When I graduated from secondary school in 2014, I never expected to be where I am today. After my graduation I did an “FSJ” (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr/Voluntary Social Year) in social services. But I quickly realized that something was missing. What was it?
An apprenticeship at TÜV Rheinland?
I have always seen my strengths in working with people, in interaction and in doing something for society. But I wasn’t happy. I was lacking my real interest. The interest in craftsmanship. To expand and use my haptic and psychomotor skills to produce something – that was how I wanted to earn my money. I learned through my brother, who was a mechatronics engineer trainee at TÜV Rheinland at the time, that his company was still looking for a trainee next year. The decision to apply for this position was not difficult for me. I had always been fascinated by his stories about his apprenticeship.
How it went – my training as a mechatronics engineer
Then it all happened really fast. I applied in spring 2015 and was hired in September. Thus, I ended up in the second year in the mechatronics field since the start of this apprenticeship at TÜV Rheinland. There were now two courses for mechatronics engineers.
After initial administrative and organizational difficulties I began to increasingly find my way into training. The working atmosphere between the trainees and my instructor Thomas Külsen was extremely pleasant. They met each other with respect and mutual trust, without questioning any authority.
Unfortunately, it was not always possible for our instructor to fully carry out his instructor’s duties due to the circumstances at the time and the premises available. He was severely restricted, since he was still working for his business field at the same time. So, I had to work out some topics and teach myself. Nevertheless, my instructor was always available for questions and tried to support me.
Instructor tasks as trainee
By 2017, the time had come. We moved because our rooms didn’t offer enough space for equipment and trainees. We got a large training workshop with enough space for machines, electrical equipment, and theoretical work. In addition, my instructor became a full-time instructor. At the time of the move I was mostly alone, because the trainees from the then second year were in the vocational school.
In just under three months, my instructor and I created a training workshop with quality and soul. He involved me more and more in the planning and organization of the new training workshop. While he was struggling with the paper war on hazard assessment and occupational safety, I took on the task as a trainee of helping the other trainees and interns.
The training workshop grew steadily and my apprenticeship was slowly coming to an end. Where would the journey go afterwards?
Opportunity seized – I became an instructor
I received a confirmation in the area of product safety, for which I had just built a project as part of my final examination. One day my instructor and our personnel manager called me into his office. They offered me a job as a second trainer in the training workshop! At that time, we had six trainees in the first year, one in the third and me in the fourth. Now I was spoilt for choice. After a short while I knew: I’ll do it!
I was familiar with the goals and visions of my instructor for the training workshop. I knew what he had built up and what he still wants to achieve, what future he sees for the training. And I wanted to be part of this project. Now, all we had to do was convince TÜV to hire a second trainer. After a long battle of my trainer and my personnel manager, they finally came around and the job was approved.
Becoming a trainer: the prerequisites
After passing my technical discussion I immediately drove back to the company and signed my new contract as an “employee in the training workshop”. Of course, I still had to pass my instructor aptitude test, which I took at night school. I took various seminars to improve my professional skills. In addition, I had decided after the AEVO examination (Ausbilder-Eignungsverordnung/Instructor Aptitude Ordinance) to do the master craftsman.
Now I am a trainer for a future-oriented profession in a well-equipped training workshop with eleven trainees.
Instructor – my dream job
When I think back to the time after my graduation, what ambitions I had and in which area I wanted to work, I can say today: I have found my perfect job. I interact with people, teach young people, do something for society and can even live out my passion for handcraft.
As they say in Cologne: “Et kütt, wie et kütt”…
Whatever happens, happens. (A saying in the German dialect “Kölsch”, which is spoken in Cologne)
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