"What do you want to do after school?" A question that makes every high school graduate cringe at first. Doesn't anyone understand that I was concentrating on my A-levels for the time being? That was clearly stressful enough. And anyway, I don't even really know what all the fuss is about. Yes, of course, we had to do internships during school and were also at a career fair, but that only confused and overwhelmed me even more.
When I had my high school diploma in my pocket, I tried to find out what I wanted to do. It wasn't easy to get information about it, because there are so many different things and at the same time somehow only the same. But then I came across the dual study model. It was immediately interesting for me to be able to work in this area in addition to my theoretical studies. I'm sure you all know what a dual study program is, so we'll skip the boring part and I'll tell you exactly what a week in my dual study program at Becklyn looks like.
My "normal" week at Becklyn
Monday morning, 7:30 am, my alarm clock rings and I head straight for the coffee machine. Then I sit down at my desk in my pajamas and open my laptop. On Mondays, I always do home office, so I can start the week in a relaxed way. I start by getting an overview, reading my e-mails and then writing down all the to-dos I have for this week. Due to my dual studies, I work 20 hours at Becklyn from Monday to Wednesday and have my lectures at the university on Thursdays and Fridays.
Since I only work six hours on Mondays, I don't take a lunch break and work straight through until 2pm. After that, I still have the whole afternoon and evening where I either prepare something for college and/or have time for family and friends.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I ride my bike to the office, since I live only about 15 minutes away. Even though home office is quite relaxing, I'm always happy to see my colleagues in the office (and besides, the coffee tastes much better here than at home ;)). I study marketing management and I am part of the marketing team at Becklyn. We work closely together as a team and have very open communication, which gave me a very pleasant and interesting start, especially in the early days at the agency. In the meantime, I have my fixed tasks, but I still get to know new things in between. It's also important to the others that I take on the tasks that I enjoy and that suit me.
What exactly does the dual study program look like?
I usually have 2-3 lectures a week. Some of them are online and to some of them I take the train to Stuttgart. In addition to marketing lectures, I also have courses such as business administration, economics and English. I'm very glad that the study program is relatively broad, because I get to know all areas and can then specialize later. From consumer behavior, communication and brand policy, to market research and current trends in marketing, we learn everything about marketing in our studies. The exams are usually group assignments followed by a presentation. For example, we set up our own marketing agency (complete with logo and name) and then analyze various companies and develop marketing strategies. This is exactly what we do at Becklyn. We look at where the client is in the market right now, which includes analyzing rankings and comparing them to competitors. With this info, we can then recommend courses of action. We optimize the websites onpage as well as offpage so that they are found better in Google search, place ads on various social media platforms and analyze the numbers along the way to be able to detect changes and react to them.
In march and september there is always a practical phase after the exams. This means that I work full-time (40 hours) at Becklyn for the whole month and have no lectures at all. Especially in these months you get to know the real working day and can also deal with larger projects in the company. Unfortunately, I don't have a semester break ... But I can take time off from my practice partner at any time and still go on vacation or take some time off.
Becklyn & me
As a younger employee and dual student at Becklyn, I can say that my honest assessment of my experience here is very positive. From the beginning, I have been able to contribute well as a young woman in the agency. My contribution is valued and I feel like I belong. At Becklyn, every team member is given the opportunity to contribute their ideas and opinions, regardless of gender or age.
I don't yet have any clear ideas about my career opportunities, but Becklyn offers me a structured career development program that is tailored to my individual strengths and goals. There are regular discussions with my superiors in which we talk about my development and together try to plan measures for my professional advancement. This gives me the certainty that I have long-term prospects at Becklyn not only as a dual student, but also as a young woman.
For the future, I see myself in a responsible position at Becklyn. Through my dual education and the practical experience I am gaining here, I will develop the necessary skills to be successful in my job. I aspire to work in a field where I can use my passion and knowledge to develop innovative solutions and make a positive impact.
But what does Becklyn actually do? Becklyn is a design-driven tech agency that combines project management, engineering, creative and marketing to create holistic digital products. In project management, you'll take on an important role in planning, coordinating, and implementing projects. Here you'll learn how to effectively manage resources and work closely with the team to meet deadlines, for example. In Engineering, you'll be introduced to the world of code and technology. You work on the development and implementation of software solutions and learn how to create innovative digital products. The creative department is responsible for the designs. Here you can apply your design skills and learn how to create visually appealing user interfaces. Finally, the marketing team ensures that the products created are promoted in the best possible way. You will be involved in planning and implementing marketing strategies and learn how to reach target groups and build customer loyalty. As a trainee:r, you have the opportunity to get a taste of all areas of Becklyn and thus gain a broad knowledge of the various aspects of digital product development. It's an inspiring environment where you can constantly develop and learn new skills and thus find your place.
Training at Becklyn from other eyes
Jana is 20 years young. Like me, she is also doing a dual apprenticeship at Becklyn. Unlike me, she is training to become a marketing communications specialist with an additional qualification in communications management. Her daily work routine is a little different from mine, so I conducted a short interview with her to show you what an apprenticeship at Becklyn looks like from a different perspective:
Jana works 40 hours a week, but this always includes 1-2 days of vocational school. Every week she is at school at least one day and every other week twice, except during school vacations when she works the full 40 hours at Becklyn. She is part of the project management team at Becklyn and her responsibilities include internal/external meetings, resource planning, project planning and control, and controlling of invoices.
The choice to train at Becklyn was easy for Jana for several reasons. First and foremost, Becklyn's image as a young and dynamic environment excited her (I mean, what could be better?). The prospect of becoming part of a cool team with inspiring people appealed directly to her. Particularly important for Jana was the fact that employees are valued here - she felt that, just like me, during the application process.
Another plus point that influenced her decision was the opportunity to work independently. Fortunately, unlike some other apprenticeships, Becklyn doesn't assign stereotypical "trainee tasks" like doing the shopping or making coffee. Instead, you are given responsibility right from the start, which is a very valuable learning experience.
A big incentive for Jana was also the opportunity to actively participate in the design of the agency. There is just the possibility to bring in your own ideas and thus also contribute to the development of Becklyn, which is pretty cool. "In addition, regular team events are organized, which make the working atmosphere even more pleasant and definitely strengthen the team bond," says Jana.
When asked for an honest assessment of her training at Becklyn, Jana said with absolute conviction that she had no reason whatsoever to complain. Long story short, it became clear that at Becklyn you don't feel like a second-class trainee; on the contrary, you are treated in exactly the same way as your colleagues who have already completed their education. This equality creates an extremely positive working atmosphere, as both Jana and I find. Especially as a young woman in a team consisting mainly of male colleagues, as is the case with Jana, she had certain reservations at first. But her experience at Becklyn quickly allayed those concerns. Jana was able to contribute without any problems and I can support her experiences and statements 100%.
Cool or not so cool?
In summary, I can say about my first year in the dual study program that it offered me the unique opportunity to put theoretical knowledge directly into practice and at the same time gain practical experience in a company. I had the opportunity to apply my learned knowledge directly in real professional situations. This allowed me not only to deepen my theoretical understanding, but also to develop my skills and competencies in the real working world. This combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience has helped me enormously in my personal and also professional development.
Another big advantage of the dual study program is, of course, the financial support. Since I am also an employee at a company, I not only receive a monthly salary, but also additional benefits such as the payment of tuition fees. This means I can save myself financial worries during my studies and concentrate fully on my education. In addition, I have noticed that my studies have enabled me to build up a valuable professional network. During my time at Becklyn so far, I have been able to establish contacts with experienced professionals from whom I have been able to learn a lot.
Last but not least, a dual study program also offers excellent career opportunities. The combination of theoretical education and practical experience means I am well equipped for the job market after graduation. Employers value graduates of a dual study program because of their broad knowledge and skills as well as their adaptability to different work environments.
Overall, I can say that my dual study program and also any other training at Becklyn (as I realized through the interview with Jana) is an extremely rewarding experience. It is simply an optimal opportunity to develop both academically and professionally and to position oneself successfully in the job market. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Becklyn and look forward to the further opportunities that will be presented to me. The support I receive as a young woman at the agency gives me confidence that I am getting closer to my professional goals and can successfully shape my future.
*written by Laurentien Vogelmann