IMA Schelling Deutschland
Experience reports

Our apprentices talk about their experiences at IMA Schelling

EXPERIENCE REPORTS OF OUR APPRENTICES

DO YOU FEEL LIKE STARTING AN APPRENTICESHIP AT IMA SCHELLING?

There are so many apprenticeship professions, making you lose track of how they may fit your talents. How do you know which profession is the right one and how the atmosphere in the company is?! How are things going with the trade school? 

Below you find the stories of apprentices and former apprentices who wrote about their experiences. They may help you get a clearer idea of the profession you are interested in and also of the company IMA Schelling.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Hey, I am currently one of the dual system students at IMA Schelling Deutschland in Lübbecke. In cooperation with IMA Schelling and the Bielefeld Polytechnic, I am studying to become a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.

Already during my A-levels, I realized that dual studies in this field would be the right thing for me. Not only because I already knew that I would like to start a business career, but also because the many advantages of dual studies convinced me:

  • During the studies, you not only gain theoretical knowledge but also practical experience
  • You get adequate apprenticeship salaries
  • With approx. 30 students, the number of students in the dual study model of the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration is smaller than in the Business Administration full time study course
  • You have a good chance of being employed

After only 3.5 years, you will have completed your studies and simultaneously gained professional experience. The study course is structured so that I spend three months at the Polytechnic and then three months in the company, and so forth. Written tests take place after the theoretical phase, allowing me to fully concentrate on the company during the practical phase. At IMA Schelling, I go through all the relevant departments in order to understand the relationships between the individual sectors and within the company. 

Even if it is a little too stressful sometimes, I do not regret my decision of being a dual system student. Every department makes you feel welcome, and also the solidarity between the apprentices is particularly strong. We do many things together, such as the apprentices' pizza eating, bowling nights, visits to Christmas markets, and many more…

COMPUTER SCIENCE EXPERT

Hi, I'm Florian (19), and I would like to tell a few things about me getting started with my apprenticeship, about the company IMA Schelling Deutschland as an employer as well as about the apprenticeship itself.

When I was in the middle of my exams for the A-levels in economics and administration (“computer science” level) and when it came to applying for an apprenticeship, it was not completely clear to me which field to choose. However, through numerous internships in technical and commercial jobs, I already had a relatively good idea of what could be waiting for me. Even internships that I didn't like helped me say: “I am going to take a different path.” I finally chose to apply for IMA Schelling's business management and computer science apprenticeships.

At the annual IMAgination Day, I gained insight into the company (tour of the premises) and talked frankly with apprenticeship trainers and apprentices. Fortunately, I was later invited to take part in a practice day where I got the first impression of my future colleagues and the working environment in the IT department. I finally decided to apply for IMA Schelling's “Computer Science Expert - System Integration” apprenticeship and was hired.

During the introduction weeks, we got training and presentations in order to be able to find our way through the company. This made it very easy to get started. It furthermore strengthened solidarity since team-building measures were also on the agenda. Hence, it was a fast way to create a feeling of solidarity among all of our apprentices. In the course of time, I increasingly felt like being part of the “IMA Schelling family”. In the IT department, I received a warm welcome and soon got familiar with everything.

The very multi-faceted nature of the IT field makes it difficult to present all facets of such a complex profession to an apprentice and to prepare him for all situations. The company IMA Schelling itself is based on such a big IT system, covering a large part of all departments of my apprenticeship and hence giving me so many opportunities to gather expert knowledge. All in all, I have a moral obligation to learn. This does not mean that I am solely responsible for my apprenticeship, since apprenticeship trainers and colleagues pay a lot of attention to the development and the learning process completed or to be completed. The obligation to learn is more related to the aspect that I can anticipate the development in order to expand my knowledge by asking questions, reconstructing a process or technology and by getting insight into the work field of my colleagues. That means, I can take the speed and rhythm of my apprenticeship in my own hands and accelerate or decelerate the learning process whenever required. My apprenticeship trainer and I meet regularly to exchange information and to keep track of everything.

Again and again, there are subjects and fields in which you feel particularly strong and show interest, or subjects in which you are weaker and where you may also lose interest – this is absolutely normal. When colleagues realize that I have problems with a topic or technology, they take their time to explain it in their own words. Thus you learn a whole lot more.

Good performance or results are rewarded with compliments and appreciation. This gives me a good feeling and tells me I'm on the right path. And it makes it easier for me to solve tasks that I am allowed or required to perform on my own. So I get the feeling that they put their trust in me and my work. Frank talks and exchange of information with colleagues are of great help to me, and I think they are building blocks of a successful apprenticeship at IMA Schelling.

I not only like the work but – despite all the freedom – also feel I am in safe hands that will help me whenever I need help. The friendly atmosphere among colleagues, the solidarity between the apprentices and the possibility of specializing in a number of IT fields – of course also after the apprenticeship – as well as the fact that IT infrastructures are continuously expanding and playing an increasingly greater role in today's world are good arguments in favour of starting a “Computer Science Expert - System Integration" apprenticeship at IMA Schelling.

BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING IN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

Hey, I am a dual system student (Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering) at IMA Schelling Deutschland in Lübbecke. The study course is divided into theoretical and practical phases of three months each, and lasts 3.5 years.

During the theoretical phases, I visit lectures and internships at the Bielefeld Polytechnic, Minden Campus. Since the number of students is only about 20 - 25, everybody knows one another and you can go directly to your lecturer or professor if you have questions or want to resolve an issue. At the end of each theoretical phase, written tests or other tests (oral test, delivering project work, …) are carried out to complete the modules in the fields of technology and business administration.

The theoretical phase is followed by the practical phase in the company. Here, during the entire study period, I go through different departments in which I am allowed to perform tasks for the company on my own. These often refer to contents of the lectures so that a direct link between theory and practice is created and knowledge can be applied in practice.

This is also one of the reasons why I chose to study as a dual system student. Moreover an apprenticeship salary is paid, letting you earn some money already during your study. On the other hand, of course, sometimes you go through a stressful phase, but with hard work, commitment and perseverance you will manage to get it all done. Furthermore, friendly colleagues or apprentices who have studied for more terms or semesters support you at work.

The apprentices at IMA Schelling know each other quite well, and there is a strong feeling of solidarity. Especially because of this, I always enjoy activities like bowling nights, eating pizza together or trips to the Christmas market.

Finally, what I can say up to know, is that I like the apprenticeship a lot because it is multi-faceted and very exciting. In any case, it was the right decision to study as a dual system student.

TECHNICAL PRODUCT DESIGNER

We are currently doing an apprenticeship as technical product designer at IMA Schelling Deutschland.

Our apprenticeship lasts 3.5 years, but can be shortened to 3 years when we get good grades. Our trade school is the Leo-Sympher Berufskolleg in Minden, where we are twice a year for 6 weeks. Our timetable includes subjects such as mathematics, technical drawing by hand and on PC, materials science, and some German and English. But with a little hard work, this poses no problem.

The apprenticeship starts with training in the fundamentals of metalworking in our training workshop. The next stage is the design office where you first draw by hand using a drawing board in order to learn the fundamentals of technical drawing. After a certain time, you are trained in computer-assisted design. Here you learn to create 3D models and 2D drawings. All these tasks always require autonomous working.

Generally speaking, we have to perform the various tasks in the office. These include on the one hand discussing and choosing materials, of course creating drawings, plans and parts lists as well as finding solutions to problems. You are involved in all processes – from the beginning of the development to the completion of the machine. That means, during our apprenticeship, we are faced with miscellaneous challenges and nobody gets bored.

However, we do not spend all our time sitting at a desk. Many things need to be discussed with the skilled workers in the assembly shop. Moreover, by going through the departments in the factory after the intermediate exams, we get insight into the production and assembly of subassemblies and acquire a lot of knowledge about these processes.

We decided to choose our apprenticeship as technical product designer because it will open many doors. Learning this profession enables further education to become a technician and also lays the foundation for studying mechanical engineering.

MECHATRONICS ENGINEER

I am currently doing an apprenticeship as mechatronic at the company IMA Schelling Deutschland GmbH. The apprenticeship normally takes 3.5 years, but can be shortened to 3 years when a defined average grade is achieved.

I chose this apprenticeship profession because it covers a wide range of tasks and will later on offer many possibilities of further education.

When the apprenticeship started, we were first trained in the fundamentals of metallurgy. Here, we had to manufacture and assemble a workpiece from individual smaller pieces.  In this process, we demonstrated our practical skills in drilling, milling, filing, etc. After we had completed the workpiece, we were assigned to the different IMA Schelling departments where our task was to assemble working units or machine support beams and to install electrical wiring. However, the most interesting thing I have learned was the programming and commissioning of the different woodworking machines: you had to identify faults and their causes and correct the faults all on your own.

In any case, I would again choose this apprenticeship profession because I am always interested in mechanical engineering. Moreover, requirements are changing continuously so that my activities never get boring.

Note: For better readability, we refrain from using the language forms male, female and diverse (male / female / male) at the same time.
All personal names naturally apply equally to all genders.