Theory and practice: the perfect combination. Our working student can put into practice what he learns at the polytechnic and see how the theory works in the 'real world'. He is a diving enthusiast who's jumped right in, working in our 1st level support since October 2011. He is currently writing his bachelor thesis on project management. We make sure he can balance his studies with his job to get the best possible degree. Many doors will open for him at that point - including at MAC...
What exactly is working student?
I am doing a degree at a state polytechnic (FH Flensburg) and finance my studies by working at MAC. A working student may work for up to 20 hours per week without losing his student status with the health insurers.
Do you have a full working day or do you divide your time between MAC and studying?
That depends on the lectures each day - there are days when I work for eight hours or more, but on others I will leave at lunchtime.
You are studying Business Information Studies (BIS). What exactly is that?
BIS looks at commercial areas like accountancy, investment and financing, or leadership and management, but also at IT. Typical topics here are programming and data bases. A definition they gave us at the start of the course was: 'a BIS expert is a creator and operator of information and communication systems'.
Where is the overlap between your studies and the work you do at MAC?
I study business process analysis (systems analysis) and programming in theory at the polytechnic and then put them into practice at MAC.
What is the difference between the two worlds?
There are subjects which are irrelevant to my work at MAC. My knowledge of personnel development and marketing is not something I can use. The poytechnic is a theoretical world of learning about business, whilst MAC needs to be economically viable and satisfy customers' needs through actionable, practical solutions.
You are writing your bachelor thesis on project management. Is that the kind of position you would like to fill at MAC?
Once I have finished my studies and got some work experience under my belt, I would love to work in project management. That is why I have chosen this topic for my bachelor thesis.
Which topical areas feed into that kind of work?
The main task is to plan and manage a project in such a way that you reach the project goal within the parameters agreed at the start (especially time and budget). A great example for how not to do that would be the new airport in Berlin.
Please explain 1st Level Support to us.
1st Level Support is engaged in directly solving client problems. This can be handled via a ticketing system or over the telephone.
Which types of problems do you deal with in Support?
With application and system errors. You do get cases where the client has not understood their own business processes sufficiently well or how the software DiVA works and what it can do. Fault remedy is always done at the level of the application. Usually, I would get a description of the problem via ticket or telephone. I can then access the client system remotely, reconstruct the error and hopefully rectify it. If the errors go too deep into the application, I ask for help from my more experienced colleagues who have specialized in specific areas of the solution (such as accounting or logistics). There is no formal way of doing this - I just go and ask them whether they have time to help me.
What do you enjoy most in your job?
Analysing problems and suggesting solutions.
What makes you happy, relating to your job at MAC?
Looking out: having the right solution to hand for helping the client. Looking in: to be a part of the team (and my fantastic colleagues).
What makes MAC a good company to work for?
That they care so much about employee satisfaction and do so much to achieve that. The organisational structure is really flat and you can go talk to the boss whenever you need to, even if it goes beyond your work at MAC.
Do you have a personal connection to Northern Germany / Flensburg?
I grew up here and feel very attached to the Baltic sea - both above and below the waterline.
What do you like most about Flensburg and the surrounding area?
The many leisure activities, especially sailing and diving.
Share your wisdom.
It is how it is - no matter which way you turn it. :)