientation at Peakboard and also serves as a guide for a successful onboarding process.

onboarding checklist.

1. Provide information in advance: The company should contact new dual students or employees in advance of the actual first day of work by phone or with a welcome email. This email should include information about the first day of work, such as when and where the new team member will be received. I was sent all the information I needed for my first day at Peakboard in advance via our internal communication tool Slack, so I was well-prepared to start work.

2. Organize a welcome day: The welcome day for new employees or dual students is a key event in the initial phase because this is where the first impression of the company and the team is formed. For me, it was very helpful that the marketing team had gathered in the office rather than working from home. This meant I received a warm welcome, was able to get to know all the team members personally, and find out about their themes in initial conversations.

3. Assign a contact person: Assigning a designated contact person to provide advice and support to the new team member ensures that he or she knows exactly who will answer open questions and who to approach.
During my practical phase at Peakboard, I had two experienced supervisors: Kristin Straubinger and Carla Märkl, who were constantly at my side.

4. Organize an office tour: On the first day, it is a good idea to take a brief tour of the office. The new colleague should be shown the premises, including meeting rooms, canteen or coffee machine. Use this opportunity to introduce the team and schedule some time for brief conversations.
Having been in the Peakboard office before, I knew my way around the space. Still, I was happy to meet a few new faces. 

5. Set up the workstation including technical equipment: If the workplace is already set up, the newcomer can start working much faster. This includes not only the office furniture itself, but also the technical equipment such as laptop or computer, telephone or printer. Since I had already completed a residency at Theobald Software, the technical equipment was already set up when I started at Peakboard.

6. Provide access to network and tools: Access to the internal network is important and should be set up on day one to ensure everything is ready for the home office in times of the pandemic. It also makes sense to set up access to the tools and programs in use so that you can get right to work on current projects and tasks.
I also received links to relevant information about Peakboard and ongoing projects from my contacts, which helped me gather some information about the company, its culture, and my tasks there.

7. Schedule regular feedback meetings: Frequent feedback is essential for a new team member, especially in the early days, and allows for a more collaborative onboarding process.
The relaxed working atmosphere at Peakboard made me feel comfortable right from the start, and I also dared to ask questions. Regular feedback also helps me to develop further.

the scope of my internship at Peakboard.

Peakboard takes the students’ wishes into account when selecting the practical project. This way, it was possible to become part of the marketing team. My projects were varied and I was allowed to work independently. On the one hand, I was responsible for the TikTok launch and took care of target group analysis, content research and the preparation of a content plan. I was also involved in many other projects, such as social media management or designing landing pages.
As a dual student, you are given a lot of responsibility at Peakboard and are also allowed to take projects directly into your own hands. At the same time, you are always given the support you need to continue learning.

and then there was the pandemic…

My practical phases have been somewhat unusual, due to Corona reasons. Instead of being in the office in Stuttgart every day with the other colleagues, the work routine has shifted to the home office. Everything that normally takes place on site is now relocated to the virtual Microsoft Teams or Slack meeting. By now it’s possible to come back to the office as well, of course in compliance with the Corona measures, which creates a good balance. After all, it’s especially important for us dual students to learn by working closely with colleagues.
Meanwhile, I get along well with the home office, both at work and during my theory phases at the university. Since you don’t have to drive to work, you certainly have more free time to pursue hobbies and maintain your work-life balance.

my conclusion.

The dual study program was definitely the right choice for me. I personally find it very exciting to learn how a company works and how the individual departments collaborate. I also notice that I continue to develop from semester to semester and that I learn something new every time.
At Peakboard, I met a lot of great new people in a relaxed working environment and was involved in the decision-making process for major projects. So from the beginning I realized that my opinion counts and my contribution is important. I’m very grateful for the support of the marketing team and I’m happy that all projects ran smoothly despite working from home and that I was able to learn a lot.

Would you also like to become part of our team? We are looking forward to your application!

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