My name is Tobias Blatz and I am in my fourth semester of a Information Management course at the Cooperative State University. After completing my bachelor's in economics at Heidelberg University, I was faced with the decision of completing a master's in the same subject or starting a second degree course with a more practical focus.
The university course was very theoretical. I wanted to find out more about the practical side of how a company works. That's why I decided to complete a cooperative study program as a second degree rather than completing a master's. I found the information management degree to be very interesting as it complements my first degree. And I have also always been interested in IT.
As my hours are flexible, I can choose when my working day starts and ends. I generally start between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. The first thing an information management engineer does in the morning is start their laptop. Then open Outlook. I go through my emails and look at my calendar to check for any upcoming meetings. Once this is done you can start on your tasks. The tasks are completely different in every department – an information management engineer has a broad scope of duties. It includes everything from programming tasks in ABAP, C# or JAVA through to program descriptions based on requirements.
Everyone was very friendly and I was received with open arms. I always felt part of the department and was pleasantly surprised at how much attention and time managers took for me.
One example was the development of a SAP transaction for the SEW plant in Lyman, USA: many of our locations around the world use SAP to support and process operational procedures, such as purchasing or warehouse management. Small applications within this SAP software are referred to as transactions. My task was to program and adapt a transaction to provide the fitters in Lyman with a detailed overview of the components required for various tools as well as where the parts were warehoused. This task took me several weeks. Daily progress is a mix of instructions from colleagues and independently acquired knowledge.
The theoretical phases at the Cooperative State University last for three months. I and my fellow students have been divided into relatively small course units. Attendance is mandatory and a typical day at the university lasts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The classes at the Cooperative State University are similar to a class community. You quickly develop friendships and study groups in addition to those at SEW-EURODRIVE.
As a student, I receive meaningful tasks that provide real added value for the company. I also think it's great that we are an industrial company that produces something. For me as an IT engineer, who would otherwise only be producing software, it is good to know that you have helped to produce something tangible.
All of the departments that I have worked in so far have been very friendly and received me with open arms. I always felt part of the department and was pleasantly surprised at how much attention and time managers took for me.
SEW-EURODRIVE is an international company in which you can see and learn a great deal. As a student, you are given a lot of freedom in selecting the departments in which you want to work, so it's easy to find out which activities you really enjoy. The chances of receiving a permanent position are also very good.