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My name is Daniel and I am currently completing my first bachelor’s semester in the dual mechatronics course at Continental AG.
How did I get to Continental? Why mechatronics, of all courses? And isn’t that much too stressful as a dual student?
All these questions, which you might ask yourselves, I would like to clarify with this blog entry and share my experiences with you after the first few months.
I’ll start from the very beginning: the starting shot on my path was my secondary school leaving certificate in 2014, followed by training as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician. This gave me my first experience in the world of work. During my training, however, I quickly realized that my career was exciting but didn’t leave much room for free and creative work. Therefore, I decided to graduate from a vocational school in order to complete my apprenticeship with a degree.
As one of the most diverse employers in northern Germany, it quickly became clear that a dual course of study was my number one priority at Continental. I was also attracted by the network of a globally active company, which offers me opportunities to contribute my previous foreign experience from school and vocational training. Since I was very interested in the topics taught during my apprenticeship and wanted to deepen my knowledge of them even further, I quickly decided on the mechatronics course of study. The study does not include parallel IHK training, but practical phases in the lecture-free time of the university, in which one can bring the theoretically learned into practice.
After submitting my application and successfully completing the Assessment Center, I started my studies in July last year. The first month of my studies took place in the training center and we learned the basics of metalworking through courses in filing, turning, milling and welding. My first assignment in testing technology at ContiTech Antriebssysteme GmbH took place in August. The Vahrenwald plant produces belts for various automotive and industrial applications. In order to guarantee quality and test new belts, they are tested in testing technology using various methods. Testing technology is also responsible for optimizing and developing new test benches.
My fear that I would not have enough knowledge before the first semester to take on tasks in the department was unfounded. I was given exciting tasks to try out and grow with the challenges. My first project in the specialist department was the development of gears for a test bench where a special measurement was to take place. Due to the basic knowledge of the computer program CAD (computer-aided design and work planning), which I learned in the technical secondary school, I was able to familiarize myself well with the task and always got the right tips when problems arose in order to be able to complete the project at the end of the practical phase. I particularly appreciate the freedom to work independently on the projects.
Together with dual students of other courses of study and training we attended a seminar outside of Hanover for several days. There we learned basic business skills, which make it easier to start a career, and of course there was also enough time for us to get to know and exchange ideas with each other.
Shortly thereafter our first semester at university started. We attended the lectures with other dual mechatronics students from companies in the Hannover region. Some lectures are only for this course, other lectures also take place with other students of the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts. For me it is especially nice to have the opportunity to get to know many interesting people and to form learning groups.
With the new findings from the university, I am already looking forward to the next practical assignment and the next exciting projects at Continental in Hanover, nationally or internationally.