Starting a job dual study program
After leaving school, many young people think about what their career entry should look like. Theory at university or practical training in a company? But why choose either or? Our three former students, Jan-Niklas Vierheller, Yannick Rave and Christian Seifert report on how both can be combined with dual studies.
Every year, Lufthansa Systems hires dual students to study Business Informatics and Applied Informatics at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim. How did you choose your practice company?
Christian: We all come from the Applied Computer Science program. With us, about 20 more students started in October 2015. In my search for a dual study program, I contacted the employment agency. Their suggestions included a job advertisement from Lufthansa Systems and I applied.
Yannick: During my search, I mainly focused on large companies with many perspectives and exciting projects. You can't get past Lufthansa and that's how I became aware of Lufthansa Systems. During my practical assignments, I also learned to appreciate the exciting combination of IT and aviation.
Jan-Niklas: I definitely wanted to study Applied Computer Science and was recommended by a friend to look at the program from Lufthansa. I then found the right job advertisement via Be Lufthansa. The passion for aviation also developed during my studies.
How can you imagine such a dual study program?
Yannick: The phases of the dual study program are divided into blocks of three months each. We always had a theory and a practice phase in alternation. The theoretical phases at the DHBW Mannheim can be compared to the semester at a university. However, we were only around 25 students in the course and were thus able to work on exciting projects in a practical way.
Jan-Niklas: In the practical phases, we were able to go through different departments. We were involved in both new and existing applications and were allowed to take on responsibility right from the start. That was great to get to know the entire range of products, projects and opportunities in a company like Lufthansa Systems.
Christian: Compared to a regular course of study, you have less free time because there are no semester breaks. Instead, the theoretical phase is followed by practical work. The advantage of this, however, is that the knowledge gained in the theory phase can be directly implemented in the practical phases. The departments at Lufthansa Systems are very flexible with the distribution of tasks, so you can concentrate on the topics you are interested in and on which there is a theoretical connection.
Was there a project that you particularly liked?
Jan-Niklas: One highlight was definitely working on an app.
Yannick: Yes, we were able to work very closely with the developers in Budapest and learned a lot. But we were also allowed to develop features on our own and contribute our ideas, which was a lot of fun.
Christian: The introduction of the Jenkins application on one of our products was particularly helpful for me, as it laid the foundation for the further introduction of Continous Integration. Continous Integration means the continuous assembly of components into an application. Jenkins supports developers in this task.
You graduated in September 2018. What is your conclusion?
Christian: Looking back, the three years of dual study at Lufthansa Systems were incredibly practice-oriented and very informative for us. The size, internationality and product portfolio of the company offered us many opportunities to get to know the exciting and highly complex world of IT beyond the lecture hall.
Jan-Niklas: By changing departments, we were able to work on new innovations as well as maintain proven products. From big data to app development to new product developments, the spectrum was really wide. This variety is also what makes the dual studies here so special.
Yannick: We learned a lot, gained a lot of experience and worked with great people. Of course, there were also very stressful and demanding phases, but I am very happy about my decision to complete the dual studies here.
When was it clear to you that you would like to continue working for Lufthansa Systems?
Yannick: I was impressed by the friendly atmosphere right from the start, for example when my mentor introduced himself to me with his first name on my first day. At Lufthansa Systems, I worked on interesting topics during the practical phases and was allowed to assume responsibility. I always got to know nice and funny colleagues and always felt at home and valued.
Christian: When the first inquiries from the specialist departments came in February 2018, we already felt very flattered. It is a nice compliment for our work and development over the past few years that various departments would like to continue working with us.
Jan-Niklas: Yes, I agree. The practical phases have shown that we can make a contribution to the company at various levels, which is also acknowledged. Everyone can contribute their personal interests and strengths to the various departments.
Six new dual students have just joined Lufthansa Systems. Do you have any tips for your young colleagues?
Yannick: In any case, try to get to know as much as possible of Lufthansa Systems by completing your five free practical phases in different departments. This is your time to try as much as you can to find topics that inspire you.
Christian: IT is much more than programming and you can take on a variety of different tasks here at Lufthansa Systems. Everyone should take advantage of this opportunity.
Jan-Niklas: Entering professional life and studying is a natural change at the beginning. However, you are not alone and many people support you, whether at university or in the company, in learning and gaining experience. So have a lot of fun!
Thank you very much for the interview and all the best for your future career.
You can read more about our dual students in their blog at Be Lufthansa.