Interview with Vignesh Venkatesan, trainee at Volkswagen StartUp Cross program
Why did you come to Volkswagen?
I wanted something international. The Startup Cross Trainee program was exactly what I was looking for after finishing my master's in mechanical engineering and management. It covers 18 months, and the trainee works in a variety of stations at different places: strategy, development, sales, product management. I was in China, too. That was really exciting. We spent three months in Shanghai and three months in Changchun, where we worked on human-machine interfaces.
What sort of experiences did you have at Formula Student Germany?
It was pretty incredible. I participated twice and learned a whole lot – not just about how you build a car, but also how team structures work, how to keep an eye on the money, how to communicate efficiently, how to make good decisions despite time and cost pressures and how to delegate. It’s really a little boot camp. You won’t find that much condensed practical experience anywhere else. And Volkswagen’s support of our team was really great! And now, from the perspective of Volkswagen, Formula Student is one of the biggest talent pools in existence.
What advice would you give interested students and graduates?
The trainee program was terrific, and I can only recommend it! It was really varied and very well structured. I’m in a pretty good position now at Volkswagen. Because the mobility sector is going through such tremendous change right now, it stays very exciting. There’s a fair amount of room to maneuver and opportunities to grow professionally.