Yves Reeb graduated from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) with a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. The HSG is just next door to the Helvetia head office in St. Gallen, and when a fellow student told him about the opportunities we offer, Yves applied more or less immediately. "My application was successful: in August 2020 I started a branding internship in event management. The special thing about it was that we were in the middle of the Covid crisis, which of course had a significant impact on the programme of events."
Helvetia normally sponsors a few major events. These on-site appearances also had major effects on the event-management internship up to that point. "But the cancellations didn't leave us twiddling our thumbs. Quite the reverse: we all thought together as a team about which projects we could otherwise tackle, and we then held a few events virtually." At times during his event-management internship certain measures were relaxed, and more than 300 events were conducted physically. "At these events I was like a mobile advertisement", Yves says with a smile, remembering how he wore Helvetia-branded clothing from top to toe – and he liked it. "I realized then that I could strongly identify with this brand, and that Helvetia really appealed to me as an employer."
But the Covid crisis was ever-present during his internship, and there was no possibility that he could move into a permanent position in event management. So during his temporary employment Yves gave some thought to this new challenge. "It was clear to me that I wanted to stay with Helvetia after my fixed-term contract ended, which is why I applied for a trainee programme. But when that didn't work out I also looked into a few jobs and options outside Helvetia."
Yves then decided to pursue a Master's in Business Administration at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU), with a focus on online business and marketing. This course offered him the opportunity to carry on working part-time, with a workload of up to 60 per cent. And so it happened that things worked out in another department of Helvetia after all: "Fortunately I was able to start part-time as a student trainee in sales communication while continuing my studies." The only junior employee, Yves was one of a team of three part-time staff members. Recently one of the others left, and Yves was approached by his team leader to take over the vacant permanent position. Through his great commitment and interest, Yves had evidently convinced those around him that he was now ready to make the move to a junior role as communications manager. «"I was very happy about this offer, which I accepted without a moment's hesitation."
Did Yves ever doubt that he'd get a permanent position at Helvetia? Yes, he says: "After I was turned down for the trainee programme, I did. But I really liked the job and the team in sales communication right from the start. I didn't expect to be offered a permanent position, and it makes me all the happier that my commitment has paid off and I've been entrusted with this job."
Yves' only advice to other young professionals is to keep at it: "I think my motivation, my commitment and my willingness to go the extra mile definitely helped to get me noticed internally. Otherwise this permanent job, for which I hadn't even applied, would have been difficult to find. So if other people want to move from a junior position to a permanent job, I can only advise them not to keep their intentions and ambitions to themselves – and always to give of their best."