There were 324 recognised trades in Germany in 2021. With a little effort, I might be able to come up with a couple of dozen, but certainly not over 300.
One, however, would most definitely come to mind: Technical Product Design. One key reason for this is because of our two apprentices Leonie and Julian.
In an interview, the two explain why it is worth opting for an apprenticeship beyond the mechanic-salesperson-clerk mainstream. Especially if you do so at csi.
First, the basics: What does a Technical Product Designer do?
((* Editorial note: We warmly welcome every new team member, regardless of their gender 😉)
Julian: Technical product designers design and build components, assemblies or products. This means that we are the people who turn an idea, drawing or model into a design that works, and meets the customer’s (design) expectations. For instance, we create 3D data models on a computer, select the appropriate materials, standard parts, manufacturing and assembly techniques, and then production can start.
This means that you need a good grasp of technical relationships, as well as material properties! How long is the apprenticeship?
Leonie: The length of the standard apprenticeship is 3.5 years, but you can reduce it to 3 years – or even 2.5 years if you work hard.
But even if it takes 3.5 years, you won’t be bored – or at least not here at csi. There’s so much going on here – especially compared to other companies: After the “basic training”, which takes place in the first year and during which you get to know the key programs, we then change departments every four months. This lets you experience a lot of variety; you can get a taste of different departments, see what your future job would look like, and you can really try things out and work on real projects.
Tell me, what do you need to become a technical product designer?
Leonie: It is certainly beneficial if you can think spatially and enjoy developing creative solutions for a wide variety of tasks. And you definitely need patience and strong nerves, because some ideas go nowhere and then you might have to go back to the beginning again.
Julian: I agree. It’s also beneficial if you have some basic technical knowledge alongside the basics, like math and physics. It’s all about solving problems technically as well as creatively. Ultimately, you need a product that works. Here at csi in the automotive and mobility sector, it would also be beneficial if you were interested in the industry and “automotive technology”.
What products have you already created that work?
Julian: In the first year of the apprenticeship, we designed a vice – I think you did too Leonie, didn’t you? Mine looks really cutting-edge, but also works.
Leonie: Yes, mine also does what I said it would. Then, in a second project, we developed a phone system made of plastic and, last but not least, we created a 3D printed component of an Audi cockpit that was intended as a gift for a colleague. The last two projects would have worked if they had been fitted with the right electronics. However, it was mainly a matter of applying the theoretical knowledge that we have learned in plastics design and in working with A-class and technical surfaces. Now – I’m in the 2nd year of my apprenticeship – I am or have been involved in various customer projects, including one for a British car manufacturer, creating draft designs for a cockpit. That was extremely interesting.
Julian: I am currently working on a project for a major European car manufacturer. However, I will work again on an interior cluster project for my final dissertation. Personally, I find that more exciting as you can help to shape the end product – unlike with the bodywork . Essentially this is what the driver really sees and touches. The bodywork is more about structures and statics, while the interior is more about design – and that's where I’d like to end up.
Speaking of which: What are your plans at the end of the apprenticeship?
Leonie: It’s still a little ways off for me, but I could see myself (initially) staying at csi. You get taken on if you successfully complete the apprenticeship and can then specialise to become a technician or study for a degree. But as I said, for now I just want to complete the apprenticeship and then I’ll see.
Julian: I will (most likely) stay on at csi and am considering becoming a technician in a year or two. I might be interested in studying for a degree, but I’m not definite about anything yet. Many colleagues who have trained at csi have gone on to become technicians or study for a degree at the end of their apprenticeship, and have stayed at csi or come back to the company.
If you are both saying that you want to stay at csi, does that mean that it was a good decision to do an apprenticeship here?
Julian: Yes, for sure. I feel really at home here and the friendly working atmosphere is just great. If you don’t know what to do, there’s always someone here to help you – technically, as well as organisationally. You also have the opportunity to get to know different departments, which is probably not the case with other companies.
Leonie: I completely agree with that. I think that people pay much more attention to the apprentices here compared to other companies. We always have a permanent contact to whom we can turn, and there are also regular events, such as apprentice outings or get-to-know-you BBQs. That really bonds us!
Finally, what does someone need to do to embark on a career with csi?
Julian: Just check out www.galacsi.de to view the job vacancies and opportunities available. There’s sure to be something for everyone. And then just apply.
Thanks for talking to us. We wish you both every success 😊
Are you also keen to launch your career at Galacsi?
Then check out our vacancies at www.galacsi.de 🚀