Dr. Oetker Stories

"It was one of the best decisions I've made so far."

The Oetker Group's Gap Year Program is for students who would like to gain practical experience. With just one application, there is the opportunity to experience the diversity of the Oetker Group in two internships.

"It was one of the best decisions I've made so far."

25.5.2023 Company and Culture

The Oetker Group's gap year program offers bachelor's graduates the chance to gain valuable practical experience. What do the candidates benefit from, what experience do they gain? Franziska Sablik, 24, answers these and other questions in this interview. She is currently studying for a master's degree in Integrated Innovation Management in Würzburg and took part in the Oetker Group's gap year program from October 2021 to July 2022.

Gap Year intern Franzsika Sablik

Why did you decide to join the Oetker Group's gap year program back then?

I needed the theory from my studies to understand the "why". But for my professional orientation, I also needed the "how". The gap year program offered me precisely this opportunity to gain practical experience after completing my bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus on human resources. I'll say it right away: It was one of the best decisions I've made so far.

What internships did you do?

As a gap year student, you get to know two companies in the Oetker Group. My first internship was at crafts unfolded GmbH. The company produces exceptional baked goods of the highest quality for hotels and restaurants as well as its own online store backverliebt. I was there for five months. After that, I went to Dr. Oetker for another five months. It was an exciting mix: on the one hand a company that is traditionally established in the market and on the other hand a young, up-and-coming start-up.

What stations did you go through?

crafts unfolded is still under construction. During my internship there I developed and executed recruiting measures, designed the talent website and managed the communication with applicants, whether software developers, bakers or designers. I was responsible for the entire application process, the "candidate journey": from the job posting to the interview to the selection and hiring of the candidates.

...and what happened next at Dr. Oetker?

It was a completely different world. During my internship at Dr. Oetker, I was a team member in the People and Culture, International department. I supported the Learning and Change team with talent development measures, prepared workshops, created a SharePoint website and developed a Yammer community within MS Teams. Together with a colleague, I gave a presentation as part of the Dr. Oetker-wide "People and Culture Week".

Pure practice...

Definitely. I always thought I was good at working independently, but due to the start-up environment at crafts unfolded, which was even more in the focus in 2021, I was 'thrown in at the deep end'. I quickly learned to work independently. At the same time, I received very regular feedback from the founders on my own further development.
⁠At Dr. Oetker, on the other hand, it was more about long-term planning of measures. Looking back, I particularly liked the contrast between an established company and a start-up.

What was the key learning?

Leaving the comfort zone was a central experience. The projects I was involved in pushed me and showed me what I could do in the right work environment.

How were you supported in what you did?

Very good. I received a very good onboarding in all activities, both at Dr. Oetker and at crafts unfolded. I was actively encouraged to contribute with my skills and try new things. But my teammates in both internships also asked me "Do you feel comfortable with this or that task?". That gave me a good feeling.

Overall, the gap year was really well organized, there were regular online events due to Corona where the group companies each introduced themselves. If we had any questions, our contact person Deborah was always there for us.

What moments do you remember most?

There are a few. At crafts unfolded, I got to experience two team events. In January 2022, we held a workshop at a cabin with our partner Zortify about who we are as people and how that is reflected in our team and how we work together. We still talk about how beautiful and valuable that day was today!

At Dr. Oetker, International People and Culture Week was one of my highlights. I took part in the presentation on change management. Everything was in English, which was quite exciting. Afterwards, I thought, "Okay, wow, it was worth to be that confident and that I did it." Just that attitude paid off a lot.

A real highlight was the 2-day final event on site in Bielefeld - we finally saw each other all at once, that was really cool!

Was the gap year program a preparation for your career?

For me, it's clear that I'll continue in the People and Culture direction, but I want to focus more on the "Development and Learning" subarea. This is exactly the area that I got to know better through the gap year program, and that also solidified my decision to study for my master's degree. I also enjoy studying much more now because I know what I'm doing it for.

Do you have any advice for students?

It's best to combine practice and study. That way you can try things out the best way. In the gap year program, for example, you don't feel like you're doing an internship because you're given responsibility right from the start and treated like a full team member. During this time you get into practice and do not have to concentrate on your studies. Don't look for the practice that will give you as much work experience as possible in your CV, but the one that offers a wide variety of topics and will help you the most.

Application for the Gap Year Program

Gap Year Programme Oetker Group

Curious and also want to take part in the Oetker Group's Gap Year Program? Stations offered are for example, in the areas of controlling and finance, human resources, sustainability, IT, marketing, sales and supply chain.

Among the companies are: Dr. Oetker, Conditorei Coppenrath & Wiese GmbH & Co. KG, Radeberger Gruppe KG, flaschenpost SE, Crafts Unfolded, OEDIV Oetker Daten- und Informationsverarbeitung KG, Oetker Digital and Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa.

All information about the program and the application is available on the Oetker Group website.

More about the Oetker Group.