There from the beginning: Sybille’s journey from intern to Team Lead

When Sybille joined the company almost ten years ago, both she and the start-up were still fresh to e-commerce. Then a student of media cultural studies, Sybille met a small but mighty editorial team and fell in love with the job. Today, she heads our translation team as Team Lead. Her career is firmly interwoven with the company’s success story. In the following interview, she reveals how the last decade played out for her.

Hi Sybille! You’ve been part of the Kaufland e-commerce family for several years now. How did you first hear about us?

It was always clear to me that I would like to write professionally because I enjoyed it so much. In the summer of 2013, I applied for many internships as part of my studies. The interview with Hitmeister (now Kaufland e-commerce) was what won me over. I immediately got the impression that all colleagues were on an equal footing and that you needn’t be afraid to ask questions. It was a relaxed approach with flat hierarchies.

Team Lead Sybille

And did these first impressions turn out to be correct?

Absolutely! We were a small team back then, so everyone could take on quite a lot of responsibility, regardless of their job title. As a student, I was also free to arrange my own working hours so they didn’t clash with university. By writing guides, I quickly became an expert in a wide variety of topics that I wouldn’t otherwise have come into contact with. I really enjoyed that. So it quickly became clear that I would definitely stay on longer than the intended two months.

This brings us swiftly to 2017. That’s when you started as a full-time editor. What made you want to stay with us?

I always felt that I had the opportunity to grow. The company also continued to grow over the years – it never really stopped. I always had chances to learn new things and to dig deeper into certain areas. This “learning by doing” philosophy then proved its worth when I was allowed to become the Translation Team Lead. I’ve been there with the translation team from the very start and have developed alongside my team.

Even now, I still benefit a lot from the input and feedback that my team gives me along the way.

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As Team Lead, you now sit on the other side of the interview table. Have your own experiences influenced how you search for new colleagues?

Definitely. When I conduct interviews nowadays, I make sure that applicants feel welcome straight away and are not afraid to ask questions. I really enjoy bringing new people into the team and supporting them in their development.

How has your day-to-day work changed over the last few years?

I have much more contact with different departments within the company now. When we started internationalisation, for example, I first had to get an overview of who would be involved in the process. Also, my current position brings completely different challenges, which involve a lot of coordination with other teams. I also received support from our mentoring programme and benefited from the knowledge of an experienced colleague.

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope that as a team, we can continue to cooperate so successfully and openly. Translation is still in its early days at the company, and I would be happy if everyone continued to contribute to new developments. It’s fun to see how the input of different colleagues comes together to form the best solution for all of us. I also hope that we all remain on equal terms in the company and learn from each other. Today, just like ten years ago, we embody our “fail forward” principal. Nobody should ever be scared of making a mistake.

We still benefit from the spirit and cohesion of a start-up and combine this with the power and opportunities of a large company group.