Work-study degree program in Wiring Systems Development at master's level
My name is Cynthia, I am a work-study student in Wiring Systems Development at master's level and have been with LEONI in Kitzingen since April 2021. My bachelor’s degree was in Technological Mathematics. After graduating, I wanted to focus on the automotive industry as part of my master's degree. I came across the degree in Wiring Systems Development at Landshut Technical University relatively quickly – I was immediately fascinated by the complexity and continual relevance of this product for the future of all vehicles.
To get some hands-on experience, I initially applied to LEONI as a working student in the Ideation, Strategy & Intellectual Property department before switching to a work-study master's program fairly quickly. In the following months, exciting practical phases alternated with intensive theory semesters, which was the ideal combination for my further professional development. I topped off my study with my master's dissertation in February 2022 while working as part of the Simulation team. Thanks to the great network I was able to build during my degree course, the transition from my graduation to my first permanent position was very smooth.
Where did it ultimately take me in professional terms? Since October 2022, I have been permanently employed in product development in the Product Strategy & Management team for the Low Voltage section.
Here, much of my work revolves around requests for quotations and the associated organizational work in the CTO segment. This includes looking at requests for quotation from a product strategy aspect and the communication in the CTO segment and with Account Management that are behind that. I also support the team for electronic components with regard to product strategy and management. Alongside these tasks, some smaller matters pop up from time to time, such as for product marketing to visualize the products themselves better.
What does a typical working day as a work-study student in Wiring Systems Development at master's level look like?
Start of the day
To me, making a good start to the day matters a great deal: my first mug of coffee and a copious breakfast are indispensable. On an office day it takes me about half an hour to drive to Kitzingen, and I can start work at my desk. When I work from home this does not apply, of course, and I can get straight down to work on my laptop. Fortunately, this is handled with a great deal of flexibility at LEONI: mobile working is firmly established and, for me, contributes a great deal to a good work/life balance.
If I work in the office, I start by saying hi to my team members and the other students. Because we share desks, I can share my workplace with different colleagues every day. This brings variety to my workday routine and has often proved an informal way of coming by some information or getting inspiration for a new idea. Immediately afterwards I check my emails and reply straight away where possible.
I spend my lunch breaks in company with my colleagues in the canteen: depending on who is seated around me at the shared desks. This allows me to cultivate my contacts with a large number of departments in an ideal way, and I get to hear about interesting information from the other specialist departments. In the summer, we like sitting outside on the sun terrace and we treat ourselves to an ice cream for dessert. At other times I enjoy meeting with other students for lunch.
After lunch, I feel reinvigorated and go into full concentration mode for 1 or 2 hours to be as productive as possible. Towards the end of the working day, I roughly plan out my next tasks and I set myself the targets for the coming days. My day usually finishes at about 4 p.m. I often go for a walk after work around LEONI's extensive grounds. Sometimes this helps me get more clarity about some projects or ideas, and it also feels really good after all that sitting down.
I get home and go out again quite quickly. I enjoy being active and often meet with friends or visit my family after work. This allows me to recharge my social batteries, to bring the day to a good end, and it means that I am relaxed in the evening and ready for the next day!
Why did you opt for LEONI as your employer?
I gained a favorable impression of LEONI right from my first contact. The atmosphere during the interview was warm and pleasant right from the start. During our first discussion, which was about a working student position, I received the proposal that was to shape my future: that with my bachelor's degree I could enroll directly on a work-study master's degree program and that LEONI would fund this and take me on at short notice. No sooner said than done. In order to not lose any time, I joined as a working student before switching seamlessly to a work-study program. The favorable impression I gained during the first hour has only grown stronger. I received continuous support during my degree program and was able to test my theoretical knowledge in practice time and again. For me, establishing a network was particularly valuable; it allowed me to meet many very nice colleagues. But it is probably the working atmosphere I appreciate the most: among us students and within the team the atmosphere is really pleasant, so you enjoy opening the office door every day and look forward to the working day.
What is the work culture at LEONI like?
As I said earlier, the atmosphere in my team is very pleasant. I was a fully-fledged member from the first hour, and I have experienced nothing but support in my tasks. Irrespective of the questions I asked, people always took the time to give me detailed explanations, so that I was able to follow and remember them. Especially now, at the start of my practical career, I sometimes need tips or some advice, and I always get them, no matter how full the agenda is. Even if on occasion my own team is not able to help, colleagues from other departments always have a ready ear and do their best to support me.
What has been your best / most exciting moment at LEONI to date?
My working day consists of a lot of fun and laughter, that in itself has created some beautiful moments for me. Once I had the opportunity to visit one of our plants in Trencin in Slovakia together with my team for four days. Seeing the shop floor and production was great. Equally, I have already worked on projects together with the management team: here, you learn a lot about your colleagues and the product and you also develop a great deal as a person. Generally speaking, my working day often brings new and exciting topics for me to work on and that allow me to learn a lot. The most exciting and beautiful moment for me so far, however, has been when I handed in my master's dissertation at the University's office. I knew right from the start that a permanent position awaited me at LEONI after my graduation, and so I could enjoy a carefree month’s vacation in complete security and relaxation. And so, the cherry on the cake for me is that LEONI offered me a seamless transition to the world of work and that I could take on a post in production strategy after my master's dissertation. Here I will be able to continue on my professional path – I am incredibly excited to see what this new stage of my life holds and what other doors I will be able to open!
What advice would you give to someone starting at LEONI?
My recommendation to everyone: make the best use of every day during the first few weeks to get to know many people. We have so many experts who know their subject really well. Every conversation with colleagues advances you further, gives you valuable information, and you get a better feel for and understanding of the product itself. In my opinion, LEONI offers an extremely large number of opportunities for further development, and you should take advantage of them. To get to know the new job and your colleagues thoroughly I would also use the time at the office and work from home as little as possible to start with. You can't put a price on the personal connection with others.