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«I really wanted to be a vet...»

Animal lover and commercial apprentice Céline Stalder was impressed by the trial afternoon at Helvetia. She now pursues her passion for horses and other animals in her free time.

15 December 2017, author: Céline Stalder, photos: Margrith Mermet

«Since I was a child I’ve always loved spending my spare time with animals. That’s why I thought that being a vet would be my dream job. Luckily, I was able to spend five days at a vet's practice in the eighth year and discovered that I didn’t like the work. So together with my parents I looked for other jobs – and soon became interested in a commercial (KV) apprenticeship. My interest in this profession was confirmed by several trial afternoons at various insurance companies: the work is very varied and a good basis for a future career. I liked the trial at Helvetia so much that I applied as a commercial apprentice. And now I’m in the middle of my first year of training as a commercial employee at Helvetia.

Strong support from the outset

As a lot of time passed between the positive answer and starting my training, I was able to visit Helvetia and my trainer in the first department again before the summer holidays. Even before starting I knew that I would spend the first year in the HR department in the «Training Management» team. My trainer showed me my workplace and I got to know her a bit better over lunch in the staff restaurant. This visit helped me a lot, as I then knew more or less what to expect after my holidays. My apprenticeship began with the induction week near Berne, together with the other 51 new apprentices. We got to know the structure of the commercial apprenticeship, were given our own laptops and were trained on the Helvetia systems. After this week I was ready to start work in my new team – and also met many other apprentices from all over Switzerland.

Practice makes the perfect receptionist

I usually start work at 7.40 a.m. I first look at the e-mails and scheduled appointments and discussions. Then I perform the tasks that my trainer and team colleagues have given me. I answer the phone all day long on Tuesdays. I take calls and handle enquiries for my team colleagues and have to react flexibly. In the beginning I had to get used to this and was a bit nervous whenever the telephone rang. In the meantime I enjoy handling phone calls more. And I have got to know many people and departments through the various calls.

Animals are my hobby

Even if I now spend my day in an office and not in a vet’s practice, animals are still very important to me. Riding is my hobby, and I look after three horses, six goats, 30 chickens and a dog. I like working with animals. I really like going on long rides: in the summer we gallop over stubble fields and in winter through the snow. Despite my training at Helvetia I’m glad that I still have enough time for riding and animals.


Helvetia still has interesting vacant traineeships for 2018. Find out more and apply directly here. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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