Three questions to...
Nadine Albrecht

Should I study after school or do an apprenticeship? Quite a few graduates ask themselves this question every year and thus initiate their own personal career path. But Nadine Albrecht proves that you can go one better after graduation. She started her dual studies in mechanical engineering in 2015 - after successfully completing her studies in product design. In an interview, she reveals how this came about and what the course means to her.

Nadine, what can you tell us in general about dual studies?
In a dual course of studies in the form of "compound studies", you complete an apprenticeship and studies in parallel within about 4.5 years. You start your training in the company you applied to before. After about one year, you begin studying at the university. During the semester break and the practical semester, the training continues in the company. The bachelor thesis is written in the last semester in the company. I applied for the dual study "Mechanical Engineering" because I am interested in developing new ideas and finding improvements for existing products. I enjoy solving problems and working with people from different disciplines.

How did you hear about the course and Heidrive?
During my first degree in industrial design I realized that I wanted to go much deeper into technology. I wanted to understand from the core how products work and how they can be designed. That's why I quickly decided that I wanted to add a second degree on top of that, which led me to study mechanical engineering. However, I only wanted to start a second degree course if I could integrate myself into a company during my studies. The dual study of mechanical engineering was perfect for me to get to know the processes in a company during my studies.

I decided on Heidrive immediately after the successful job interview. I had previously searched for companies on the Internet and at the employment agency and found Heidrive near Regensburg. Before I started my dual studies, I was able to settle in at Heidrive during a 5-month internship.

Are there any specific requirements for the dual study course and how does Heidrive support you in your studies?
Actually there are no special requirements. Normally you have to complete a pre-study internship, but this is not required in a dual course of studies, as you start your training before you start studying.

There is also an NC in Regensburg, but this is redefined every semester. The only points that one could see as prerequisites would be discipline and independence, because in this course of studies one does not have semester breaks. In these you work on site in the company. In addition, you only have one year of vocational school and have to teach yourself the rest of the content based on other trainees' documents, which is feasible. The colleagues are always there to help you if you have questions or if your shoe pinches. In general Heidrive gives you a lot of time for preparation, you really only have to be on site during the lecture-free time, but you can come to your workplace at any time and work from there. Even if others look at me astonished that you don't have a semester break, I answer that others accept mini-jobs during this time, but I receive financial support from Heidrive and learn something in the process. In summary: If you are interested in technology and have the motivation and enthusiasm for it, then the dual study program for mechanical engineering at Heidrive is really recommended!

Photo: Julia Knorr