Are you studying Electrical Engineering, Computer Sciences or a similar degree? If so, then consider this: SMA is looking for international students who are interested in staying abroad. To see what it’s like to work at SMA Solar Technology AG, have a look at this video.
I’m one of the two lucky trainees who got to go to Rocklin, California to complete a 10-week internship and learn more about the US and its people and culture. Sirin (my fellow trainee) and I are both living in our own little apartments in Roseville, a small neighboring city, and have been assigned a company car while we’re here. And let me tell you something: That car’s a godsend. Sure, driving to work takes only about five minutes, but the distance is not the problem – it’s the heat! The temperatures around here usually hover around 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), and everywhere you go, the AC is cranked up, which takes a bit of getting used to.
If there is still a job out there that is strictly limited to men, being an electronic engineering technician is definitely not it. After all, there are just as many women as men who have a steady hand and a good eye for things, and, in my line of work, where we deal with small currents, that’s essential. It’s also why we’ve earned the German nickname “Dünnströmer.”
The Girls Camp was initiated by the Hessen Ministry of Economics and the Federal Employment Agency in order to give girls between the ages of 14 and 16 a chance to learn more about careers in technical fields.
At the beginning of the year, I read an ad on the intranet looking for a trainee for a Madagascar aid project and applied for it with high hopes. During the subsequent interview, I discovered that the position was part of SMA’s engagements, in particular those supporting projects in developing countries. At SMA, trainees are always involved in such projects, to give us a chance to see our products in use.
We did it! After weeks of preparing for the final exams, we finally reached the finish line.
This January, 41 trainees and 13 participants in the re-training program completed their last round of exams in 12 different career training fields. Now we are dispersed throughout the various departments at SMA as new professionals. But how are things going?
It is finally over! This Spring, 41 trainees and 13 participants in the re-training program successfully completed their final exams. A cause for celebration, which is why SMA threw a party for all graduates and their families. Following the graduation ceremony, speeches were given by Stefan Brinck (Vice President of HR, Germany), Martina Fischmann (Vocational Training Director) and Jan-Hendrik Welzel (Chairman of the Youth and Trainees council). Afterwards, the trainees could toast their success with sparkling wine and Hors d'oeuvres. Things turned sentimental during a slide show of photos taken throughout the training years of the graduating class.
In the fall of 2011, I was appointed to provide support in the commercial and technical Vocational Training department. During this time, the department organized the Project MINT Girls Camp.
What is Girls Camp?
The Girls Camp was initiated by the Hessen Ministry of Economic Affairs and the German Federal Employment Office to provide 14 to 16-year-old girls with practical insight into qualified jobs in the fields of mathematics, computer science (“Informatik” in German), natural science and technology, in short, MINT. The objective here is to give young girls an understanding of technology in the job world. The participants learn typical work techniques in the fields of metal working, electronics and computer science.
It is Friday, October 7, 2011, 7:20 a.m.. Fourteen trembling people are clutching their now lukewarm cups of coffee from a familiar bakery chain and waiting for the last stragglers.
At 7:39 a.m., the long-awaited and comfortably climate-controlled (which is not necessarily a given, as I have heard) ICE heading toward Hamburg finally arrived. The pleasant peace and quiet, which reigned here in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the train station, tempted a few people, including me, to close their eyes for a little while.
On August 18, it was finally time once again for the annual SMA apprentices’ grill party.
Approximately 150 apprentices from all professions gathered on Friday to spend a nice evening together. The focus was not only on the great food but also on socializing and having fun.
This year’s fantastic event was held on SMA company grounds between Buildings 1, 3, and 4, as well as under the canopy of Building 2. At such an event, you not only get to know the new apprentices who started their apprenticeship at SMA this August, you also meet a lot of “old hands” that you unfortunately may not have a lot of contact with in your day-to-day work. As a result, old acquaintances and friendships are cultivated, and at the same time the new arrivals at SMA are integrated right away.