Work and study student
Apprenticeship and degree course at the same time? Here at STEAG, that’s possible. Maren Jeske explains why she opted for this program at STEAG, and how she experiences internationalism in the company.
Upon completing her Abitur (higher education entrance qualification), Maren Jeske (22) initially embarked on a different educational route. She changed course in 2016 and has since been part of the STEAG family.
What made you choose a dual work and study program at STEAG?
After my Abitur in 2014 I began studying full-time for a degree in English and Media Studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum. I found it too theoretical, though, and had no clear idea on what I wanted to do job-wise, so after two semesters I decided to change tack and do a dual work and study course. I applied to other industrial companies in the region as well, but as STEAG offered me precisely the combination of training as an industrial clerk with a diploma from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Management that I’d had in mind right from the start, it was a quick and easy decision to make. I’d also heard from other companies that STEAG has a good reputation as an apprenticeship employer. What appealed to me as well was having the opportunity to use my English, which was what had led me to take up my first degree course. Half of the International Management course is held in German and half in English, and given STEAG’s international nature, my language skills are proving very beneficial.
STEAG offers work and study students the possibility of doing a placement at one of its overseas locations. You went to Colombia, didn’t you?
Yes, I had the opportunity to spend a month in Colombia in 2018. Together with another work and study student, I was deployed mainly in the administration at our subsidiary Compañia Electrica de Sochagota in Bogotá, but we also spent some of the time in the Paipa power plant and attended a workshop in Armenia in Colombia’s coffee region with other colleagues. It was really interesting to see how an overseas location with a power plant works. Staying with families of staff there meant that we were able to establish a close relationship with the local people. And they kindly helped us take a weekend trip to the Pacific coast so that we could go whale-watching. In all, the placement was a fantastic experience.
You are also involved in the youth and apprentice representative body. How did that come about?
I believe that co-determination is an important issue, and I like doing things to support other people. It’s also very helpful and interesting working closely with the works council and the youth and apprentice representatives from other locations. You get to learn a lot, you see how the others go about tackling their problems, and you support each other.
What is your experience of the “STEAG family”?
As an apprentice, you perhaps experience the STEAG family in a slightly different way to other colleagues. The fact that you go through many different departments makes the company seem more interwoven. As I already mentioned, my youth and apprentice representative work means that I have a lot of contact with the trainees at the other locations, so that makes the company feel even more like a family to me. We know each other and value each other, and can establish connections throughout the company from an early stage.
What keeps you going outside of work?
The dual program’s great and is hugely beneficial to me personally, but you do need a good balance to give yourself a bit of breathing space every now and then. My boyfriend, my family and my friends help me in that respect. I enjoy going out with them in the fresh air and clearing my mind by doing sport.