The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand


World Cup Volunteers –
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Controller Imke Hundt is helping out at the World Cup in Russia.

Plenty of Volkswagen employees will be watching the soccer over the next few weeks as the World Cup gets well and truly underway. Imke Hundt is one of them. But unlike most of her colleagues, this controller won’t be watching in front of the TV – she’ll be watching live in Russia. As one of over 15,000 volunteers, Wolfsburg-born Imke will be on site ensuring the tournament runs as smoothly as possible. Six games will be taking place in Sochi, which is where Imke will be supporting soccer’s international governing body FIFA with journalist management.  

But this isn’t the first time Imke has volunteered at a major sporting event: 
in 2011 she was also involved in the Women’s World Cup, which was held virtually on her doorstep back in Germany. “I had such a good time that I think I developed a taste for it,” explains the 30-year-old, who also applied to volunteer at the 2014 Men’s World Cup in Brazil. “That was a great experience, working as part of a huge team with people from all over the world,” enthuses Imke, who is still in contact with many of her fellow volunteers from the media center to this day. “We like to meet up whenever we can.”

"I love getting to know a country I’ve never been to before."

Imke watched Germany’s spectacular semi-final victory over the hosts surrounded by vocal Brazil fans in a bar in Curitiba, and enjoyed the final from a fan party at the Copacabana. It goes without saying that she was in her full Germany gear both times! After her unforgettable experience in Brazil, it wasn’t long before Imke decided she wanted to do it all again at the next World Cup in Brazil. “I love getting to know a country I’ve never been to before,” explains the Volkswagen employee, who is responsible for Production Controlling at the Pamplona site.

She sacrificed a full year’s holiday to head out to the coastal city of Sochi for four weeks. She even had to finance the trip herself. “But the experiences you enjoy while volunteering are priceless”, comments Imke, who won’t be returning to work immediately after the World Cup. She has taken a year off from her career at Volkswagen to spend time traveling around the world. “I have always enjoyed meeting new people and discovering new cultures.”

Volunteers from all over the world

More than 15,000 volunteers are helping out at the World Cup in Russia. Their roles include supporting FIFA employees with accreditation, transport and catering. Around 177,000 people aged between 16 and 82 from around the world applied.