Career start in C + P's trainee program.
A kick start for your career.
Starting a career as a civil engineer via a trainee program: This is actually less common among young civil engineers in comparison to other fields. Yet, there are a few arguments in favor of it. We let a former trainee and a current trainee talk about their experiences with this type of career entry.
Lars and Jennifer, you both started as a civil engineer in the trainee program at C + P after your degree. How come?
“I actually learned steel construction from scratch as a technical draftswoman in a steel construction company in the German Vogelsberg region. Somehow, however, I wanted more responsibility and larger projects, and so I joined the civil engineering studies at the THM in Gießen. On a university event at which potential employers introduce themselves to THM students, I saw a presentation by C + P in 2019 and felt immediately addressed. That just suited me in terms of the spectrum. I then finished my studies in peace and quiet. Starting at C + P as a trainee, I had that in mind the whole time as an explicit wish, because I wanted to get to know more areas of the company and not commit myself too early. And that's exactly how it worked out, I've been here on board since April 2021."
“Back then, in 2004, the situation for me was completely different. It was really difficult to even find a job as a young professional. There was still no shortage of skilled workers in our industry! I come from Kassel and also studied civil engineering there. Then, through word-of-mouth, I was told to give it a try because I had already immersed myself in steel construction while studying. For me, the trainee program was an opportunity to even get my foot in the door. The current generation is greeted with a kiss and courted ... I would have wished that back then!"
Jennifer, why did you choose this journey? What's your first conclusion after starting?
“The conclusion is very simple: I am really very satisfied. The plan worked for me: As a trainee, I can start my professional life with less pressure. I am in a position in which I am not only expected to deliver, but in which I can legitimately ask questions. I am of course challenged, but also encouraged."
Lars, your start was quite some time ago. In retrospect, why was the traineeship a good choice?
“Back then I had a year to go through all the departments. When I then got more and more responsibility myself, I literally knew the whole company and was always able to drive my projects forward quickly and directly - because I was able to build on an entire internal network."
How was / is your trainee time structured?
“Together with the HR department, I worked out that I would complete two major positions in my trainee year: I work with C + P Industriebau for six months and with C + P Engineering for the second half year. In this way I get to know exactly the two areas in which I see myself with my strengths and abilities."
“It was also a year for me, but with a lot more stations than Jennifer. Among other things, I was also in our production facility and at various company locations, e.g. in Regensburg and Leipzig. Getting such a broad insight into practice was incredibly valuable - especially because the projects are so complex. It really makes sense to get to know the big picture and take a look at it, but the "station run" was simply great."
What were / what are your major tasks as a trainee?
“Basically: everything. I went through so many stations and worked on and supported so many different processes in the course of the project that the word "everything" hits the spot!"
“I'm currently working on the calculation. That means I am receiving inquiries and on this basis then determine preliminary statistics, unit price lists and brief specifications."
In your eyes, what differentiates a traineeship from a direct career entry?
“I like to compare it to a marathon. It reminded me a bit of a thorough and systematic preparation for a marathon - you would never dare to run it untrained! In any case, it is important to know that the trainee program is not like a permanent internship. As a trainee, you therefore get a normal entry-level salary."
“I think that you start with less pressure and in a protected environment. The position signals: I don't have to do everything on my own yet. I am allowed to, yes, I am even being asked to take my time. And so I hopefully find the place that suits me best. The company also benefits from this. In general, you are given intensive support, from mentors, superiors, colleagues and the HR department. That helps enormously when you first arrive in the company!"
Lars, how did your career continue afterwards?
“I found my place in the technical office; today this department is the C + P Engineering branch. I am mainly involved in the structural planning. I have also trained as an expert for fire protection and take on fire protection reports. Although I've been in this company for so many years: my job changes and never gets boring."