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11/20/19 | Career

Creating new things together!

Hello! My name’s Leoni Albrecht, and I’ve been an industrial business management trainee with RAMPF Production Systems in Zimmern ob rottweil since September 2018 – and I’m loving it!

After just nine months, it was clear to me that this is a place where people live up to what they promise. You can really make a difference here, and I don’t just mean through your everyday work in the company, but in numerous special projects, too. 

I had the opportunity to take the lead in just such a project – planning, organizing, and conducting the RAMPF Trainee Days 2019. When my training manager Heiko Wurster first approached me, my initial reaction was:

Wow! Getting an event like that, lasting more than one day, off the ground is a really big deal!

Of course, I was also proud to be entrusted with such a responsibility while still in my first year of training. Following Pippi Longstockings’ motto of “I’ve never tried that before, so I’m absolutely sure I can do it”, I therefore jumped right in – naturally with plenty of practical support from my fellow trainees and my training manager.

Our task was to plan a team project and a leisure activity and find one night’s accommodation for all the participants. At its various sites, the RAMPF Group currently has 36 trainees learning their trade in the fields of administration, IT, warehousing, production, and laboratory.

The annual RAMPF Trainee Days are held at one of the three south-German sites as a team event and a chance to get to know one another. This year it was the turn of Zimmern ob Rottweil. 

Welcome to Zimmern – Welcome to Production Systems

After eight weeks, all the plans were in place and the day of truth was coming closer. Had we covered all our bases? Would everything go as planned?

I was nervous, but once all the trainees and training managers arrived and met over breakfast, and I saw how good the mood was, I slowly started to relax.  After breakfast, the next point of the program was a company tour. My fellow trainee and future mechatronic engineer Timo Scharnefski explained the production processes at RAMPF Production Systems and impressed the group with his expert knowledge.

The fascination of all the trainees with the huge dispensing and robot systems was clear to see, and, filled with a desire to create something too, we got to work on the “BOAT” team project.

The boat

Affectionately known as the “Future Forge”, our technical trainees’ workshop was the perfect setting for a creative construction exercise in teamwork during the RAMPF Trainee Days. The aim for our five teams was to use wood, polystyrene, cork, and a few additional materials to build a boat that would ultimately both float and bear as much weight as possible.

Even before the lunch break, we worked in our respective teams to put together a plan and come up with a name for our boat. Having refueled on pizza, we really got down to things after lunch.

My mechatronic engineering colleagues showed their prowess with jigsaw and drill, but even those of us undertaking traineeships in administration and the laboratory played our part in the success of the project, often taking care of the finishing touches, design, and boat launch. After over an hour of sawing, drilling, and sanding, we finally had our five boats.

They were all completely different – but they all floated! We had therefore completed our task with aplomb – and a good deal of team spirit. 

Hitting the heights at the ThyssenKrupp test tower

We had another highlight in store for the afternoon, because there’s one thing anyone who comes to the Production Systems site in Zimmern can see from a distance – the ThyssenKrupp test tower next door. That’s a must-see for any event.

We therefore took the 30-second ride up the 232 m to the visitor platform of the elevator test tower. For some of the group, this actually proved quite a challenge, but the butterflies in their stomachs soon settled down as they took in the glorious view over Rottweil and the nearby Black Forest. 

Our exciting day was rounded off with a shared evening meal at Rottweil youth hostel, where we also had the opportunity to compare notes on our experiences as RAMPF trainees so far.

With that, the first day was over, and I got the impression that everyone had really enjoyed themselves, and more to the point, everything had gone smoothly!

Time to get sporty

The next morning, after what was – for some, at least – a rather short night and a hearty breakfast, we headed for the K5 climbing center in Rottweil. There was a collective sharp intake of breath at the sight of the huge climbing walls when we entered the hall – some even went a little weak at the knees!

This was when it became clear how much we had already grown together as a group – everyone was understanding of and encouraging to the others. After careful instruction, and kitted out with climbing shoes and harnesses, we all ultimately mustered the courage to climb the wall, with the support of our team-mates. 

The two exciting Trainee Days packed full of experiences were finally brought to a close with a shared lunch, after which the exhausted, but happy, participants headed for home. We all agreed the two days had been fantastic, and that the team of trainees and trainers had grown together as a group – in many cases beyond beyond what they though they were capable of. 

Although our sites are many kilometers apart, the spirit of the RAMPF Group ran through the entire event, and we had experienced first-hand what it means to discover the future together!

These two days were thus a complete success for me, too. It was exciting – and sometimes exhausting – to handle the preparations on top of my daily work and school. At the end of the day, however, I got a real kick out of seeing how happy the other participants were – and now I can hardly wait for my next “special project”. Thanks for the encouragement, Pippi!

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