IC-Insight: Apprenticeship at a start-up

Apprenticeship in a start-up? Johannes and Liliane decided to do it. As future industrial clerks, they will be part of the INERATEC team for three years. While they go through the commercial departments and get an insight into the production, they take on varied and responsible tasks.

Why did you decide to start your apprenticeship at INERATEC?

Liliane: My interest was particularly attracted by the fact that the apprenticeship position was advertised by a start-up. It quickly became clear to me that INERATEC is not a run-of-the-mill company. I also liked the fact that the topic of sustainability was central – as well as the diversity that a start-up offers.

Johannes: I applied for INERATEC’s first apprenticeship offer in 2019 – and became the first trainee. The topic of sustainable technology spoke directly to me. In general, synthetic fuels are simply an exciting and current topic.

Do you also deal with the topic of sustainability in your everyday life?

Liliane: Yes, I also attach great importance to it in my private life, and try to make my transportation as CO2-neutral as possible, to name just one example.

Johannes: It’s similar for me. In the area of consumption, it’s easy to change things by acting more thoughtfully – for example, by reducing meat consumption.

What profession are you training for?

Industrial clerk.

What are the tasks?

Johannes: As an industrial clerk trainee, we rotate through the whole company once in order to understand it in its entirety from an economic point of view. During our training at INERATEC, we will mainly work in purchasing or the procurement process. We will then get to know the Finance and Organization department, where we will gain insight into the financial structure, corporate communications and human resources.

Are you satisfied with your choice?

Johannes: Definitely! I found the subject matter interesting right from the start. Although I was skeptical about an office job, I’m glad I chose the apprenticeship. Firstly, because of the activities I genuinely enjoy and secondly, because of the exciting topics. Another big advantage I see in working at a startup is that you can take on a lot of responsibility and grow with it, while seeing and learning a lot of different things. But you’re not thrown in at the deep end, you always have support from the team.

Liliane: After my first few months, I’m pleasantly surprised. I actually come from a different direction, product design. But I enjoy the organization and structure – I feel very much at home here.

Do you feel comfortable on the team?

Liliane: Definitely. Even on the day of my job interview, I was struck by the good atmosphere and friendly interaction. Here, you feel like you’re on an equal footing with everyone else. You immediately notice the pleasant working atmosphere.

Johannes: Yes, you can always turn to your colleagues with any question. Especially in the beginning, when I was still unsure whether the position was the right decision for me and whether I felt up to the task, the team was always a great support.

Liliane: Exactly, although everyone here has more experience than you, you’re never afraid if you don’t know so much and have to ask a second or third time.

What advice would you give to others who are also considering applying to INERATEC?

Johannes: I would always recommend an apprenticeship here, especially because of the interaction within the team. I would say that if you are motivated, want to take on responsibility and really make a difference, INERATEC is definitely the right choice.

When you look back on your year so far: How have you perceived the development so far?

Johannes: Well, in terms of the company itself, things got off to an exciting start: shortly after I started, we doubled our office space. When we moved, we all pitched in together. The ordering process has also evolved over the past year. You can tell that things are always moving forward.

My first year here has also been so positive thanks to my trainer Johannes: he always takes the time to explain new things to me and leaves enough room to gather experience myself. When everyone in the team takes on a lot of responsibility, you have to be very careful about how information is passed on, and Johannes has always managed that very well. I have never had the feeling that I was overloaded with responsibility. You always have a “go-to” contact person.

You were quickly given quite a lot of responsibility and are now involved in introducing Liliane.

Johannes: I think it’s great to be able to accompany her. In my department, I was involved everywhere from the very beginning, so I understood the processes very well. As a result, I was able to quickly take on responsibility and learn new things. Now I can pass on what I’ve learned to others.

You’ve only been with us for a few months – how do you feel about the team?

Liliane: Well looked after – I’ve had enough time to familiarize myself and settle in. You are quickly integrated into the team and find your way around.

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