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KHS Group

“Young people in particular can contribute new ideas and thus help drive innovation.”

Max Billenstein

Student trainee | Department: Filling, Rinsing and Design Methodology Development | Bad Kreuznach, Germany

What do you like about your work in particular?

Firstly, I have to say that I especially like working in a team as a general rule. In each department I’ve worked in to date as a student trainee at KHS I’ve been part of the team right from the start, been supported by my fellow employees and taught a lot. When I started out as a student trainee in 2016, I mainly wanted to learn something and be able to apply what I was studying at university in practice. Looking back, my practical work and the specialist knowledge I’ve gleaned through this have helped me on my degree course enormously. I started studying straight after graduating from senior high school and began working as a student trainee in my third semester. Up until that point everything had been extremely theoretical and I felt I couldn’t really relate to the subject. Once I started applying my knowledge in practice and working at KHS, however, things suddenly became a lot clearer. I then realized how I was benefitting from my degree course and what I was actually learning; that was a great feeling.

Where else could you work with your training and education?

I’ve always known what I wanted to do. Basically, with a degree in mechanical engineering you have a very wide range of options and numerous opportunities in many different sectors. Friends of mine work in the automobile industry, for example, or for automotive suppliers or engineering offices. A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering is extremely broad in its subject matter; there’s more specialization when you do a master’s. As a rule, everything’s pretty flexible in mechanical engineering and you can develop your strengths and interests through the options you choose. I opted to specialize in product development, for instance.

Why did you choose this particular job?

My father introduced me to KHS and the possibility of working for the company. He also works here. While still at junior high school I did a two-week internship in Design Engineering. I enjoyed it so much that I knew even then that I wanted to do something in this general direction. I therefore knew very early on that I wanted to be a design engineer. I then chose my school subjects accordingly and did my high school diploma at a technical senior high school before going on to university.

Why should young people aim for a career or apprenticeship in your field of work?

For me, the special appeal of working as a design engineer is that you come into contact with every part of the company and through this follow the full product life cycle of a machine. You think about how a component should be designed, engineer it, provide ongoing support during the production of the component and are still in contact with the customer once the entire machine has been completed. It’s a demanding job and one that’s totally diverse. I really find it satisfying to do my bit towards producing a machine that functions and performs as it should. As a design engineer you can contribute new ideas; young people in particular can help drive innovation with their free development opportunities. By having contact to all departments in the company you learn so much and can build up a network. Teamwork is especially important here; this is really enjoyable.

“During my time as a student trainee I’ve developed enormously, both personally and professionally.”

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

I find it particularly interesting and exciting to see the parallels with my degree course and to be able to develop my skills in both theory and practice. At the start of my time as a student trainee I was entrusted with simple jobs; I was told exactly what I had to do. My tasks included making simple drawings, changing a dimension here and there and so on. I can now work fully independently and am included in various contract work. I’m therefore responsible for preparing entire assemblies and am also involved in conversions. During my time as a student trainee I’ve been able to develop both personally and professionally and have learned an incredible amount. It’s great to be able to see how much progress I’ve made.

What subject could you talk about for 30 minutes without having to prepare?

As I’ve worked in various departments as a student trainee for four years now, I have a good insight into the processes and procedures at KHS and into the machines it makes. I’d say that I can’t go into anything in any specific detail but would find something to say about most things here. When new students come to our department to write their thesis at KHS, I’m also their first point of contact and show them around our factory here in Bad Kreuznach. In doing so I of course have to tell them something about our machines and processes. What’s more, I also had to give a presentation at university on a subject of my choice. I talked about our can filler which I really enjoyed doing. The machines at KHS inspire me; I can also talk about them off the top of my head.

What’s the best decision you’ve made so far in your career?

Getting a job as a student trainee has helped me to be where I am now. I’ve learned so much during this time and built up a network. It’s extremely important for me to have taken my first steps in my professional career so early in my time at university. It’s often hard to make this first step. For me, working as a student trainee has definitely been the right way to launch my professional career; it’s given me an extremely good introduction to the world of work and helped me to set my professional goals.

What else do you do?

I now have a bit more time to devote to my hobbies. These are chiefly soccer and spending time with my friends. Studying full time plus about ten hours a week working as a student trainee means that hobbies are sometimes neglected. However, the advantages of a student job like this greatly outweigh the disadvantages which is why I’d recommend it to anybody.

Have you also developed personally by working for KHS?

Yes. I’m now more adventurous when it comes to trying out something new! One example here is when the whole team buys in pizza once a week. I always used to order a Margherita pizza as I was loathed to try anything new. My eating habits have definitely progressed since then and now I sometimes also go for a Speziale. :)

Site Bad Kreuznach in brief

Employees

875

Trainees

50

Average years of service with the company

18 years

Company premises

115,916 m2

Founded

1887

Product portfolio

(Aseptic) fillers, Process engineering, Keg technology

KHS GmbH Planiger Strasse 139-147 | 55543 Bad Kreuznach | Germany