Horse farm manager or industrial mechanic? Frederika Schröder had to decide between her two dream jobs. After three summer jobs and an internship as a student, she knew what to do: Horseback riding on her own horse – and a career in a skilled trade within the industry providing the many opportunities that BHS Corrugated has to offer.
Summer job. Internship. Apprenticeship!
Work in an office? All day long in front of the computer? That is not really Frederika's thing. Even growing up, Frederika would always be right at the scene at home if her dad went to fetch the toolbox. Every year before Easter break, she would apply for a summer job at BHS Corrugated. This gave her an insight into the service department, warehouse ("Also very interesting!") and assembly. There, she also completed her school internship – and found everything she enjoys: Construction plans, mechanical skills, and a good team spirit!
Job: Industrial mechanic in industrial automation and machinery. And: Chair of the youth and apprenticeship representation!
Change factor: 7/10.
Type: Always in a good mood :-)
Attitude: "I will definitely try my best!“
Frederika applied for an apprenticeship placement as industrial mechanic. "The job interview was quite surprising" she remembers five years later: "I had to solve math problems and was asked about mathematical formulas!" With her achievements, interests, and her commitment demonstrated in her internship, Frederika was able to shine: She received the placement as an apprentice.
Already a team before the apprenticeship started
Before starting the apprenticeship, all apprentices wer invited to a meet and greet event. The training instructors were invited too. "That was extremely helpful" Frederika Schröder explains: "On the first day of my apprenticeship, I had already met many of the people, and therefore it was easier to focus and take in everything from the very start."
Frederika learnt the skills to perfection
Frederika spent the first three months of her apprenticeship in the training center (ÜBZO). This is where she learnt drilling, milling, filing, turning and thread cutting. "These were three long months" Frederika says and grins, "but afterwards, I was ready for the assembly hall!"
Checked: the ÜBZO
In the intercompany training center in Eastern Bavaria (ÜBZO), apprentices learn the basics for their trade. Furthermore, junior professionals and specialists are trained here for the requirements of a digital workplace. The ÜBZO was founded as subsidiary of BHS Corrugated. Today, the ÜBZO is part of the Lars und Christian Engel (LUCE) foundation. "The ÜBZO is great" Frederika Schröder says, "there you learn everything you need for your own trade. In addition, you gain an insight into many other areas, for example welding and electrics."
After completing her apprenticeship, Frederika Schröder was hired permanently. Today, in pre-assembly, she builds "the inner workings of a machine that I am very interested in: the Slitter Scorer!" These machines cut the corrugated board sheets to the required length and score folds so that they can later be folded into cardboard boxes. "The finished parts are delivered to us, and we assemble them. In doing so, we sometimes have to re-drill, file something to size, recut threads..." Not only does this require mechanical skills, but also brains. "I have to be able to understand the construction drawings, implement them precisely - and always think ahead: Can I assemble this part now, or does my colleague have to work on this part first?"
My colleagues welcomed me with a great openness. Inside the hall, we are all equal.
Frederika Schröder, Industrial Mechanic at BHS Corrugated
If components are heavy, Frederika will move them with a crane. If she needs extra muscle power, the petite young woman will ask a colleague for help. However, being muscular is not the crucial feature in her profession, but rather craftsmanship, a good eye, diligence and working independently. Frederika loves to exercise. Her skilled manual work does keep her fit. "I do not need to exercise in a gym" she laughs. "Nevertheless, I sometimes go anyway, to strengthen my back muscles, for example. We have our own gym at BHS Corrugated!"
- "I see what I accomplish, and my skills come in very handy even at home.
- I carry out a wide variety of jobs and I am very versatile: BHS Corrugated needs staff who are familiar with the overall corrugated box plant!
- I am given a lot of responsibility! And I enjoy plenty of freedom: I am allowed to try out things, work in new fields, and arrange my own work schedule every morning...
- Furthermore, I really enjoy carrying out a craftsmanship in this day and age. It would not be the same without craftsmanship! I am proud to be a part of it."
There is a good possibility that Frederika Schröder will train to become a master craftswoman or technician. "Some of us go that path after the first years of practice" she says. "As a master, I will continue working in the assembly, however, I would take on more responsibilities and supervise a box (= a station in the assembly hall)." Due to the Corona pandemic in 2020/21, she has postponed this decision. She is not interested in studying from home. But she does not feel under any pressure anyway. Because in the course of her first year as a skilled worker, Frederika realized: "I really enjoy it here and what I do: I could see myself here throughout my whole professional career."
I enjoy carrying out a skilled trade within the industry in this day and age. I would not be the same without craftsmanship! I am proud to be a part of it.