Interview with Marc, First-Year Electronic Engineering Apprentice with Sensirion
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Marc, I'm 16, and I'm from Kaltbrunn. I started my electronic engineering apprenticeship with Sensirion this summer, as a vocational high school student. In my free time, I like to cycle, ski, game and spend time with my friends.
How did you find the transition from school to working life?
Well, I discovered that when you work, you have to get up very early. You also have to pay attention and listen carefully, because, practically everything you learn here is new and you’re not repeating anything from school.
At the same time, I find working life more exciting, because you’re learning new things every day and earning money. But the hours are longer at work, and there’s more to do.
What does a typical week look like for you?
I work on different projects every day. I often assemble circuit boards, which requires soldering work. I also use various tools to crimp cables for different connectors, and I test new simulation programs. I'm also allowed to observe new measuring devices and study how to service them. I take a lot of notes, too – for example, about how circuits are constructed and how their current, voltage and resistance are measured.
As part of my apprenticeship, I also study complex digital elements. I learn how to use them and calculate series resistances, and I carefully note down everything new that I learn.
In a typical week, I spend two days at the Uster educational center (BZU), where I study math, English, materials technology, economics and law, hard- and software engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry, French, physics, sport and drawing. In addition, I regularly have five to six weeks of external courses, which are held in the regional training center in Au, Wädenswil.
What do you find challenging about vocational high school (BMS)?
At the BMS, we study highly complex subjects. You also have to remember the stuff from your previous school, because it's often not repeated. Basically, at the BMS, it's more about theory than practice, so I have to do lots of practical exercises (dossiers) as homework. At the BMS, you always have to be on the ball, because you need to take in a lot of stuff in a short time.
Do you have any tips for students about to embark on an apprenticeship?
1. I would advise them to always get involved and show an interest. Lack of interest is never a good thing, either in business or at school.
2. Say hi to your colleagues and fellow apprentices, and always be friendly.
3. Always be respectful and mindful of your behavior.
4. Try to find your own solutions to problems first, as a certain degree of autonomy is valued in business. But when you’ve gotten as far as you can, ask for help before you do something wrong.