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I chose to take part in a cooperative education course in Industrial Engineering. Of all the companies to whom I applied, Schmalz interested me the most. The transition from razor blade factory to vacuum technology really highlighted the innovative and cutting-edge nature of the company for me. What I really value about this place is the familial atmosphere; you are still valued here as an apprentice.
I spent the first four weeks of the course with the other apprentices and students in the company’s training workshop, where we worked on our induction projects. The technical part of the project involved building a table lamp. The lamp had to represent the product areas in the company. In the ecological part, we were tasked with thinking about how we could make the company more environmentally friendly. We worked as energy scouts throughout the company, which helped us make initial contact with other staff.
Following the training period, we settled into our regular course of studies. We generally switched between the cooperative university and J. Schmalz GmbH every quarter. During the practical phases, I usually spent the first week getting to know the department. I was then given a project that involved several areas of the company. It required you to take a certain amount of responsibility from the very start.
I got on very well with my colleagues from the various departments, and still do now. There is a real spirit of partnership in the relationship and I never felt like a subordinate, even as a student. I also had regular contact with the company during the theoretical phases at the cooperative university; our training supervisor gave us regular updates in that regard.
Schmalz also offered me very good career prospects after I graduated. Following my studies, I was transferred to the Plastics Competence Team, where my main tasks included work preparation and mould management. I now work in the Product Digitization department, where I’m involved with ongoing digitization in our production area. We ultimately do much more than just helping our customers prepare for Manufacturing 4.0.