Global Home

Kick-start your career: TOP START International Business Leader Program

Ready for a career as a leader? Then apply for our TOP START International Business Leader Program.

BASF's international junior management program offers top talents the opportunity to accelerate their career development and take on a position in general management.

Ready for your career boost?

Apply for our TOP START International Business Leader Program.

To the job offer


Questions about the application process? Find out more.

The program highlights at a glance


We are looking for exceptional business graduates and young professionals with a global mindset and proven leadership potential.

As candidate for the TOP START International Business Leader Program you have a degree in the field of business/economics (Master, Ph.D., or MBA, with no more than three years of work experience). Ideally, you come from an international, top ranked business school where you have demonstrated your strong academic performance with excellent grades.

You have gained first practical experience, e. g. in demanding internships at top employers and bring a true global mindset, developed through international experiences, not only during your studies but also in practical applications. You are fluent in English and in at least one other language (more languages are a plus). We highly value your social commitment since this is part of our company culture.

Our BASF CORE values resonate to you and your idea of leadership. You have outstanding communication skills, a well-developed empathy for others and a strong sense for collaboration. Furthermore, if you are curious, flexible, solution-focused and happy to deal with change – then you should apply for this unique career opportunity!

This program is your jump-start into a successful general management career. The three-year program involves 3 rotations with at least one of those being international. We hire top talent to take on responsibility, making an impact from day one while driving mission-critical projects with high energy. The opportunities are countless and be it the location of the international assignment, the industry, function, or a particular project – you have a say in all aspects of your development.

Our structured program approach will maximize your potential to become a future leader. You will learn and grow in an inspiring environment with BASF’s strong international community and bring your unique ideas into an environment that values different perspectives and provides you with open feedback. In regular workshops with your TOP START peers, you will learn from top coaches how to master the latest sought-after executive skills. A personal relationship with a senior executive mentor will support your individual development path even beyond the rotational program. Furthermore, as part of a strong community you will benefit from the TOP START alumni network and connect with like-minded leaders positioned all around the globe.

How to apply



Via our online application system you can apply directly for the program at any time.


First Matching

A dedicated TOP START recruiter reviews your resume and supporting documents thoroughly and objectively based on the program criteria. You will get our first feedback from our Recruiting Center within five business days.


Online Assessment

In case your profile matches our program criteria, we will invite you to an online assessment. This 90-minute test evaluates your leadership potential along various personality traits as well as verbal and cognitive skills. Your results are benchmarked against the best candidates in their fields. After completion of the test, you will receive an individual feedback report with your strengths and development needs.


Telephone Interview

In a personal telephone interview, our TOP START recruiter will ask you about your interest and motivation for joining BASF and the program. You will have the opportunity to exchange with us about your career goals, general experiences, and skills. In addition, we invite you to ask any questions you may have.


Video Interview

This is your Get to Know with the Senior Manager of the TOP START Program who is curious to learn more about you as a person and why you are the right candidate for this unique opportunity. In this conversation, we will already start making a draft of your career in BASF. And again, we will make sure that you will have enough time to ask your questions about the program and our company.


Interview Day

On this day, you will meet 6-8 conversation partners, including a BASF Board Member and other members of our senior leadership team. You’ll have the chance to show your understanding of the bigger picture ability to take a broader perspective but also to discuss brave ideas to tackle current and future challenges of global business. Within two days, you will get your final feedback from the Senior Manager of the TOP START Program personally.


Final Offer

After successfully completing the interview day, we will get in touch to discuss the contract details with you and elaborate further ideas on how to allow you to get off to the best possible start into your accelerated career track with BASF.


How do I apply? Which documents are required?

Please use our online application form and attach your motivation letter, CV (please add your final/current average grade in your CV), high school diploma, Bachelor's degree with grades, Master's degree with grades or current transcript of grades, work references (letter or person of contact), GMAT Test Score (if available), and certificates.


What is the maximum file size I can upload?

Files such as scanned certificates must be no larger than 5MB each. Please try to use pdf formats.


In wich language do I have to apply?

English is the preferred language, but applications in German are also accepted.


What is the privacy policy regarding the online application system?

All data provided to BASF is handled strictly in accordance with German data protection legislation. HR details, including candidate information obtained via our online application system, are treated in the strictest confidence and are used exclusively for application purposes.


How long does the recruiting process take from application to the final feedback?

The end-to-end recruiting process takes on average 3 to 4 months.


When will I receive feedback after the final interview day?

You will usually get feedback within few days after your final interviews. If you attend the Future Leaders Summit, the interview day will be incorporated into the Summit and you will receive feedback at the end of the event.


Is there a fixed date upon which I have to start my first rotation?

The TOP START program offers you the flexibility to start all year round, there are no fixed entry dates.


When is the application deadline for the TOP START program?

There is no application deadline. However, we recommend applying at least 4 months prior to the preferred entry date to have sufficient time to complete the recruiting process. Some of our TOP START participants have also highlighted that applying more than 4 months prior to the preferred entry date is recommended. It offers you the possibility to sign your contract early and write your master thesis or to travel after graduation without worrying about job applications.


I do not have a business background. Can I still apply for the program?

While we are primarily looking for candidates with a business background, we are also open to interesting profiles that are seeking lateral moves into the field of business management.