Julia Rocho, qualified engineer in an interview

In the company the practice, at the university the theory: The dual study is not only in companies highly popular – also Julia Rocho has opted for this practice-oriented form of education. She completed her KIA studies in electrical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Zittau / Görlitz and now starts her career as a project engineer at AVI GmbH and reporting on the advantages and disadvantages of a dual study program.

Julia, please explain briefly, what does KIA study mean and what are the benefits / challenges?
The term KIA describes a cooperative study with an integrated education. The special thing about this study is that I get two degrees at the end: the skilled worker and my university degree. In the meantime, I am allowed to call myself a qualified engineer (FH) and also have the skilled worker as an electronics technician for devices and systems. Advantages for me are clearly the high practical relevance, the shorter study time for two degrees and the financial independence. The challenge is the workload that needs to be done within five years. You really have to be aware that you have to do a lot in a very short time. There is no semester break and you have the regular vacation entitlement as any other employee. I am happy to have persevered and to have delivered a very good diploma thesis.

What requirements should high school graduates fulfill?
The interest in the natural sciences should be great and you should have fun with technology. Mobility and flexibility are also in demand as the practice partner may not be close to where you live.

You have received your diploma in electrical engineering. Why did you choose this job?
I am already the second generation of my family, which completes their education in Zittau. My grandfather completed an apprenticeship as an electrician and my mom had already studied electrical engineering in Zittau. It seems that it is in my genes that my interest and my fascination for technology are great. The precision is enormously important, as each wheel has to run into the other. The University of Applied Sciences Zittau / Görlitz is pursuing a great concept for me. You can almost speak of a familiar approach and as a student you feel as an individual compared to universities.

How did you become aware of the AVI GmbH as a practice partner?
I became aware of the AVI GmbH for the Higher Education Information Day. In addition to the various degree programs, different practice partners were presented here. During the conversation, I quickly realized that I have a good feeling at AVI GmbH. The human component is as important to me as it is to exciting projects and I have to say that I was not mistaken.

Julia, you were the only woman in the program. How does that feel? Did that perhaps had any benefits?
In principle, I have not seen much differences to my male classmates. If social competence was requested, I liked to help to mediate or to organize. In short, it can be said that it was very straightforward with so many men.

The practical phases take place during operation. Tell us about your daily work.
During the time in the company, you will be integrated into your daily work routine as a full-time employee right from the start and take on responsibility. I found it great to be able to participate directly in large-scale projects and to be able to incorporate my acquired know-how from the university directly into these projects. From editing Excel spreadsheets, collaborating with colleagues to writing programs, everything was there. Another big advantage was that colleagues were helped with a helping hand when writing the diploma thesis.

Do you have tips for those who are interested in studying with AVI GmbH as a practice partner?
Interest and fun in any work should definitely be brought along. AVI GmbH is a medium-sized company with 45 employees. Here a friendly and social coexistence is lived and we act together in a team. The projects that are being worked on here are versatile and interesting.

As a project engineer, many exciting projects await Julia. We are happy that we can go this way together with her.