Dualer Student bei BMA AG in Braunschweig, Bachelor of Arts

Theory and practice

Interview with Simon Wünschirs
Mr Simon Wünschirs is studying for a dual vocational degree. He has been working at BMA in Braunschweig since 2015. In this interview, Mr Wünschirs talks about his time at our company and about the differences between dual vocational and full time degree programmes.

 

BMA:
What dual vocational degree are you studying for and when did you start?

Simon Wünschirs: I’m studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management with a specialisation in Industrial Management and I started on 1 September 2015.

BMA:
What are the advantages of this type of course, do you think? With hindsight, would you say it was the right choice?

Simon Wünschirs
:
By studying at the WelfenAkademie college of cooperative education and working in a company, you get to know both theory and practice. That helps you relate the two – but you also realise that you can’t always put theory into practice. Which is why it was the right choice for me.

BMA:
You are studying for a Bachelor of Arts. What criteria influenced your choice and why did you end up opting for a dual vocational degree? What do you like about it?

Simon Wünschirs:
You could say I’m killing two birds with one stone. At the end of the programme, I’ll be a fully trained Industrial Business Assistant – in fact, I’ve recently qualified – and I’ll have a matching degree. The work I do relates to what I study. Plus, I get a vocational training allowance. I’m sure the experience will be more useful for future career tasks than some part-time job I’d do just for the money.

BMA:
What personal strengths played a role in your decision? And what skills do you need?

Simon Wünschirs:
Back at school, I was already interested in business and politics. Art, on the other hand, wasn’t my thing at all. So it was clear where I would be heading professionally. It helps if you are well organised and don't mind the hard work. Because, when you come home from work, you still need to do your assignments. So if you're not well organised, you end up having less free time.

BMA:
How did you find out about BMA?

Simon Wünschirs:
I read an article about BMA in the business section of the local newspaper, which made me want to find out more, so I looked at the company website. Actually, I’d not heard of BMA before, even though I was born in Braunschweig.

BMA:
What are your expectations of your training company? Have they been met so far?

Simon Wünschirs:
As a start to my career, I reckoned BMA would give me a good general idea of what working for a manufacturing company is like. It’s important to understand the bigger picture of what an international business is all about. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always possible to follow my training plan, probably for operational reasons. As a result, I didn’t get to work in all the departments. But there have been some areas I found very interesting, and others where I would’ve liked to be integrated more into the work processes .

BMA:
You’ll probably talk to other students at the WelfenAkademie about your experiences. What advantages are there in training with BMA, in your opinion? What three adjectives best describe your training, would you say?

Simon Wünschirs:
The three adjectives would have to be: educational, challenging and balanced. One advantage BMA has over other training companies is that is has its own manufacturing workshops on site. That makes it easier for you to understand the value chain in a company, when you study it at university. Then there is flexitime, which not all companies offer. And I can even get to BMA by bike. Another thing is that you’re not put under pressure when it comes to marks.

BMA:
What is work like for you at the company, when you are not studying at college?


Simon Wünschirs
:
Most of the time, I have plenty to do. At the moment, I’m working on a practical assignment for college. Its title is “Developing a concept for introducing a tugger train system to organise internal material flows at BMA”. I’m really enjoying that, because I can work independently but I also have contact with many people.

BMA:
What tasks do you like best?

Simon Wünschirs:
I really love working independently, learning from experience that way.

BMA:
What do you do in your free time? Do you manage to combine your training and personal life?

Simon Wünschirs:
I’ve been playing hockey with the BTHC for almost 15 years, plus I go to the gym. Those activities are easy to combine with my working hours.

BMA:
Is there any memorable event that you will not easily forget?

Simon Wünschirs:
When I worked in the Logistics department, I helped organise the loading of parts for calandrias onto a ship. These BMA apparatus were then shipped via Hamburg to El Salvador. Other than experiences like that from my everyday work, I’ve really enjoyed the Braunschweig Night Runs and Company Runs .

Dualer Student bei BMA AG Germany, Bachelor of Arts

BMA:
What are your plans for when you graduate from college? What do you imagine your future career to be like? Maybe start at BMA?

Simon Wünschirs:
The contract I signed when I started my Bachelor’s degree states that I will be employed by BMA for two years after I graduate. That’s a good arrangement, provided it works well for both sides. It means you can gain practical professional experience right from the start. I might even want to stay with BMA after those two years. BMA is an attractive employer for me, because it’s an international Group of companies with consistently high exports. That means your work is quite varied.

BMA: Do you have any personal advice for school leavers?

Simon Wünschirs:
You should be interested in training as an Industrial Business Assistant from the start. You should also be well-organised and have self-discipline. Plus, you should be aware that student life for those on a dual vocational degree is not the same as being a full-time student. Because of block teaching, you may have less contact with other students: sometimes you spend only eight weeks at college, followed by three months in the company .

Many thanks for your honest answers. We wish you much success with your Bachelor’s dissertation at BMA, Mr Wünschirs! 

 

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