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Travel and Work at SMA

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Even after five weeks in California, I hadn’t gotten tired of the heat or the air conditioning or the burgers. Why would I? There was’ always a new project on my desk, and ‘ so much to discover after work. 🙂 I hadn’t noticed any big differences but lots and lots of small differences.

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The new ones hit the ground running

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Kathleen Engelbrecht

Kathleen Engelbrecht

On Monday, August 1, 2011, 115 new apprentices met one another in the Sonnenallee – for at SMA, the name is also the program. Uncertainty abounded, people tried to make connections quickly, and more than one person asked if they had to bring anything in particular.

115 new apprentices

115 new apprentices

A presentation by the Chief Human Resources Officer Jürgen Dolle about the corporate culture brought some peace and order to the colorful group of SMA “fledglings”. At the latest after the presentation by a few colleagues from the Vocational Training department, it was clear to us that it will probably take a while before we have an overview. And having an overview by no means indicates that you have perspective.

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A Little Apprentice Takes a Big Trip

AndreasWe apprentices really get around. Trade shows, visits to schools, and a variety of other events gives us a chance to proudly present SMA and recruit potential colleagues. In June, I had the opportunity to visit the lovely town of Schwalmstadt. Destination: a secondary school, a school for university-bound students in grades 5 to 13. The school itself was nice, though I’d rather not say anything here about the condition of the boys’ bathroom. 😀

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The Smell of Electricity – the Hesse SolarCup

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It’s a partly cloudy Friday afternoon at Königsplatz in Kassel. A team of SMA apprentices gather around a small solar car. “Die Sonne bewegt uns” (The Sun Moves Us) is printed on their blue T-shirts. Behind them, you can hear the squeal of tires as remote-controlled vehicles move around the track. I’m at the SolarCup, a competition where teams from various schools and companies compete against each other with solar vehicles they have built themselves. The first round has gone well for SMA, so far, they’re in second place. “The weather is perfect,” says Boran Alpasan, one of the apprentices. “The battery is fully charged.” The group makes a few more test runs.

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“I Definitely Want to Come to SMA” – Apprenticeship Night

Buket at the Apprenticeship Night

Buket at the Apprenticeship Night

Kassel, main train station and cultural center, 5 pm. As I enter the building, I look for the exhibit hall hosting the “Kassel Apprenticeship Night” an event where students can gather information about potential careers. A team of apprentices from various companies in Kassel organized the entire event under the slogan “From Us For You.” In one section, I see disco lights flashing and a DJ busy at the turntables. That must be the apprenticeship fair. A young man in an orange T-shirt greets me with a friendly smile and hands me a program. “This highlights everything that’s going on tonight,” he says. “Be sure to check out the dance performances.” I smile back and head on in. The space is bathed in colored lights while house music pulsates in the background. Not bad.

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