As a Working Student in the Project Management Team

How I Met My Job – Our colleague Daniel Lis tells us how he came to his current job as a project manager at Babtec via a student job. He also reveals what advantages he sees in a work-study program, what his greatest learning experience was, and what advice he can give to students!

That's Me

My name is Daniel Lis and I have been working as a regular project manager at Babtec in the Villingen-Schwenningen office since 2021. Before that, I already wrote my final thesis for my studies in cooperation with Babtec and worked there as a working student. My subjects of study were in the Bachelor Medical Engineering and in the Master Micromedical Engineering. In my How-I-Met-My-Job story, I will tell you about my experiences as a working student at Babtec.

Portrait of Daniel Lis

My First Contact with Babtec

After graduating from school, I started directly with my bachelor studies in Medical Engineering at Furtwangen University. For my final thesis, the bachelor's thesis, I had to find a company that offered cooperation for final theses. I applied to a few medical technology companies since that was of course the most obvious thing to do. But then my girlfriend came home with a flyer from Babtec.

During my internship semester at a medical technology company, I had already worked with the BabtecQ quality management software, so Babtec was a familiar name to me. I always got along well with the software, which is why I already had a positive relationship with the company. I found the topic of "software" super interesting anyway. I would have liked to study computer science, but I was so bad at school that I didn't dare to study it. Now, suddenly, the opportunity presented itself to go in an IT direction with my medical technology studies – and so I just gave it a try and applied to Babtec.

Win-win Situation in the Application Process

I didn't really have that much hope, but then Alina Ziehn, Babtec's recruiting manager, called me and invited me to an interview. It went really well and in a pleasant atmosphere. I really liked the fact that I saw two colleagues playing darts as soon as I walked in. There's also a foosball table, for example – so you can have some fun in the company, which I thought was really cool.

I then had a second meeting with my potential superiors and we already talked about technical topics for my bachelor's thesis. At the time, Babtec was looking for someone to work as a working student on validation methodology in the field of medical technology. This is a requirement that medical technology companies have to fulfill. The software has to be tested to see if it works as it should – after all, human lives are directly affected in this field of work. I came at just the right time, since I have the relevant study background.

Cooperation for the Bachelor Thesis

We quickly agreed that we wanted to work together. And so I wrote my final thesis at Babtec. I had two supervisors at the Villingen-Schwenningen office and spent a lot of time in the office there, which I really liked. The office in Villingen-Schwenningen is just super cool, chic and modern. From day one, I was provided with everything I needed and more; it started with a bouquet of flowers and a personal welcome card, continued with my own workstation and laptop, and ended with great integration into the team as the icing on the cake. It made a big difference to be welcomed so warmly and to find that everyone was really relaxed. Overall, I had the impression early on that Babtec could be a future employer for me.

The work on the bachelor's thesis went off without a hitch. After graduation, I decided to study for a master's degree in micromedical engineering at Furtwangen University, but I didn't want to leave Babtec either, so I was happy to stay on as a working student.

"I hit the mark with my working student job: I had the impression early on that Babtec could be a future employer for me."

Daniel Lis

Working Student as #partoftheteam

Daniel in a meeting with his colleague

I took on a few tasks as a working student; most of them can probably be summarized under the heading of "project support". I continued to work a lot on validation methodology and created template documents for this. Since this was my area of expertise, I was even able to give training courses at the Babtec Academy. Apart from that, I supported the members of the project management team to the best of my ability and also went along to customer meetings as often as possible. The team members were and are anything but reserved towards working students; I was welcomed with open arms and taken along wherever possible.

Of course, I had a good background for the project manager job with my medical technology degree, but it's not like I learned project management in my studies. Nevertheless, I got into the job well through a mixture of my own initiative and support from training courses – both internally at Babtec and externally, such as the PRINCE2 training course on project management. I also talked a lot with my teammates and learned how projects are structured at Babtec. By the way, a dedicated contact person has recently been appointed at Babtec who is responsible for training project managers internally. I also went through another training session here, which was absolutely helpful.

Daniel Lis at the workplace

The fact that I wasn't just hired for a single, defined task, as is usual in corporate groups, for example, meant that I was also able to look a lot to the right and left. For example, I enjoyed looking over my colleagues' shoulders in team Customizing. At the suggestion of a colleague, I even taught myself the database language SQL; that was also a great experience.

In terms of organization, I wrote down my hours as a working student and submitted timesheets. I was then paid on the basis of these timesheets. I worked 20 hours a week at Babtec. I was very flexible, however, so that I could work less during the exam period and more at other times.

I definitely wanted to write my master's thesis in cooperation with Babtec. I then got a really cool thesis topic, this time outside of medical technology, and I also wrote my second thesis at Babtec.

The Crowning Achievement: Permanent Employment

The transition from the master's program to the permanent position was really smooth – it was already clear that I would like to stay there. I also knew at that time that Babtec thinks long-term and is interested in offering working students a perspective for the time after their studies. And I had received feedback that I had done a good job, so there was a mutual agreement quite early on.

There was still the question of where exactly I saw myself, whether more in project management or as a trainer in the academy, for example. I wanted to be in project management, which is what happened. My supervisor at the time came to me one day with the contract, which I was of course very pleased about. I've been a regular project manager at Babtec since March 2021.

My Conclusion on the Working Student Program

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The Advantages at a Glance

The huge advantage of the work-study program is that you can gain practical experience during your studies. You can take a close look at a profession and gain insights into how the working world functions. You can take a relaxed look around and take plenty of time to get to know everything and find out whether the job is right for you. You also get a good insight into other areas of the company: I wasn't limited to project management but was also able to look over the shoulder of customizing or sales.
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My Most Important Learning

The most important learning is that it is essential to take the initiative yourself. You can get ahead in the professional world with your own initiative; you can't just sit down and wait for everything to fall into your lap. This applies to working at Babtec, but also in principle to the business world.
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My Advice to You

Come to Babtec as a working student, it's cool! At very large companies, the roles for working students are very well-defined; you often apply for exactly one task. In my experience, this is different at medium-sized companies, like Babtec is. You can look around the company more flexibly. That's why there's a second piece of advice on top of that: be open and go into your new field of activity with a broad field of vision. Feel free to look left and right and take all the experience you can get with you.


Portrait of Alina Ziehn

Do you have any questions about your application or a working student program at Babtec? Our Recruiting Manager Alina Ziehn is looking forward to hearing from you!

Alina Ziehn
People & Culture
Phone: +49 202 4960-177

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