We have already written about how important it is for us to invest in the development of technical know-how in the local community. As part of this, for the fifth year in a row, we are organizing apprenticeships for students in technical fields – mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Mentors play an extremely important role in the program, and today we talked to them about their experiences and other practice-related issues.
How has the MA-COM apprenticeship program evolved so far?
Dragan: We have made a lot of progress in terms of the logistical organization of the program – now interns have specific activities in all departments and that enables us to give all interns the same quality apprenticeships, in accordance with their level of education.
Josip: Yes, in the very beginning it was quite difficult, but with experience, it is now easy for both – us mentors and practitioners. What has always remained the same is that we all work together – from management to every operator in production – to help pupils and students progress in learning and approach.
What is the company’s approach towards interns and what kind of interaction do they have with colleagues at work during the apprenticeship?
Dario: Interns are involved in all departments related to production – development department, maintenance, injection molding department, printing department, acrylic… Ma-com treats interns the same as all colleagues – the more involved they are in normal processes at work, the faster they learn. That is why mentors are not only there to control what students do but also to help with the work and actively participate in all practice-related activities.
Dragan: I think students have a good interaction with colleagues because each of us is willing to explain and help during the work. It also helps that they are invited to [football] games and other joint activities outside of work :).
What is the role of the mentor in the apprenticeship program? How has your view of her changed over time?
Josip: This is often the first job for interns – they get the opportunity to develop not only as an individual but also as part of a team, which is crucial both in our work and in general. That is why the mentor has not only an important business but also an educational role.
Dragan: My view on mentoring has changed. In working with interns, it is very important to dedicate yourself completely to them – it is not only us who evaluate them but vice versa as well. It is important for us as a company to present ourselves to them in the best light.
Which things are most important, and which are usually the most difficult to adopt in practice?
Josip: I think that the most difficult thing for interns is to fit into a good-functioning system that focuses on the personal responsibility of each team member towards the final product and the whole process. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand that everyone is part of the process and if any part of the process is not as it should be, then it is harder for everyone and the results show that.
Dario: Acquiring new knowledge and skills is the purpose of practice, but I think the most important thing is to learn what teamwork is and start building a healthy work habit. In general, all activities are equally interesting if the students actively participate and follow. There is always something to learn, both students from mentors and mentors from students.
Applications for apprenticeship and summer work are currently open. You can find the application at: https://forms.gle/z8mjoastjXHx22ou8. For more information, contact the e-mail address: email@example.com