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KHS Group

“The dual work-study program is all about gaining work experience early on in your career and having quick practical reference to the theory. This was important to me.”

Fenja Braun

Dual work-study student | Department: Mechanical Design Engineering | Kleve, Germany

What have you trained as?

When I was in eighth grade at junior high school we had the chance to take part in what’s known as Girls’ Day and see what the world of work was like. I didn’t know then what I wanted to do later; I didn’t yet have any idea. Back then I applied to KHS GmbH for Girls’ Day – out of interest as to what was behind the doors in those big production shops. On the day I was given a brief insight into the entire company. One year later we then had to do a three-week internship for school and as I was keen to see and find out more about the company, I also applied to KHS for this. In those three weeks I was able to spend time in many different sections of the company and was often required to lend a hand. I found the practical work and entire concept absolutely fascinating. To see and understand how machines work and which different techniques were used to make an end product that has all the required functions prompted me to start my full high school diploma after leaving junior high school, majoring in mechanical engineering. In the three years I was able to build up my technical knowledge and learn a lot about the basics which I can now fall back on during my studies and in my training on the job. After finishing my high school diploma I was in Chile for a year where I did social work for an international young person’s voluntary service. During this year I learned a lot about different cultures and languages. Before I left for Chile, I was able to apply for a dual work-study program at KHS. Following further online tests and phone interviews I was then invited to sign the contract. During this time, at various job fairs and training days I kept bumping into my current instructor Martin Baufeld who kept in contact with me throughout my entire time at school. This meant that I was also able to do a short internship in the vacation while still at senior high and get to know the Mechanical Design Engineering Department where I now mainly work.

What’s next for you?

I’ve now completed three semesters of my degree course and also have my first year of training behind me. The next item on the agenda is my intermediate exam. I then move on to the fourth block of my degree course and in a year I’ll have done my finals. I’ll most likely have finished my degree by the summer of 2021. Following this, I hope that KHS GmbH will hire me to work in Mechanical Design Engineering or possibly Development.

“After each theory block I always look forward to coming back to the company and seeing and understanding the actual machines in practice.”

What makes your job so interesting? What’s so special about it and what do you enjoy?

As I’m on a dual work-study program, I’m never bored! There’s always something to do. My studies at university concentrate on the full theoretical spectrum of mechanical engineering technology. During my training blocks at work I can then apply the theory I’ve learned in practice. After each theory block I always look forward to coming back to the company and seeing and understanding the actual machines in practice. The mixture of university course and training on the job makes this program really special.

What tools and materials do you work with?

I mostly work on a computer where I can study all components of a machine with the help of a 3D CAD program and rework them if needs be. To start with I even still worked with pencils on a drawing board to get a feeling for hand drawings and how the individual symbols and signs are positioned.

Why did you opt for a dual work-study program?

After finishing my full high school diploma I wanted to study. However, I kept hearing that lots of things you learn at university can’t be put into practice at a company as the theory can’t be directly translated into practical application. For me it was thus important to have quick practical reference to the theory. At the same time it’s always good to gain some work experience early on in your career. These two aspects are precisely what the dual work-study program is all about.

Do you have a hobby? Are you involved in any committees or clubs?

In my spare time I like to play golf and enjoy being outside in the fresh air. I also love to travel, usually with Christian charities, and in doing so help other people. What’s more, I like photography and always have my camera with me in the hope of capturing special lighting or motifs on film. Besides traveling I’m also very involved in the Free Christian Parish in Kleve and help out in various ways here, such as with their audio technology.

If you had a year out, what would you do?

If I could take a year off and had a certain budget to spend, I’d definitely pack my suitcase! One place I’d still really like to visit is New Zealand. I’d love to see and experience its beautiful and diverse scenery with my own eyes. Other destinations such as Canada and another trip to Chile are also on my wish list. At the same time I’d want to use the time to help people who don’t have as good a life as I do.

Site Kleve in brief

Employees

320

Trainees

18

Average years of service with the company

21 years

Company premises

63,135 m2

Founded

1957

Product portfolio

Packaging machines, Nature MultiPack™ machines

KHS GmbH Boschstraße 1-3 | 47533 Kleve | Germany