Training in the area of business and IT consulting



published on 16 February 2022


There are several milestones in a person's life where we have to make important decisions for ourselves. One of the most formative ones is probably the choice of profession and the associated question: Which apprenticeship is the right one for me? In the current article we report from the apprenticeships & the apprenticeship concept in the range of IT Operations in the business and IT consulting of Rödl & Partner.

Not that long ago, I was given the task of revising the existing apprenticeship concept together with another colleague. The following questions ran through my mind:

  • What should an apprenticeship look like?
  • What is expected of the trainee? What is expected of the company?
  • Which documents and templates are already existing?


Due to my own experience, that I had not a common apprenticeship – the first step was to get an overview. We deducted an actual assessment of the existing processes, internal regulations and documents relating to apprenticeship in the range of business and IT consulting. The result: There is still room for improvement.


The access

Nowadays there are many application channels: Everything is possible, from job advertisements in the regional newspaper, to online applications, to applications based on recommendations from friends, colleagues or family. To begin with an internship also opens up the possibility of starting in a company. However, all paths pursue the same goal: an access into the company of choice.


Workflow and content

Once you've started, the excitement begins: What can I expect during my apprenticeship? What will the working atmosphere be like? What will my workplace look like? What are my working hours like?

The good news in advance: The content and timetable of an apprenticeship are specified by the relevant apprenticeship regulation and structured in an apprenticeship framework plan. The implementation in the company is also based on this apprenticeship regulation and is defined in a company apprenticeship concept. This is precisely where companies and their concepts differ.

In the 1st year of the apprenticeship, we convey the basics of the training “qualified IT specialist for systems integration”. In the beginning of the apprenticeship there is a welcome week, during this week the apprentices are given important organizational and content-related information about the apprenticeship. This includes an introduction of the company using an organigram, the personal face-to-face introductions to colleagues and a briefing on work protection and date privacy law. On a timeline of 36 months the defined milestones, for example the planned change of department, the feedback discussions, the aforementioned apprenticeship framework and the upcoming examinations will be discussed.


In the 2nd and 3rd year of the apprenticeship, the apprentice is rotating through specialists’ departments so that the apprentice can occupy himself or herself with further key topics and to deepen his/her knowledge. The intention of the departmental rotations is to gain a holistic view of the company and the profession at the least by the end of the apprenticeship. Identifying your own strengths, weaknesses and interests is also an important insight during apprenticeship.

Another component of the concept is the supervision of apprentices in the company by a central contact person. The trainees run through their training more easily and successfully if they receive a goal at the beginning of their apprenticeship and get shown the way to achieve it. This includes to convey the exciting topics and content, as well as to encourage the apprentice's creativity and sense of exploration.

Communication throughout the training is equally important. Our concept includes regular feedback meetings and short presentations of no more than 15 minutes. Therefor the trainees have to prepare a specific topic, which is then presented within the department or in front of all other apprentices. A nice side effect is that the fear of giving a presentation and the stage fright decrease with each presentation and the presentation techniques are improved.

The regular feedback meetings also suit to the communication between the apprentice and the company. Feedback from the trainee is just as important as feedback from the specialist department to the apprentice himself. Only in this way both sides can benefit from each other. Especially in the field of communication, it always takes two to tango. A sender without a receiver is just as worthless as a receiver without a sender.


Promote and challenge

As a company, how much do you trust an apprentice to do? How much does the apprentice think he or she can do? The answer: Better some more than too little. What I have already learned in my short time as an apprenticeship manager: Apprentices and their abilities are often underestimated. Of course, they often can't keep up with a “senior” in functional capability. But their grasp, their willingness to learn and their ability to absorb knowledge should not be underestimated. Right from the start, the trainee is integrated into the department and its processes and challenged with appropriate tasks. The mostly theoretical content taught at vocational school is transferred to the departments and applied. It is also important to draw attention to oneself – in a positive sense, of course. This is how you become heard and known in the company! Contact with as many employees, suppliers or customers as possible promotes the apprentice's social skills and personal development. If you talk to former apprentices, it is often the unusual things that remain in their memories: In addition to the travel to customers all over Germany or the trips to the data centers at other locations, there are also the summer parties in convivial company with colleagues or the shared moments on the slopes at ski weekend from Rödl & Partner.


The professional life starts

Once the apprenticeship has been successfully completed, it is important to exchange the “apprentice status” in the company for that of a fully skilled employee and not remaining “the apprentice” in the company for many more years.


Conclusion - Even the longest way begins with a first step

Back to the beginning: Today's IT and its professions form a very large, future-oriented field of application with many exciting and diverse topics. Our new apprentices can expect a great working atmosphere, competent colleagues and an apprenticeship with structure. The first step into IT starts with a click »


In advance, I wish all apprentices a successful, exciting and challenging apprenticeship and a good start to their careers.

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