Saskia G. just finished her dual system studies in business economy at EUROIMMUN and tells us how she manages to combine work, studying and competitive sports.
Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do at EUROIMMUN!
My name is Saskia, I‘m 23 and finished my dual system business economy studies at EUROIMMUN in September. Since then I have been working three days a week at EUROIMMUN in the Human Resources (HR) department and studying in parallel, doing my Master’s degree in General Management at the “Nordakademie” graduate school in Hamburg.
What exactly are your tasks in the HR department?
I work in personal and applicant management. I view and record the applications and sort the documents before handing them over to the respective department. I also organise job interviews. I am also responsible for the trainees and plan their placements in the different departments at EUROIMMUN.
That sounds interesting! What do you like best about your tasks?
I like the fact that I get an insight in many different tasks and professions. Also, not long ago, I sent in my application, and now I am literally sitting on the other side of the desk and dealing with the trainees’ applications, which I find really cool.
How did you come to EUROIMMUN?
A friend of mine did her training to be an industrial clerk in the company, therefore I had heard a lot about EUROIMMUN already. When I was still in school, I visited a job fair in Lübeck, the Nordjob. There I met Denise, who would later be my “tutor”. I handed my application forms in there and then, in the summer break, I did a mini work experience for three days, and just shortly later I got accepted for the dual system study.
Why did you choose the dual system to study?
I found the combination of theory and practice very interesting. I am very ambitious and my grades also allowed me to start this career. After three years of studying, you receive two titles: you are then an industrial clerk and have a bachelor in business economy. You can start working at an early age and earn your own money from the start.
So how exactly does the dual system work at EUROIMMUN?
In the dual system, the students spend a part of their time at the company and a part at uni. You always spend ten weeks at uni and in between, four to six weeks in different departments at EUROIMMUN. At the beginning, you work e.g. in the warehouse and in the production, and later in the specialty departments, e.g. controlling, purchasing, or HR. I really like that you can often directly apply the things you learn at uni.
Can you explain how the training works at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) for industrial clerks?
I did not go to vocational school but applied for the exam after two years. Therefore, I had to prepare myself for the exam. However, there is also the possibility of taking a course to prepare for the exam. I managed to do it without the course and even passed the second best of all Schleswig-Holstein.
What did you like best about the dual system and what did you not like that much?
I really liked that we got to go abroad quite a lot at uni. For example, I spent time in Ireland, Istanbul and China. At EUROIMMUN, I like that we are given responsibility. For example, I was the back-up for a colleague of the marketing department when she was off ill for a while. What I find a bit of a shame is that you don’t get to see your colleagues when you’re away at uni.
What do you think is the biggest challenge when studying a dual system career?
I think the biggest challenge is to manage your time. Depending on whether you want to challenge yourself to excellent grades or rather “just pass”, you really have to study hard. But if you’re good at managing your time, it is possible.
What other characteristics do you think are important if you want to study a dual system career?
Flexibility is a must! Sometimes plans change, so you might be spontaneously needed in another department due to someone being ill, or something similar. Also you should be ambitious and determined. And you need to be organised, as you have to plan not only your tasks at work, but also your uni tasks.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who’s interested in a dual system career?
Good marks are important, as a solid qualification is the basis for the whole career. If you don’t have enough of a basis, you might struggle at some point when you have to catch up with stuff.
What do you do in your free time?
I am a real sports freak! I do wheel gymnastics and practice four times a week! Moreover, I go to the gym twice a week. Not long ago I came second in the north German and third in the German championship. At the moment I am training for the coming world cup, and the qualifications for the German national team take place soon. I also play handball. At the weekends, I not only train, but also have tournaments or competitions.
How do you manage all this – work, studying and competitive sports?
It’s all about time management! I usually drive to Hamburg for training just after finishing work in Lübeck. Usually I have one to two hours in between where I get to study, for example in a café or so. Sometimes I also do my studying late after training. I must say that sometimes I don’t get to sleep quite that much, but I’m still young, so it’s alright! I also do all this voluntarily because I like it so much! The flexible work times at EUROIMMUN help a lot. I can leave work an hour earlier if necessary, or even take time off out of overtime if I participate in a competition in southern Germany and have to leave early on a Friday.
What has been your personal highlight during your training at EUROIMMUN?
I always really liked the award ceremonies! For example, when I finished my training and was given a prize for having the second best results out of all the industrial clerks in Schleswig-Holstein who did the IHK exam, my tutor Denise came on the stage with me and we received the prize together. I was really proud then and it felt like giving something back to the company. EUROIMMUN has really supported me a lot! For example, they helped with the tuition fees.
What are your aims for the future?
As for my job, I am focusing on finishing my Master’s degree with really good results and specialising in HR and I would like to stay at EUROIMMUN. Apart from this, the gym wheel world cup is obviously my biggest goal!