TU Ilmenau welcomed its new trainees at the beginning of September with a welcoming event and an introductory week, the Welcome Days. A total of eight young people have opted for vocational training at the university in 2022 - as IT specialists specializing in systems integration, industrial mechanics specializing in precision engineering, and media and information services specialists. Two young men and one woman have also started training as office management assistants.
Welcome Days @ TU Ilmenau: University welcomes new trainees
Those who start their career at a German university as young people usually do so as students. However, what's not on many people's radar: The TU Ilmenau is not only a training center for students. As one of the largest employers in the region it also offers a wide range of vocational training in the industrial and technical fields and in administration: "I was recommended to train at the TU Ilmenau by two trainees," says Elias Wild, who began his training as an industrial mechanic at the university on August 29. His fellow trainee Christopher Dornheim applied to the university as an office management assistant on the basis of a newspaper ad: "I'm very happy so far," is his verdict after the first week. Elina Grimm had several offers for an apprenticeship as a media and information services specialist: "But in the end I went with my gut feeling because of the human level at TU Ilmenau."
"Intensive support from the very beginning"
Before starting their actual training, the new trainees had the opportunity to get to know the university better. During the Welcome Days, they were welcomed by the university management and were able to gain insights into very different areas of the university: "Above all, the campus tour was very nice, because it gave you explanations of the individual buildings of the TU Ilmenau and allowed you to get to know the grounds," says Robin Malik. His impression after one week:
There is a good working atmosphere and you have intensive support right from the start.
The Welcome Days also included guided tours of the high-voltage lab and the listening lab, as well as joint leisure activities and meals: "The joint lunch in the cafeteria strengthened the bond between us trainees," says Michelle Bielek, who wants to train as an office management assistant in the next three years. Jannis Pfeffer, on the other hand, was particularly enthusiastic about the training workshop (Lehrwerkstatt) "because of the equipment".
The Welcome Days were made possible by Lisa Marie Kühn and Laura Schmidt, who organized and supervised the six-month project "Planning and implementation of the Welcome Days for new trainees" in addition to their actual core tasks as part of their second and third year training, respectively. The idea behind this, according to Anja Röper, Head of Personell Management and Training, is to develop the trainees not only professionally:
By assigning them this important task, we want to challenge and promote the interdisciplinary skills of our trainees above all .
Like many other trainees, Lisa Marie Kühn came to TU Ilmenau through an internship to train as an office administrator, which she successfully completed in the summer of 2022 after three years. Afterwards, the 19-year-old was taken on by the Division of Human Resources and Law as a clerk for student and research assistants. She also brought her own experience as a trainee to the organization of the special introductory week for the new trainees:
Organizing the Welcome Days helped me to develop personal qualities such as teamwork and resilience. It wasn't always easy, but we created a program that was very well received by the new trainees.
Varied program and contact with many young people
As in other training companies, the trainees at the TU Ilmenau are trained according to the dual system - i.e. with block instruction lasting several weeks in addition to practical training. They are supervised by instructors during the practical phases. One of them is Wolfgang Steudel, who is currently supervising three trainees at the University Computer Center. While one young man began his regular apprenticeship in summer 2020, another was accepted as a lateral entrant one and a half years ago, which means that there are currently two apprentices in their third year. The third apprentice, Mattes Richter, joined the "UniRZ" at the end of August to train as an IT specialist specializing in systems integration.
When Mattes Richter starts his regular training, he has a varied program to look forward to: every three months or so, he changes departments and gets to know all of them - from infrastructure, Internet services and communication networks to high-performance computing and the IT service desk. Wolfgang Steudel sees this as the great advantage of training at the university:
With us, the trainees get to know a diverse and much larger spectrum than in other, smaller companies and are allowed to use the same infrastructure on site as students: They go out to eat with the students in the refectory, visit lectures and the university library, and get together with many young people every day. In addition, of course, there is very good pay according to the collective wage agreement and a great deal of flexibility in working hours.
Also, the trainees at the university computer center are allowed and ought to work very independently, says Wolfgang Steudel:
The young people who come to us are usually very motivated: They are interested to learn more about the background of their work and enjoy solving problems and helping their colleagues. If you give them a cue, they keep digging until they have found a solution.
Excellent training with a wide range of application possibilities
This pays off - for the trainees, too: Of the nine trainees who left in 2022, three were able to shorten their training. Training manager Anja Röper:
In 2021, once more two of our trainees, a physics lab technician and an industrial mechanic, won a Bildungsfuchs, the award for the best trainees in their profession. And a former physics lab technician continued his education in a joint qualification program to become a state-certified technician, completed this advanced training in the summer of 2022 with a straight A average, and is now employed at the Center for Micro and Nanotechnologies.
Accompanying the young people on this important path in life and finding the right place of employment for them in the final stage of their training is a special challenge for Anja Röper, but also a great benefit for which she is not solely responsible: "Without the trainers and instructors and the respective departments, who pass on their expertise to our trainees every day with great passion and conviction and also accompany them in their personal development, we would not be able to map a successful training at TU Ilmenau."
Interested parties can find out more about the university's training program on the TU Ilmenau website TU Ilmenau I Professional Training. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the new application period begins for a training start in summer 2023.