Hired: graduate trainees reveal what its like to work for Bosch

6 min read

We’ve brought you the inside story on how to land your dream job at Bosch but what’s it really like to work for a company that in 2014 alone generated sales of €49bn?

The Student Engineer has sought out current and former graduate trainees from across the company to reveal what they’ve been doing at the company and what they did to make their CV stand out.

What roles have you been fulfilling so far at Bosch?

Former GSP trainee Sam Gaunt (BEng (Hons) Product Design and Manufacture) told the Student Engineer: “During the programme I was involved in the Rotak lawnmower category and initiated the development of a new rotary blade to reduce noise emissions. Being able to say that I have brought a product to market has definitely been a highlight but also the flexibility of the scheme has made it such a positive experience for me.”

Another former GSP trainee John Allen (BSc (Hons) Computer Aided Product Design) added:  “Whilst working in Technical Sales Engineering & Sales Project Managementmy responsibilities included facilitating the connection between the customer and the Bosch Engineering teams to ensure exhaust gas sensors were successfully implemented into new vehicles and engine lines. I worked in line with the Bosch product engineering process to support the development of the projects through key quality milestones.”

Current GSP trainee Clare Cooper (MEng (Hons) Product Design Engineering) said: “Since joining Bosch in September 2014 at the Lawn and Garden site in Stowmarket, Suffolk I have been working on the development of a new leaf blower. This has exposed me to the complete process of designing a product and how all the departments need to work together. I have been to Germany to visit other sites in order to share knowledge with engineers working on similar projects. I have also been providing engineering support to the lawn and garden factory in Stowmarket when the production lines require it.”

A career with Bosch can take you to over 60 international locations
A career with Bosch can take you to over 60 international locations

What preparations did you make prior to applying to join Bosch and in what ways to you think they helped you?

Graduate recruit Andy Jennings (BEng Mechanical Engineering with Automotive Design) said: “Before applying to Bosch, the obvious thing to look at was their current product range. Only then do you realise how much of an impact they have on everyday life. Understanding the size of Bosch and all the various business areas it is active in helped me to prepare for the application process. It also helps with figuring which part of Bosch is best suited to the individual.”

Clare added: “Before writing my cover letter, I researched all four areas of Bosch where graduates are employed in the UK. Some of the results of this surprised me because I was unaware of how many areas Bosch are involved in. Once I had been invited to the assessment centre, I did more in-depth research into the areas that most appealed to me. Having an understanding of everything that Bosch is involved in in the UK definitely helped my confidence at the assessment centre”

Placements can be really important in making a CV stand out. Did you undertake a placement prior to joining Bosch? If so, what did you do, where did you do it, and what key skills has it given you?

Former GSP trainee Oscar Lappay (BEng Aviation Engineering) said: “Between my 2nd and 3rd year at university I did a 12-month internship with Bosch in Denham. This experience opened my knowledge on the world of sales engineering and project management within the automotive industry, providing a myriad of transferrable skills that developed from having a responsibility both independently and as part of a team. It also gave plenty of insights into what Bosch stands for as a company.

“The skills I have gained created a solid foundation and developing these throughout the two years in the programme have certainly provided the relevant experience needed for my current role as a Project Manager.”

Bosch generated sales of €49bn in 2014
Bosch generated sales of €49bn in 2014

What extracurricular activities do you/have you done that have helped you get your job at Bosch?

Bosch Rexroth trainee Tom Casselden (MEng (Hons) Materials Engineering with Design) said: “Combining academic / classroom ‘engineering’ learning with practical hands on activities I believe helped me get my job my foot in the door at Bosch.

“I have been combining my passion for manufacturing and skiing and for many years now I have been making my own Snow Skis to my own custom designs, what started out as a “I wonder if…” moment quickly turned into a full time hobby and consumed most of my earnings from summer work. This led onto me wanting to protect my inventions so I spent some time researching Patent Law and drafting / submitting my own Patents in the UK and Europe.

“In addition to this I always undertook my car servicing myself, often breaking it along the way, and thus I came across Bosch Automotive components and understood both their quality and function within the modern diesel engine. This I felt helped me greatly during the interview stages with things to chat about and relate too. In addition it showed my interest in engineering beyond the realms of academia.”

Denham based trainee Stephanie Alexander (BSc (Hons) Motorsport Technology) added: “During university, I took part in many different social activities (netball, trampolining, drama society, and Formula Student).  These activities allowed me an outlet to not only meet new people, but to be myself and enjoy what university life away had to offer away from my degree.

“Later on, I took on leadership roles in some of my clubs (as treasurer of the drama society and club president of netball), which allowed me to further develop my personal skills in a more relaxed setting. I was also able to learn to snowboard in my own time, as it was something I had wanted to learn for years and it really gave me a chance to apply myself to a new task and eventually master it.

“All of these activities showed that I was able to apply myself in different disciplines at different levels of leadership. It also showed that I had teamwork, time management, financial, communication and problem solving skills, all of which are needed here at Bosch, which is a very international and diverse company. For Bosch, extracurricular activities are seen as an important factor when selecting their graduates. They prefer for a person to have a passion in something other than their work, as it helps to relieve the stress that they get from working full-time and work on skills that they may not get to use all the time in their day to day job.

“Currently, I volunteer for a local charity in my home town, play badminton with work colleagues here at Bosch (via the social club), play netball for a local league, learn German and snowboard in any time I can fit in after that! I really do enjoy my extracurricular activities and working here at Bosch has given me the opportunity to enjoy them all without too many interruptions.”

Bosch offers versatile Industry 4.0 solutions
Bosch offers versatile Industry 4.0 solutions

What other advice do you have for engineering students who want to work for Bosch and are thinking about applying?

Stephanie: “Research Bosch. There are a lot of things I didn’t know about the company until I did my research and even now, it amazes me at how many platforms of business Bosch cover. It’s about wanting to make a difference for the future.

“I would definitely recommend trying to do an activity outside of your degree, whether it is a sport or a past time. It’s not only beneficial for you as a person but it will be seen as a positive addition to your CV. The other thing I would say is to be prepared to learn new skills and ways of working all the time. There are different roles here that you can have the ability choose during the programme, and all of them require different skill sets and knowledge. I am nearly halfway through and I am still facing new and complex challenges every day, which is great!”

Tom: “To engage with as many extracurricular activities as possible, but it would be important to have a broad range of activities rather than, say, all sports based. Using times like summer holidays to maximum effect to do hands on activities from working in a local engineering shop (they are always keen for a spare pair of hands in my experience!) through to working on a farm driving tractors, or pursuing a university project throughout the summer. There is a great range of tangible skills that develop you as both a person and an engineer. It also allows you to bring a fresh perspective to the table. No experience is bad experience! Most importantly, however, it is important to enjoy what you do and make sure you show your passion and commitment to your future career.”

Clare: “Bosch is a very diverse business so there should be something for everyone. Make sure that you know what area you would like to work in and research it accordingly. You learn a lot very quickly and are expected to take ownership of your tasks. Also, the support from mentors and managers is invaluable for your development. Every day is different and there are challenges but overall Bosch is a great company to work for.”

Oscar: “Bosch has a lot of good qualities and you will find that the values that the company stands for really filter down to all associates, and is evident across the whole Bosch global network. My advice is to spend a good amount of time reading about Bosch to get a better feel of how the organisation fits in with your personality and principles.”