09. Okt 2019
Interview with Jennifer Trahe
Medebach. Women and technology – they go together! It is, nevertheless, a combination that has yet to become fully established in industry and trade. Women still too rarely apply for positions in technical professions, including for positions at the Medebach-based company Paul Köster. The mechanical engineering company would like to change this and is planning to sustainably increase the proportion of women it employs in these attractive professions. To reach this goal, the global company is actively and vigorously recruiting female applicants for technical apprenticeships. The best example that this recruitment drive can succeed is the technical product designer and mechanical engineer Jennifer Trahe. She started her apprenticeship with Paul Köster in 2009 and was subsequently taken on. In this interview she encourages technically savvy female students to take the next step and apply with confidence.
Question: Ms. Trahe, have you found your dream job at Paul Köster?
Jennifer Trahe: Definitely. The decision to become a technical product designer and to consistently pursue this goal was absolutely right. The profession is fulfilling and suits me and my expectations. It’s the best way I have of pursuing my desire for a profession that combines technology and office work. I have the freedom to work very creatively, and every project is so individual that my everyday work never gets boring. Flexibility is required, as is good teamwork within and among all the departments. It’s also incredibly exciting to prove my ability to come to grips with a project every day, understand it, and come up with the right solution, by myself. The very familiar and collegial working atmosphere at Paul Köster is another positive aspect. So it all fits together.
Question: When did you develop such a strong desire to pursue a technical career?
Jennifer Trahe: It was clear to me early on that I wanted a career that combines technology with office work. Technical product designer is a perfect fit in that sense. After all, my area of responsibility ranges from creating drawings and technical documents for mechanical engineering using CAD software to designing a wide variety of machine components. Another decisive factor for me was that, as a child, I had always tinkered around with things at my father’s side. Technology has always fascinated me.
Question: How did you end up working for Paul Köster?
Jennifer Trahe: After graduating from secondary school, I went to commercial college. During an internship with the architect Helga Köster-Saure in Medebach, the Paul Köster company came up in a conversation. I found out more by visiting the www.paul-koester.de website, and finally decided to apply for an apprenticeship as a technical product designer. I’m very happy about that decision, because the apprenticeship was a lot of fun, and I was also able to complete further training as a technician thanks to the support of my employer. The apprenticeship and further training opportunities are thus quite varied and good.
Question: How long does the apprenticeship take, and what makes it special?
Jennifer Trahe: It takes three and a half years. It’s very thorough, varied and well thought out. Trainees at Paul Köster are always directly involved in operational processes and projects. I, for example, spent more than six months working directly in the plant’s mechanical engineering department. This gave me great insight into the manufacturing processes, and I can now incorporate this experience perfectly into my work as a technical product designer in the construction process.
Question: Have you ever noticed differences in how male and female employees are perceived and treated in their daily work?
Jennifer Trahe: No, none whatsoever. Everyone is treated the same here, with a lot of respect and appreciation. Whether in terms of employees vis-à-vis each other or in relation to department managers, there is no difference. This is a good thing, because I don't want to be handled with kid gloves. The atmosphere is very collegial here and a there is real willingness to help each other.
Question: Can you understand that few women choose to pursue technical professions even today?
Jennifer Trahe: No. Going on my own experience, I can’t understand these fears. No one really needs to be afraid of applying and realizing their career aspirations. I can only advise all pupils and students who are interested in pursuing a technical profession to apply or first complete an internship. Doing so definitely helped me.
Paul Köster offers the following technical apprenticeships (m/f/o): Precision machinist, specializing in mechanical engineering, metalworker, specializing in design technology, technical product designer, specializing in machinery and plant design, cutting machine operator, industrial engineering electrical technician, IT specialist for system integration and IT specialist for application development. Applications can be sent by regular mail, e-mail or online via the www.paul-koester.com/career website.