More of a pioneer than a prototype – one of the very first sandwich-course students

As one of the very first guys, you’re always walking the tightrope between being a pioneer or a prototype. Stefan Schmidt from Neutraubling was one of these. Krones has been offering sandwich courses for ten years now – and in 2004 Stefan made an excellent impression in his interview. “Although after school and national service I had almost no experience with this sort of encounter, I immediately felt at home in the interview round. I knew: this is something I can cope with!”

Stefan Schmidt’s first year proceeded no less smoothly than the application phase. “First of all, you spend a year as a trainee getting to know the plant. This training is then continued during the semester holidays and the practical semesters. In all, the training lasts for two years,” explains Stefan Schmidt. The second year of the course introduced mechatronics at the East Bavarian University of Applied Science (OTH) in Regensburg – and here, too, some of the administrative procedures were simplified for the sandwich-course students. “I always knew where I could do my internships, write my theses, and there were some subjects I didn’t have to take, that was rather nice,” says Stefan Schmidt.

Nevertheless, the course was very demanding, a circumstance that did not deter the four first-generation sandwich-course students from graduating in the standard time of four years. “We were rigorously prepared, you know; what’s more, Krones designed the selection procedure so as to ensure that only students who were really suited for it were actually accepted for the sandwich course.”

When in 2009 Stefan Schmidt had completed his studies and his training, the macro-economic environment didn’t look all that rosy at first. „Despite the state of the economy, I was able to get my feet on the ladder and start on a permanent basis with Krones,” relates Stefan Schmidt. He’s always felt himself to be a pioneer since his own verdict on the past ten years is uniformly positive. “Money, getting accepted, studies, training and the few formalities – it was all the way I’d imagined it!”

And now? Doesn’t it get a bit boring after ten years? “No!” At any rate, the engineer has no intention of changing jobs for the time being – he prefers to seek out experience abroad. “I spent six months at Krones Inc. in Franklin with “Across Borders” in 2014, so as to familiarise myself with the sort of problems being encountered there. That was a brilliant time, and an experience I would hate to have missed.”