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Give the future a try

is the motto of the Hessen-Technikum study and vocational orientation programme, in the scope of which young women are given the opportunity to gather experience in the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in a combination of a taster course at Hochschule Fulda - University of Applied Sciences and a three-month placement respectively at two companies, providing them with a key insight into day-to-day work situations.
In October of last year, a young woman once again seized the opportunity to complete a three-month placement at our company, enabling her to gain an impression of the direction that her future career path could take her in. Throughout this period, she was supported by her mentor, Ms Jahn.

Her placement began in our design department. A further staff member assisted here as “specialist supervisor”. In the first few days Ms Petter learned about the Creo Parametric CAD programme, also carrying out practical tasks on the PC. However, it was not long before she was assigned with creating “company relevant” drawings. “In addition to the drawing and design content I also learned a great deal about using computers, particularly how files are named and filed under a standardised system. This will definitely be a big help to me in my daily work. People were confident that I could perform a task, perhaps even more confident than I was myself. On the other hand, I did not feel out of my depth. I was able to test my limits in the positive sense,” says the intern of her work in the design department.
This was followed by time in various production halls. “I was able to see the flip side of design and appreciate the stages that an idea passes through until the completed product emerges, during which I learned lots of skills. For example, I learned how to use the drill and various hand-held tools such as callipers, files, punches and thread cutters. I also worked with different materials, primarily aluminium, stainless steel and black steel.”
Her tasks also included cutting sheet metal with the guillotine shears or deburring with a grinder, as well as the production of H-sections and U-rails.
“I was able to carry out all of the tasks that I was assigned with largely on my own and was able to acquire a lot of practical know-how. I was expected to accomplish a lot on my own, but I never felt isolated, because I could ask questions at any time,” was Ms Petter’s assessment of her placement with us.

Ms Jahn, her mentor at the company, studied in the STEM field herself.
“I am glad that I can encourage other girls to follow this path. I am especially interested in motivating young women who are thinking about a technical career or course of studies. A technical education offers numerous options for your future career path. At our company alone you can see how many different areas can be covered by a technical qualification – mechanical engineering, design, electrical engineering and many more. In the technical field you never stop training and learning new things, which makes it interesting. At our firm in particular there are always new tasks to manage, which makes every day interesting and the work enjoyable. I also think that men and women take different approaches to work and that the combination delivers an optimal outcome. As a Hessen-Technikum mentor, my task is to draw up a tailored schedule for the participants and act as first point of contact for them. I find that the Hessen-Technikum is a good opportunity for girls to try out STEM professions without the need to start studying immediately after leaving school and possibly abandoning the course later. After all, not everyone is certain that their chosen course and subsequent profession are what they really want to be doing in the future,” says Ms Jahn.

If you are interested in technology and also find science exciting but are not yet sure which path to follow, take a look at www.hessen-technikum.de

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