Apprentice interview Industrial Engineer
What is a typical day like?
I always start at 7.00am and take a look at the immediate issues that need to be dealt with quickly.
At 8.00am we meet with the boss to schedule maintenance work and other tasks for the day. Then I start work. During the day, I work partly on scheduled tasks and at other times I am called to the plants at short notice to resolve faults or to carry out maintenance and servicing.
What tasks do you carry out a lot? What tasks have you learned to do up until now?
I mostly carry out maintenance and servicing at the plants. But in-between times I also build small thing or make components, like mounts for measuring equipment for example. So I have quite a diversity of tasks.
Where is your main place of work?
I spend most of my time in production, on the plants themselves. But I also go to the metalworking department sometimes, to collect tools and build small parts on the various tools in the metalworking department. Working on the computer in the metalworking department is increasingly becoming a standard part of our work. The activities are defined in a maintenance programme and then printed out as a work order.
What other departments are you learning about during your apprenticeship?
I am mainly in production and in the metalworking department. Because of the various maintenance tasks, you can to understand the entire production and the different plants very well. In the metalworking department, I am learning the basics of working on the different processing machines. That includes, for example, drilling, milling, angle grinding, jobs on the workbench or using the welding equipment.
What do you enjoy most about the work? What do you like best?
I personally like turning and milling best, because they require you to really concentrate and work with precision. It's challenging, but also really enjoyable.
What things hadn't you expected beforehand? What surprised you about the apprenticeship?
In terms of the work, everything was totally new to me, but nothing really came as a complete surprise. I was positively surprised by the working hours, and the good working atmosphere in the metalworking department.
Which vocational college do you attend? What is a typical day like at your vocational college?
I attend the technical college in Steinfurt. During the first year of training, I attended the vocational college on Mondays and Tuesdays. Now, in my second year, I only go to college once a week, on Wednesdays. As well as vocational college, we also get external training at the 'bfw' in Rheine. We get basic training in working with metal here, including filing, drilling, marking, cutting, sawing etc. This course takes a week and takes place at the start of the training. And then just before the exam, there is also an exam revision course that specifically prepares you for the final exam in the individual specialist areas.
Which subjects are you studying at vocational college?
I am taking a lot of technical subjects. These are arranged into different learning areas and come under the heading of 'technical communication'. There are also subsidiary subjects, such as Business, German, Sport and Religion.
How are you supported at TWE during your training?
A lot of the support comes from my fellow colleagues. They give you a lot of help at the start, and explain everything very clearly. Over time, when you're able to work more independently, you increasingly go to the plants on your own. But when I do have questions, my fellow colleagues or the boss are always there to help. All the trainees meet with our managers every two to three weeks. You can get things off your chest there if something isn't going so well, or you have requirements or questions with respect to the training. For example, at the last meeting we talked about the fact that we are all going to Frankfurt together this year to a large trade fair for technical textiles so that we can see what happens with the products that we manufacture, and how something like this is organised.
What tips can you give applicants who are applying for this apprenticeship?
Be open and make sure you have good mathematical skills. If you are not sure whether the apprentice position is right for you, you should do an internship before you decide. I can only recommend this training. It is very interesting and never boring.
Do you have any plans once you complete your training?
Yes, I'd like to spend a few years working here and then train as a Technician or Master.
To what extent have you further developed on a personal level during your apprenticeship?
I have become a lot more independent, I have learned how to work in a team, and have improved my technical understanding and skills. That is also helping me at home and in my free time.
When you think back, what were your first days at TWE like?
In the beginning, everything was completely new to me, of course. On my first day, I was introduced to all my colleagues and took a look around the business. I had never been in an industrial company before so I was really impressed by the huge machines and the technology. But everyone was really nice and helpful so I very quickly felt at home.