A look at some of the diverse areas of deployment of our cooperative study students and graduates

 

Erik S. – Mechatronics engineering undergraduate

Start of programme: 2014

 

Hi Erik! To take part in the mechatronics engineering programme do you have to be ace in maths and physics? What do freshmen really need?
For the mechatronics engineering course you need a certain feel for technical processes and a desire to know how they work in detail. Plus, it certainly is an advantage if you are well prepared in the subjects of maths and natural sciences, as they are part of the entire degree course. But you don't necessarily need to be a crackerjack ;) For the practical phase it is also important that you have a strong sense of self-confidence, to be able to work well in a team and to have an outgoing personality. However, these skills are further built on during the course of the programme.

The cooperative study programme involves a lot of learning and calls for plenty of self-discipline. How do you deal with that?
Exams always take place at the end of the three-month theoretical phase. Therefore, it is important to stay on top of things during this phase and to follow up on all of the lectures. During the exam period I create an extensive study plan ahead of time, which I use to set interim goals. This prevents me from having to face an insurmountable amount of material that needs to be worked through just before the exams.

How is the programme structured? What do the lectures entail?
The theoretical and practical phases alternative every three months. This way I can make use of the theoretical knowledge that I have acquired in practice, but the experience I acquire in practice also serves as a foundation for the theoretical phases. Mechatronics engineering is a very versatile course and offers a wide variety of lectures. You acquire knowledge of the foundations of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and information technology. Plus you also acquire an understanding of business process by attending business lectures. Once you have started the 5th theoretical semester, you have the opportunity to specialise. The course has great practical orientation. Some of the basics are even taught in the laboratory and the instructors, who usually teach in addition to their actual profession, impart theoretical knowledge with practical examples from their own daily professional life.

Felix S. – Industrial engineering undergraduate

Start of programme: 2014

 

Hi Felix! Why did you decide to take part in the cooperative study programme to obtain a degree in industrial engineering? How did you learn about this programme?
In my final year at vocational high school, specialising in the field of business, I developed the desire to incorporate technical aspects in addition to business topics in my later job. At the Federal Labour Office, the industrial engineering degree course was pointed out to me, which was also frequently offered within the framework of a cooperative study programme.

And the practical phases of the programme take place in the company. Tell us a little about your daily work routine.
Usually the practical phases take place in various different departments. After an introduction to the new area, you start out by doing smaller tasks under the supervision of a mentor. Once you have gained more experience, the scope of tasks increases and you also have contact to customers. Toward the end of the practical phase you are able to complete your tasks independently.

Once you graduate, which professional fields are available to you at Schenck RoTec?
The professional fields of an industrial engineer are very diverse. Industrial engineers are often deployed at the interface between the commercial and technical departments. At Schenck RoTec this applies e.g. to the departments Purchasing, Controlling, Project Management, Service, Quality Management or Sales.

Laura G. – Project Manager Product Line Turbocharger

Degree: B. Eng. Industrial Engineering
Year of graduation: 2015

 

Hi Laura! What did you enjoy most during the cooperative study programme as an industrial engineer?
The combination of practice and theory in the cooperative study programme was perfect for me. Because besides studying and learning, I was able to contribute actively in practice. The industrial engineering programme also gave me the opportunity to combine commercial areas with mathematics and technology.

Before you applied, how did you obtain information about education opportunities?
I heard a lot about the opportunities that the cooperative study programme has to offer from friends and at job fairs, which is why I decided to pursue this path. As I know DHBW Mannheim as a cooperative university, I acquired information about their partner companies in the vicinity.

Looking back, did you make the right choice in taking part in the cooperative study programme for industrial engineering at Schenck RoTec?
Yes. Looking back, I can say without a doubt that this was the right decision for me. The course contents as a mix of business and mechanical engineering were interesting and diversified. At SCHENCK RoTec I had the opportunity to spend my practical phases in various different departments and to gain extensive insights into potential areas of employment.

What changed after you graduated and started your professional career?
I was very lucky to be able to write my bachelor's thesis in the department that I am currently working in. So, not much changed for me in that sense. I new my colleagues, the working environment and my tasks. Of course, I now have to assume more responsibility for my projects and make decisions that impact the success of the projects.

What was the biggest event you encountered during the cooperative study programme?
A big event in any case was the opportunity spend my practical phase abroad at the Chinese SCHENCK RoTec subsidiary in Shanghai. Having become acquainted with Chinese culture now helps me a lot in my job with Asian customers.

Markus S. – International Project Buyer

Degree: B. Eng. Mechatronics Engineering
Year of graduation: 2015

 

Hi Markus! You completed your cooperative study programme as a mechatronics engineer at Schenck RoTec. Why exactly did you decide to pursue this course?
I was able to attain some initial experience at Schenck RoTec as a working student. Based on this, I had the opportunity to start my studies at this company.

What were some of the activities, projects and tasks during your practical phases?
The tasks varied greatly depending on the department and area of deployment. For instance, the wiring of electrical circuits in one department to mechanical tasks and machine testing in others. During my final practical phase I predominantly was involved in independently assembling machines.

What would you like to share with pupils applying for the cooperative study programme?
Be well informed ahead of time, don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be afraid to apply.

Did the cooperative study programme as a mechatronics engineer at Schenck RoTec meet your expectations? Did you get a good start in your professional life?
Yes, my expectations were met all the way. I would also like to mention the excellent support I received from the company. No matter which questions, concerns or help I needed, Schenck RoTec was always there to help. This is also one of the reasons that the transition to professional life went so smoothly. A big advantage is that I had to opportunity to get to know many of my colleagues during the programme. This is particularly beneficial because I know who to contact if I have any questions.

What were your key guiding principles in successfully completing the programme?
My personal guiding principles are that I always try to make the best of every assignment. On top of that, I always keep a clear goal in mind to motivate me and bring me one step closer every day.

Looking back, what made the cooperative study programme at SCHENCK RoTec special for you?
It was special for me because I was able to work independently in the company during the programme and contribute my own ideas. During my daily work, I met many friendly and helpful people, who today are my colleagues. Also the acceptance among the students in the programme was very high, which reinforced me positively in my actions.

Steffen W. – Project Manager Enterprise Content & Media

Degree: B. Eng. Industrial Engineering
Year of graduation: 2013

 

Hi Steffen! You successfully completed the cooperative study programme in industrial engineering at Schenck RoTec with a bachelor degree in engineering. Looking back, what did you like about the programme?
A regular degree course can be very theoretical and dry, depending on the subject and the instructor. The practical phases are a welcome change to theory. However, there is always a bidirectional transfer between theory and practice, so that the knowledge acquired in theory and the experience gained in practice can be directly combined.

Were there any special events and experiences that you gained as a result of the cooperative study programme?
One very special experience was the stay abroad in Shanghai during my practical phase. Life in the big city as well as the cultural impressions and working with our Chinese colleagues were experiences that will stay with me for a lifetime.

What would you like to share with pupils applying for the cooperative study programme?
Where there's a will, there's a way! Of course, besides pleasant phases the programme also had its difficult ones. But the atmosphere was very pleasant and comradely. As fellow students were always there to help one another, we were able to manage the exam periods very well and the financial freedom one has is certainly also an aspect worth mentioning. So, take the time to write a good application and be yourself at the interview! Your demeanour is often worth more than past achievements.

Thorsten B. – Product Line Manager Automotive Supply Industry

Degree: Dipl.-Ing. mechatronics engineering and automation
Year of graduation: 2004



Hi Thorsten! Many years ago, you successfully completed the cooperative study programme as a certified mechatronics engineer at Schenck RoTec. Why do you feel that Schenck RoTec is the right partner for a cooperative study programme?
Schenck RoTec's broad product range combines many components from the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, automatic technology and IT. You have the opportunity to get to know many different fields and to specialise.
In addition, the globally active company also offers the opportunity to gain international experience or even spend a practical phase at a different location.

Were there any special experiences and events that you were able to make as a result of the cooperative study programme at Schenck RoTec?
The friendship with fellow students at Schenck was a very special experience - especially as three of us were room mates at the time.

What happened after you completed the cooperative study programme at Schenck RoTec?
After I graduated, I worked in the test field for wheel balancing machines for 15 months. In 2006, I switched to the area of high-speed balancing systems as a sales engineer. I took on my role as head of the new product line Automotive Supply Industry mid 2015.

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