What do I want to become and how can I get a good start in my professional life? Many students ask themselves this question shortly before graduation. Mirko Ehmer – one of the committed apprentices to become an IT specialist for system integration in the 3rd year of apprenticeship at OAS – had already known well before his graduation, which direction he wants to choose: software!
In this interview, we go into more detail about the occupation requiring formal training of an "IT specialist for system integration" at OAS to give future apprentices an idea of what to expect and perhaps to help them answer the one or other question about their career choice.
How did you hear about OAS AG and which occupation are you learning?
I graduated from secondary school and then completed a 2-year full-school training programme to become an information technology assistant. The 2-year model includes training and a vocational baccalaureate. After that, I jumped straight into the job market and found what I was looking for. OAS AG had advertised the job on-line, so I applied and hoped that with a lot of luck – because there are always countless applications – I would get an acceptance letter.
Why did you choose the apprenticeship to become an IT specialist for system integration?
I have been interested in this field for a very long time already. I always had something to do with computers when I was at school and I was enthusiastic about it. In addition, there are simply countless professional opportunities and chances for advancement in this field.
What were your first impressions?
I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxed manners. I was warmly welcomed and after a short time already I grew together well with the team. We are all "enthusiastic computer nerds", have the same interests and can exchange information about innovations and changes and, should questions arise, we support each other.
What did you expect from your apprenticeship and did your wishes come true?
I always find it a bit difficult to put expectations into words. However, I would say there is much about learning by doing. Through the various customer assignments, I have acquired a lot of practical knowledge and expanded my previous level of knowledge. It is possible to learn by reading, but finally doing it yourself is a completely different experience.
How long does your apprenticeship last?
It will take 3 years. During this time, there is always a one-week school block followed by another two weeks in the company. It is possible to shorten the apprenticeship by 6 months. Prerequisites are the approval of the employer and the school along with good academic performance.
What does your working day look like?
Every day is different! Due to the diverse customer assignments with different requirements, from server installations, to maintenance or support of the networks, to installing hardware and installing new server cabinets with storage media. In any case, a wide range of interesting activities.
What educational and personal requirements should I have for the profession?
In any case, you should have a secondary school diploma and, of course, a private interest in technical equipment and software.
How would you describe your job?
Absolutely many-sided! I am both, here in the company and out in the field, which is a perfect combination for me. Technology is constantly developing and the job offers me the opportunity to always be up to date.
Which subjects are particularly important at the professional school and how are the lessons organised?
We have block lessons. Our focus is clearly on IT systems and programming. This in turn requires a good command of English vocabulary because programming is always done in English. But you can learn everything, none of us is a native speaker.
What makes OAS a good apprenticeship employer?
The flexibility and relaxed attitude in the company, but most important for me is the support. Managers, training supervisors, and/or colleagues always have an open ear. We are all on first name terms and have a good working atmosphere.
Which department would you like to spend a day in?
I would be interested in plant engineering to learn more specifically about the technical background. I would also like to work on the control cabinets or perhaps gain experience in soldering.
What advice would you give to a new apprentice?
Be open to new things! Be interested in software, hardware and technology. And always remember: you are learning by doing. Mistakes happen and nobody knows everything. Ask questions if you are unsure and stay on the ball!
What opportunities do you see after the apprenticeship?
After completing the apprenticeship, there are many opportunities in this field – all over Germany. The demand for IT specialists for system integration is high and, consequently, this offers many directions. In addition, there is the option of subsequent academic studies, but I would also be happy with an employment contract here at OAS.
We thank Mirko Ehmer for the interesting interview and wish him continued success in his apprenticeship.
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