How long have you been with ERICH JAEGER?
Since April 2016. I started out as a working student, then I did my mandatory internship here and also wrote my bachelor’s thesis at the company.
You came here from the Friedberg University of Applied Sciences (THM), didn’t you?
Yes, that’s right, I did a bachelor’s degree in engineering in the field of General Mechatronics.
And then you started here with a student contract.
Exactly. I wanted to work a little bit on the side and earn some money and see what kinds of things I could do besides studying. So I was looking for companies here in the Friedberg area that were close to the university, so that I could also commute if necessary. And then I came across ERICH JAEGER.
Did you also plan to write your bachelor’s dissertation here?
That happened relatively spontaneously. I found myself thinking that, if I did well as a working student, then they might take me on. Maybe there were some topics and issues for the employees here that I could help with. That’s how the whole thing turned out, and it worked well too. My supervisor, Bastian Heid, then asked me if I was interested in doing a bachelor’s thesis. We then sat down together and worked out a concept.
How did the supervision of your thesis go?
It was great. The topic was the implementation of a measured value analysis for a trailer control unit series tester. We worked out the concept together, and then I asked the university if they would accept it. There were a few more questions, because the supervising person must have at least the same title, and that actually worked well in the end. I had to do a lot myself, which was good, because you don't want to get everything handed to you on a plate. And on those occasions when things didn't go so well, I would be steered back in the right direction.
Were you hired directly into the full-time position after completing your bachelor's thesis?
When the thesis was finished, I had to stay around at the university for a while to finish my colloquium and check off all the remaining points on the list. Until all the bureaucracy was taken care of, I worked as a working student for another month or two. Then it was a matter of "Is there a takeover? Does that make sense?" It did, and that's how the whole thing came about.
What’s your typical daily routine now?
It varies quite a bit. Depending on what projects we have, there are quite a lot of different jobs to do. The individual projects are concerned with the construction of prototypes, the complete pre-development phase and the whole business of the development itself. Each team member has their own particular area of interest, but we all have to be able to stand in for each other. In some cases, you do nothing other than sitting at the PC to write test reports and specifications. But there are also purely practical phases, during which test equipment and prototypes are built.
Why did you choose ERICH JAEGER after your studies?
The interpersonal aspect worked very well. You can talk to everyone about everything and even have a few laughs. And what contributed a lot was the cool work. It was the interplay of both that was decisive in the end.
If you compare your current work with what you were doing five years ago, how much has changed?
Quite a bit. At the very beginning, I tended to do more practical and simpler tasks. When you come from the university, you have a broad range of knowledge but you don’t have detailed experience of the topics. In the beginning, everything was pretty superficial, and I needed supervision in a lot of areas. The more you immerse yourself in this working world, the more knowledge you generate and the more independently you can work at the end of the day.
Do you feel that ERICH JAEGER has supported you in your personal development?
Yes, definitely, through training, for example. One training course was about functional safety – ISO 26262 - back when we were starting work for Renault on a control unit for a hinged trailer hitch. We had two or three days of in-house training. There were also trainings on the topic of software in relation to an integrated development tool. And trainings in relation to development processes - how to bring development processes together under one roof, not only in terms of the ISO standard, but also in the field of automotive spice, i.e. about the processes and how to develop them sensibly.
In your opinion, is ERICH JAEGER well equipped to develop in this direction in the future?
In principle, yes. We would need a few more people though (laughs). We’re well positioned, and the planning is good. We just need more people because there are a lot of construction sites. This year we’ll get another person, but we would ideally need at least two more people in the next two years and maybe another one on top for the next five years. They could be full-time employees or career starters – we’d be completely happy with either!
Do you have any advice for young professionals who are interested in a career with ERICH JAEGER?
Just try your luck and send an speculative application. In general, if you apply to work for ERICH JAEGER, you should of course know about what the company does and whether it actually interests you in the first place. There are different areas – from component development to wire harnesses to electronics. If you’re interested in one of the areas, just send a speculative application, swing by, take a look at the whole thing. If it isn’t for you, then that’s no problem, but it’ll be good experience. I can only say it worked for me, and I'm still here (laughs). And as an introduction to the world of work I think it’s great, no question. The team is just cool, and to be honest, I don't think you will often find this degree of cohesion and a place where work is so much fun, regardless of what you’re doing.