Max Taucher, Food Buyer, Lidl

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I had just finished 2 years of study in Germany and was
looking for a dynamic, interesting role in a large
multinational company and came across the Lidl Careers
Website. I had met some Lidl employees in Germany at a
careers fair and felt the company overall offered every thing I
was looking for. Buyers in Lidl require a good level of German
due to the interaction with suppliers and other Lidl countries
around the world. It was the ideal company for me and my
academic background.

My degrees had a massive focus on the international
environment that is modern day business which is very
applicable to the role of a buyer. Having my course split
between 2 years in Ireland and 2 years in Germany was
definitely an advantage as I got to understand how the
different countries operate in the business field.

The selection process in Lidl was a bit different then how
it is now. I had two interviews, with the second consisting of
me presenting a case study. Having the language was
fundamental as a good level of German is a key need for a
buyer to operate effectively. There is rarely a day in my role
where I don't speak German.

The buying team operates in a fast-paced, pressurised
environment and that can take some getting used to. I look
at it as a positive as you are always busy and never get bored
on the job. Traditionally young graduates aren't given a lot of
responsibility, however in Lidl that isn't the case. Young
managers in Lidl are entrusted with a high level of
responsibility which I found slightly intimidating at the start
but is something I am very proud of and comfortable with.

We are very proud in Lidl Ireland of our export business
with our Irish supplier around Europe and having German is
a key component of this. Unlike a lot of multinational
companies, that have English as their internal language, we
speak German when it comes to interacting with our
colleagues in different European countries regarding export
projects and promotional activity. On top this we have a lot
of dealings with international suppliers of ours based in
Germany, Austria and Switzerland and it is key that we are
able to communicate with them effectively.

Getting working experience with your language of choice
is a major benefit. Being able to converse and write in a
social context is obviously a great skill to have however, if
you want to stand out, knowing how to use the language in
a business environment can be a major highlight for an
employer. I would recommend that any young graduate
involved with languages goes out and makes the effor t to go
and work in the language that they are studying, ideally in a
native speaking country. Most of Europe is familiar with the
internship model and this something that is rarely availed of
by Irish students outside of Ireland, but it is something that
could bring your language skills to a whole new level.

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