Airbus is a joint partnership between European countries with 55.000 employees worldwide from more than 100 nationalities. The biggest manufacturing sites are in England, Germany and France. I did my internship at the AIRBUS headquarters in Toulouse which is with more than 20.000 employees the biggest AIRBUS site.
My personal experience, working for the world’s leading commercial aircraft manufacturer among all these different nationalities, was a very enriching one. The corporate language at Airbus is English. Consequently, a decent knowledge of English is a requirement since all the official communications, documents and presentations are in English. Knowledge of the local language is not required but can be an asset.
In Toulouse meetings will be only held in French, provided that all people who are participating are fluent in French. Our office was based on the site in Blagnac, where no manufacturing but administrative tasks are being performed. My colleagues were looking very well after me and they tried very hard to provide me with an insight into all AIRBUS’ activities and processes.
Therefore, I had the opportunity to attend an auditor training and to visit the FAL of the A380 where the different parts of the aircraft, which are being manufactured in England, France, Spain and Germany, are being assembled.
My department was conducting and planning internal audits. I was supporting my tutor in all his activities related to communications and building up an auditors’ community. I have been in charge of the maintenance of the Auditors’ register and the “Internal Auditors’ Network”.
This internal network called “connect@airbus” works as any social network. After creating their profile, AIRBUS employees can exchange experiences, ask questions and comment on colleagues statements. Since AIRBUS sites are scattered all over the world, the internal social network is of particular importance. It enables all employees to get in touch with their colleagues in different parts of the world, facilitates the creation of one’s own worldwide network and strengthens the global sense of community.
For my department the “connect@airbus” was a very important tool to build up an internal auditors’ community thus all auditors are working on different sites in different countries. During my internship we could double the number of followers of our network.
Another chance for auditors’ to establish relationships, was their participation in the first “Auditor Day”, we organised in July 2014. For every auditor this was an outstanding opportunity to meet the people they were working with. At that day I was in charge of its smooth functioning and of one of the market places.
Besides, I was responsible for the development of our communications plan and the preparation of presentations in PowerPoint. In addition, I was involved in the email dispatch regarding news or information concerning the auditors’ community and in the development of a career path.
My internship at Airbus was a very unique and enriching experience for my professional and also my personal development. On the one hand, I gained a deep insight in the activities and processes of a globally operating company. I could put my theoretical knowledge about internal communications into practice and further develop my communications as well as my language skills. On the other hand, I met many people from different nationalities at work and in Toulouse. At AIRBUS there are many interns who are all keen on making new friends, exploring the city and going on trips at weekends. Owing to the internship abroad, I could not only make new professional experiences but broaden my horizon and move on.