First contact with the “real world of work”

The two 17 year old students Simone and Nikolas are interning with Frauscher in St. Marienkirchen, Austria. For one month, they are working in the sensors and systems production. We spent a day with them and will give you an insight into their everyday working life as interns.

Simone is highly focused while she starts testing the next wheel sensor. At the instruction of her colleague she connects the sensor to the computer with a cord, screws it onto a piece of rail and takes a moment until all data is imported. She performs a number of tests and unscrews the sensor again after positive results. As a last step, she stretches the arm with the sensor in it above her head in order to keep it away from all metallic objects for at least 30 seconds. The 17-year-old knows exactly what she’s doing and is aware of the importance of her task. “There is a high responsibility in testing the sensors – even human lives can depend on it working perfectly. Everything has to be accurate and it is important to work very precisely.”

Simone simulates a wheel flange on a piece of rail – a very important task in testing wheel sensorsSimone simulates a wheel flange on a piece of rail – a very important task in testing wheel sensors.

“Do what you love!”

Simone has always known that she would never work in a traditional female profession. It was in secondary school when she realised that instead, a technical education was for her. From a selection of schools she chose the Plastic Engineering School in Andorf, Austria – and never regretted her decision. “However, I really enjoy doing regular girly stuff in my free time – I like to meet my friends, go shopping and dance. I also play the flute in a band.” At school, she is one of three girls in her class – amongst 20 boys. Her advice for other girls who are interested in technical professions: “Have the courage to do something different. Do what you love and don’t let others influence your decision.” She’s now in the fourth grade of her school and wants to try out working in a big and international concern in the course of her compulsory internship. Her choice for Frauscher was an easy one – she has heard a lot of positive voices about the company.

Nikolas’ ESD wrist strap is connected to his worktableNikolas’ ESD wrist strap is connected to his worktable. This way he is always grounded and protects all nearby electronic components from electrostatic discharge.

Autonomous and responsible

Just like Simone, Nikolas has also decided to do his compulsory internship at Frauscher. Every morning he sets out for work by car. There he changes into his ESD protective clothing – an antistatic work coat and conductive shoes – and asks his team speaker for allocation to a working area. Depending on where he is working that day, his co-workers give him different tasks. One of his favourite jobs is configuring backplanes – there he has to work very precisely. He assigns code patterns to each slot so that only the designated board can be plugged in. His colleagues are always on hand with help and advice for Nikolas: “Everybody is so kind and supportive. I can just ask whenever I am stuck.” One time, his team speaker had a day of vacation so on the previous day, he gave Nikolas and the other intern a list with the number of control panels that they had to prepare and assemble autonomously. No problem for Nikolas – last year, he has already worked in a company that produces printed circuit boards for Frauscher. Experiencing first-hand how they are being processed further is just as interesting for him as getting to know the internal workflows in a big company like Frauscher.

Simone’s colleague Raphael explains the next stepSimone’s colleague Raphael explains the next step.

A first contact with the “real world of work”

Both Simone and Nikolas agree that their internship at Frauscher is a good opportunity to get an insight into professional life. This is especially true for Simone, as it is her first contact with companies and the “real world of work”. “Sure we apply our theoretical knowledge in the laboratory at school but it is just not the same whether you try hard for a good grade – or whether you suddenly fabricate goods for real customers.” Nikolas adds: “Knowing that the parts I am working on will be distributed all over the world – that’s really great.” The internship was also already helpful for their future career plans. After school, Simone might study at University and Nikolas thinks about working in the production planning department of a company.

After Simone finishes testing the last wheel sensor, she puts it back to the others. She cleans up her work area, disconnects her ESD wrist strap from the table and pushes the trolley into the next hall, where the sensors are then undergoing strict temperature tests. She says goodbye to her colleagues, goes into the dressing room, where she puts her coat in her locker and exchanges her conductive shoes for her casual ones, and leaves for her car. On the way there, she meets Nikolas who is also on his way home. This is how a day in the life of two interns at Frauscher passes.

Anna Reiter

Anna Reiter

08.08.2017

People

949 words

7 minutes reading time

First contact with the “real world of work” First contact with the “real world of work” First contact with the “real world of work”

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