Precise to the millimetre: #ChallengeAccepted
Alina Günnewig has a great passion for technical drawings and precision. She is in her first year of apprenticeship and is learning the profession of product designer at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions in Neubeckum, Germany.
Alina produces scale models precise to the millimeter by hand or with the aid of the AutoCAD computer program and develops cement and chemical plants together with engineers. Alina lives in the Münsterland region and has started her apprenticeship in August 2019, which will last almost 3.5 years.
How did you find your apprenticeship?
I searched on the internet at azubi-me.de, azubiyo.de or ausbildung.de, for example. thyssenkrupp was already a familiar name to me before because friends of mine work here. So it made sense to have a look there, especially since Neubeckum is just a stone’s throw away.
I’m sure many people know graphic designers in advertising agencies, but what do you do as a product designer?
Right, I’m often asked that. For example, graphic designers create posters, product designers create three-dimensional drawings of machines. With the computer programs AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor Professional we mainly develop components for cement plants at our site in Neubeckum. However, I also draw a lot by hand during my apprenticeship. Later, that becomes less and you mainly work on the Computer
And what qualifications do you have?
A-levels. But a basic secondary school leaving certificate is also sufficient. You should definitely have an interest in maths and physics as well as three-dimensional imagination, otherwise the job is no fun.
There are many companies that train female product designers. Why did you decide on thyssenkrupp?
Of course I also applied elsewhere. But at thyssenkrupp I immediately felt comfortable. That was the deciding factor.
Every beginning is hard. How did the first few weeks at the company go?
The start was really easy for us. For example, there was an apprenticeship trip and information events. Not only the apprentices from Neubeckum were there, but also those from other locations.
Apart from the normal learning material, what else is on the agenda?
In between, there is also project work from time to time. Recently, for example, we developed a teapot warmer, a coaster for teapots, also in preparation for the final examination. You learn how to create a project plan, develop ideas and plan the time schedule. Even if it sounds complicated, it is a lot of fun.
What is the contact to the vocational trainer like?
We are currently in the training centre, so of course we see each other every day. But even afterwards, when we are in the departments, there are regular feedback meetings. The vocational trainers are always there for us.
What makes the apprenticeship so interesting?
It’s definitely the workshop visit. During the apprenticeship you are in the workshop twice for three months each time. That’s super helpful because you can take the materials into your own hands and learn to draw better. Additionally, Microsoft Office or SAP trainings are offered, as well as English courses, a feedback training and an etiquette seminar.
You have been in apprenticeship for almost one year, what is your interim conclusion?
I still feel very comfortable. The work is fun and the working atmosphere is relaxed. You are challenged, but at the same time not put under pressure, that’s a good combination. And you barely notice the different hierarchies. Because here we treat each other with respect and I go to work with a good feeling every day.
How does a working week go?
Now in the first year of apprenticeship we spend two days a week at vocational school, the rest of the time at the training center or in the various departments.
Speaking of Corona: How did thyssenkrupp deal with this?
As far as I’m concerned, very well. At the beginning we were completely in the home office. We were neither in the workshop nor in the departments or in the vocational school. We could only gradually return to the workshop from time to time. Of course with masks and in compliance with the Corona distance regulation and the hygienic regulations. In addition, we were and are in close contact with our vocational trainers. During the big lockdown in March, there were immediate conversations and information events.
thyssenkrupp in one word?