"An apprenticeship with a future"

4 Nov 2020

Every year, around 20 apprentices complete their training at LMU in technology, animal care or the laboratory. Two of them are Francesco and Ramon.

Francesco (front) and Ramon (back) at work in the central workshop.

Francesco and Ramon lead the way. They cross the main building of the LMU, descend stairs, open heavy doors. Another long corridor, then they stop: "Welcome to the heart of LMU!" The basements of the main building house the infrastructure that keeps university life running. This is where event technology is engineered, equipment safety is checked, and it's also the domicile of electrical engineers, like Francesco and Ramon.

Nineteen-year-old Francesco and 17-year-old Ramon are both training as electrical technicians at LMU. "An acquaintance told me that you can also do apprenticeships at LMU," Francesco says. "So I immediately did an internship during my school vacations and then applied directly for the job." He has now been here for two and a half years, helping to keep the university's technology up and running, replacing defective equipment or carrying out new installations. "As an apprentice, I'm not yet allowed to work alone, so I always accompany my colleagues and work under their supervision. That way I can also ask all my questions," he laughs. Because even after two and a half years, they still come up. "As an electrical engineer, you never stop learning. Even as a journeyman or master craftsman, you can always learn something new. New devices are constantly being developed or you learn more efficient working methods. That's what fascinates me about the profession."
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Right in the thick of things

Ramon has been an apprentice at LMU since September and can only agree: "Right now, I'm really learning something new every day and I can't even say what I like doing the most yet." He got the idea to apply to LMU as an electrical engineering trainee through an advertisement. "I'm totally happy to have ended up here because the team is so great. I'm allowed to ask questions at any time and there is a very flat hierarchy. The foreman also answers everything for me and always helps me out, which makes the working atmosphere very relaxed." And there's one thing he particularly emphasizes: "In other companies, apprentices are often only used for the lightest work. At the university, we get to do much more and are really involved in the day-to-day business."

As apprentices, the two thus get an insight into all the operating systems that keep the university's teaching and research operations running. "It's a great feeling," Francesco grins. "Even though we're not actively involved in it now as trainees, yes, we get to know emergency operations. There's always a shift that works from 4 to 6 in the morning. They step in if there's a power outage in labs, for example, or a water pipe breaks."
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An internship to get a taste

Finding a suitable apprenticeship is sometimes not so easy, so what's the best way to go about it? "For me, it was quite important to do an internship at the company to get to know the team and the atmosphere. I felt right at home at LMU and therefore applied for the apprenticeship right away," says Francesco. Ramon felt similarly: "To find the right place, it's important to know yourself. What are your own strengths, weaknesses and passions. Only when you know all this about yourself can you really look for a profession. If you're unsure, an internship helps a lot."

And afterwards? "After the apprenticeship, you're a journeyman, or journeywoman," Francesco tells us. After that, you could add a master's degree. "But when I'm done with my training, I'd like to stay here. I'm looking forward to attending further training courses, there's so much to do."
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