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The job is extremely diverse because we system integrators are needed both in the office and in the production facilities. We are there to help when our colleagues in the various departments get new computers and need them set up or when new systems for video conferencing need to be installed for those employees working at home. And, of course, in an industrial company such as the Coroplast Group, we also have work in the production facilities. For example, to read or collect machine data and to transfer data to another system. We make sure that the enormous amount of data produced here on a daily basis is available and can be used effectively.
The apprenticeship begins with a very concrete task: each new apprentice gets to set up their own working station. Then, they dive right into the material. In the first year, there are smaller, encapsulated projects, such as setting up a test environment. Our apprentices also learn how to deal with people as well as telephone skills and how to explain technical details. They too work at our help desk and have contact with many of our colleagues in house – from those who work in our production facilities to the management.
The second year involves more complicated IT projects. For example, setting up small productive servers for around 30 people. In the third year, the apprentices complete the big final project. And because the Coroplast Group is becoming more and more digitalized, we are always able to find a concrete project in our company. Our apprentices often take on tasks in a specific department and oftentimes they end up staying in that department after the apprenticeship is completed.
It’s always important to me to find out the personal interests of our apprentices. Our tasks are so varied and differentiated that you have to decide on a focus area and specialize according to your interests and talents.
It’s important that our apprentices really enjoy working with computers and technology. Perhaps you have already written an application or two, run a game server, or maybe connected an electric model railway. If you have completed a taster internship or you were involved in a technical working group at school, that is definitely a plus.
English skills are important simply because the IT world speaks English. Your grades in math are not as important; we have had apprentices here whose math grades have not been all that stellar.
It’s important that our apprentices are open and willing to learn how to improve their communication skills. In our job, we interact with a lot of people, we listen to them, and explain how things work. Many of our apprentices come to the program somewhat shy, quiet, and reserved. And this is completely fine, since most of the people with an interest in the field of IT are usually not innately extroverted or gregarious. Most of our apprentices have to actively work to improve their social competencies.
To working with me, of course. But, seriously: We only take on one apprentice per apprenticeship year, so that I can dedicate enough time to their training. The apprentices sit right next to me in the same room – and, when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic, we work very closely together and can share information and help each other if any issues should arise. I am always available and ready to help, and I’m happy to give advice based on a apprentice specific strengths and weaknesses. Generally, we don’t give our apprentices theoretical “lab tasks.” We prefer to actively involve them in the daily work of the IT department. They learn the most this way and it’s always rewarding to see the results of your efforts. The equipment here at Coroplast is another big bonus – we get to work with the absolute latest in hardware and software.
I love working in the atmosphere of a family company. Our apprentices also benefit from the flat hierarchies. Here, they are never just a number. Everything is much more personal.
Very good! Right now we have a apprentice hire rate of 100 percent. That means that all of the apprentices we have had here in the IT department still work in the company Obviously, we offer have a lot to offer for IT specialists. But, if there was one thing I would wish, it would be to have some female apprentices. Since we welcomed our first apprentice in 2013, we have only had male applicants. So, this is my shout out to all the technologically savvy women out there: Be bold and send us your application!
I have been involved in the apprenticeship since 2012. In the beginning, it just sort of happened, since I was the youngest in the department. I was the closest in age to the apprentices, so we connected well. Working with our apprentices and imparting knowledge is something that brings me great joy. My motto is: All of our apprentices deserve excellent, practice-based training that qualifies them as highly sought-after experts. I like training people who have the skills and the desire to work in the IT world and who remain loyal to the profession. And I always learn something new from them. They often work in areas or on projects that I have yet to come into contact with on a professional level. Then the apprentices can also teach me something. And I often spend time gaming with them – we’ll meet up for a gaming night with pizza and Red Bull.