Hello Marvin, you have been part of the MENZEL team for 10 years, congratulations! In your opinion, what qualities do you need for your profession and the training for it?
Mainly interest and fun in the trade. In my opinion, it is not so relevant whether you were particularly good or bad at school, because in the end you learn everything in the company and at vocational school. However, being good at mathematics and physics, or having an interest in them, is of course advantageous. Of course, the job also means physical work, you should be reasonably fit, although for heavier items over 30kg which you cannot lift by yourself, you always have the support of cranes.
Why did you decide to train with us as an electronics technician for machine and drive technology?
It wasn't clear to me from the beginning that I wanted to do exactly this kind of training. I was 17 and only knew at first that I wanted to do something in the craft sector. To be honest, I had applied at different companies and it was MENZEL that first offered me an internship. I liked it very much and was immediately accepted for an apprenticeship programme, lasting three and a half years. Besides myself, three other apprentices started with MENZEL at the same time.
Let's take another step back: Why did you want to do "something in the craft sector"?
I had a personal connection to the sector early on because my father is a maintenance technician. I did an internship at the printing company where he works, which strengthened my interest in the craft and technical sector.
And what did you learn during the 3.5-year training?
First of all, the basic structure of the training: At the beginning, you start with three days of practical learning in the company and two days of theory in the vocational school per week. The number of school days then gradually decreases. In the last year of my apprenticeship, I only spent one day a week at vocational school and the other days at the company. This learning concept is accompanied by the fact that you become more and more involved in the team and slowly take on more responsibility. That actually fits quite well, because at first you are naturally shy and have less knowledge. At least that's how it was for me.
What topics do you learn? First of all, of course, the principles of electrical drive machines and electrical engineering in general. In addition, you get insights and practical experience in all production processes of metal processing, e.g. drilling, turning, milling etc. At MENZEL we also have a test field where motors are completely tested before acceptance. In the course of the training, you also learn how to measure the parameters of electrical machines. Then there is a really rewarding feeling after the apprenticeship when you make your first decisions and are thrown in at the deep end.
What are the core activities of your job today?
After a motor has been planned by one of our engineers, it is manufactured. I am usually involved in this manufacturing process from start to finish. This includes the manual processing of the machine, the production of necessary parts, as well as the aforementioned testing and final inspection of the motor before it leaves us. New questions, requirements and challenges can also arise during the manufacturing process, for which we then have to find concrete solutions for in production.
You talk about "we": How does being part of the MENZEL team work?
I really enjoy it! Since MENZEL offers its customers individual motor solutions - and not motors from the assembly line - the special challenge for us is that we always have to be flexible and sometimes have to react very quickly under time pressure. This requires really good teamwork. Sometimes you just need a second head for the right idea or, because of the urgency of the job, three people are involved in one machine, for example. That's what I enjoy and that's why I like working here in the team and at MENZEL.
This fits in with my next question: Why are you still happy at MENZEL and in your job after ten years?
On the one hand, it is of course the colleagues, with whom it is simply fun! On the other hand, it is still exciting from a professional point of view, I am still motivated to learn more and to develop myself further. That's why I started my "State Technician in Mechanical Engineering course, specialising in computer-aided construction" alongside the job. After this four-year qualification, I will be able to continue working in production as well as planning within the office environment.
Is there a project/event that has remained particularly memorable for you?
I definitely remember the first six months, actually the whole first year after completing the apprenticeship. It was very demanding because, you no longer had the ‘puppy protection’. Of course I could still always ask my colleagues if I didn't know something. Then I also remember my first assembly well: it was an overhaul, an old motor had suffered an oil failure, I was required to go to the customer to understand and solve the problem. Being away from familiar surroundings for the first time and facing a customer with confidence - that was exciting!
Finally, can you tell us an anecdote or a tradition from your team?
Sure, there are the typical jokes (laughs). Every trainee has to go through the "go and get this" ritual once - and the part they are looking for doesn't exist. The person who is looking for it then sometimes asks all the way to the management. Or perhaps a somewhat nicer tradition: the first-year apprentices always have to recite a poem in front of our Christmas tree on the last working day before the Christmas break, when the whole company gets together again. Afterwards we toast the year and have Christmas biscuits.
Then we hope to eat many more Christmas biscuits with you in the future. Thank you for the interview, Marvin!
This year we are once again looking for young trainees who can start with a monthly starting salary of 1,005 euros from September 2023. If you would like to apply directly for an apprenticeship as electronics technicians for machine and drive technology and you have a permanent residence in Germany, please send your application (cover letter, CV, certificates) directly to our HR department, to Birgit Müller: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Lisa Ernsting