Do virtual internships work? As two students with an interest in media, we hoped to get an overview of how communications works in practice. The online environment allowed us to safely hear from experts at the global headquarters in Munich, while we took notes and asked questions from home.
We started the week like many Siemens communicators, with The Hub. From there, we met employees from a wide range of Comms functions, kicking off the week with Stefan Wagner of the Newsroom and ending with Employee Engagement with Claudia Stenten and Ines Henning.
During the pandemic we have experienced the transition from in-person learning to remote education. The digital environment made it more difficult to focus, harder to collaborate, and a challenge to create and maintain interpersonal relationships. Throughout our virtual internship, we experienced how Siemens is overcoming these challenges by keeping the employee experience in focus.
Even over Teams calls, all our sessions were interactive and the speakers ensured that we could follow along and ask any questions if needed. We also managed to have fun while learning (shout-out to Elisabeth Kirsch for the Train Memory!). As seen in the many amazing projects realized in these times, the #awesomecomms team at Siemens has not lost its creativity. The future of the Fluid Web developed by Digital Communications, the ‘New Normal’ campaign assets that humanize the employee experience, and the FC Bayern Pulse concept were just a few of the projects that impressed us for their innovation.
While we were blown away by the many ways that Siemens really does Transform the Everyday, we also thought of a few ways that communications can better prepare for the future by reaching a younger demographic. From our perspective as members of Gen Z, Siemens may benefit from broadening their audience and creating content geared towards younger people – for brand awareness purposes, and also in terms of reaching and cultivating young talents.
Making Siemens’ social media content more accessible, as with fun interactions on Twitter, goes in the right direction. We joked around with Flavia Negwer about Siemens joining the TikTok community, but actually this would be a step toward reaching a greater Gen Z audience. This also ties into the H2H (Human-to-Human) comms approach over the traditional B2B methods.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed and are grateful to have had the opportunity to experience a virtual week at Siemens – although we still hope to visit the campus in person one day. Given what we saw, we’re sure that Siemens will continue to innovate and deliver important technological solutions, providing rich content for the Communications function. Maybe we will even learn about them on our ‘For You Page’ via TikTok soon!
To everyone who made our experience possible – you transformed not just our days, but our perspectives too.