Once an apprentice, now an instructor
Career at the Dürr Group: Elena Reinhardt
Monday morning, seven o’clock. The training workshop in Bietigheim is filling up with apprentices. Classes begin. Motivated, passionate and with a lot of patience, trainer Elena Reinhardt teaches Dürr’s young professionals in industrial mechanics, mechatronics and metal cutting mechanics basic mechanical skills and how to use the workshop’s machines.
Anyone who meets Elena Reinhardt immediately notices her pleasant, communicative and open nature. “That is probably because I deal with a lot of different people every day,” the 27-year-old explains. It was clear at an early age that she would take up a technical profession. She has always been fascinated by technology and the related processes. She used to spend her leisure time playing with Lego Technic, soldering circuit boards and asking her father a lot of questions about technology. During a vacation job at Ferrero, she helped set up a production line.
In 2015, the native of Marburg began her training as a mechatronics engineer at Dürr in Bietigheim. After completing her training in 2018, she stayed right in the “training” field. After all, her talent to easily pass on technical know-how had not gone unnoticed by the responsible people at Dürr. Immediately after completing her own training, she qualified for the license to train apprentices at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and joined Dürr as a trainer.
For a whole year and a half, until the first part of the final examination, the trainees learn exclusively in the Bietigheim training workshop, which is equipped with drilling, turning and milling machines, and in the electrical laboratory. During this time, Elena Reinhardt and her two fellow trainers supervise around 20 trainees and 40 students in work-study programs. “In my job, you have to be communicative, have some organizational skills and be able to solve problems quickly,” says Elena Reinhardt. In addition, she is responsible for parts supply and machine availability in the training workshop and has to remedy unplanned machine breakdowns as quickly as possible.
She particularly appreciates the freedom that Dürr trainers have in designing the training. “In other companies, training often only involves working through pre-determined points. At Dürr, we can also start additional projects with the trainees, for example the Raspberry Pi project, in which the trainees were able to acquire basic programming skills,” Elena Reinhardt is pleased to report.
After Elena Reinhardt had started as a trainer at Dürr, she completed further training as a technician for automation technology in the field of mechatronics from 2019 to 2020. “Mechatronics requires a broad range of technical knowledge, from sheet metal working to programmable logical controllers. I like to learn something new and want to be able to apply and pass on the new knowledge,” Elena Reinhardt explains.
Alongside her job, she is currently expanding her knowledge through distance learning in order to become a vocational educator. “Trainers are still not yet provided with enough educational resources. These are, however, particularly important when dealing with junior staff,” explains Elena Reinhardt. At Dürr, she also cares a lot about training marketing. As ambassadors, the trainees promote the training at Dürr at schools. In addition, she was also involved in a commercial for the training, which is broadcast at the Ludwigsburg Open Air Cinema.
Elena Reinhardt finds a counterbalance to her job in nature, in the outdoor pool, at yoga or playing the guitar. Her passion for training is also evident in her after-hours commitment. Twice a year, she volunteers to help the Ludwigsburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a member of the examination board during the final examinations. “Working with young people, accompanying them on their path to their professional future, is just something I greatly enjoy,” says Elena Reinhardt. As a trainer, she always has an open ear for the junior staff and appreciates their individuality. For the future, however, she would like to see even more female power. “It would be nice if more women chose a technical profession.”
In other companies, training often only involves working through pre-determined points. At Dürr, we can also start additional projects with the trainees.