In April 2020, Daniel was one of the first to begin a dual master’s program in Information and Communication Technology with Deutsche Telekom. He is now in his second semester and would like to tell you a bit about the course as well as the experience he has gained during his studies.
I already had my eye on Deutsche Telekom back when I was doing my dual bachelor’s program in electrical engineering (majoring in energy technology). After finishing my degree and successfully applying in February 2020, I had my first day of work at Deutsche Telekom – full of expectations – as part of my dual master’s program on April 1.
Why I chose to do a dual master’s program?
Before starting my bachelor’s, I was very interested in electrical engineering and especially energy technology. During my degree, however, I realized I had a passion for communication technology. I was soon certain that I wanted do a master’s in “Information and Communication Technology” following my bachelor’s degree. I knew I wanted to take this route at Deutsche Telekom so I could get involved with Europe’s market leader for telecommunications. Successfully completing my degree would therefore open up many different career opportunities. What I found particularly important was the combination of theory and practical learning. The practical tasks within the company help you better understand the theoretical topics you learn at the university. This experience wasn’t as intensive during my bachelor’s degree. What I also really liked was the opportunity to adapt the course to my own personal interests and goals with the selection of various optional modules.
Work and study – how does it actually work?
Despite the situation being made more difficult by the coronavirus pandemic and the onboarding process occurring digitally as a result, I was soon able to find my bearings at Deutsche Telekom. My work at Technik Deutschland is with the “Mobile Backhaul” tribe. It is responsible for the development, planning, and operation of aggregation platforms for mobile communications, including the associated network management systems – that is, the network between the mobile communication sites and the fixed network. Mobile Backhaul is also responsible for the development and operation of Technik Deutschland’s radio relay system as well as the planning and setup of the central backhaul components for the radio access area (BSC, RNC, IP-SEC, LAR). We are currently pushing ahead with the rollout of “NGMA” (Next Generation Mobile Access), our 5G connection platform. This means we are significantly involved in the rollout of the 5G network. It is therefore truly an area in which the future becomes reality.
After a number of weeks with the Group and having got to know my colleagues, equipment, and the tribe’s responsibilities, it was already time for the first digital lectures to begin in mid-April. These took place in the form of teletutorials at the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK). Since the subject area of this master’s degree is relatively far removed from the subjects involved in electrical energy technology, I had been worrying whether I was prepared for the content and challenges presented by this course before beginning and even at the start of the lecture series. I was already over this fear after just a few lectures, however. All of the lecturers let us know they were open to all questions and also provided us with recommended literature and other materials on the subject’s foundations if asked.
Throughout the semester, the lectures take place in the form of teletutorials (always online) and on-campus classes. The teletutorials run alongside my normal working hours with the company, which means my calendar can sometimes be very full. Not to worry though – my colleagues are always very understanding if I am unable to attend a meeting due to a teletutorial. The on-campus classes are split into two blocks, each spread across three weeks. During this period, I am not in work and am focused entirely on lectures, seminars, and tutorials. The switch to online working during the coronavirus pandemic worked really well, both at the university and at Deutsche Telekom.
In this course we also have exams at the end of the semester, of course. They take place once a semester in a single week of exams around 2-3 weeks after the last on-campus session. The exams are a mix of written compositions, oral technical discussions, and classic written tests.
The advantage: everything is out of the way after this week of exams. There is then another long period again without any exams.
How Deutsche Telekom supports me
At times when on-campus classes are not carried out virtually due to the pandemic, the journeys to Leipzig at the start and end of the studying period are paid by Deutsche Telekom and you receive financial support for the accommodation costs. Each student also receives a paid trip home after two weeks. This means you are even supported in maintaining direct contact with your friends and family at home during the periods when you are on-campus. Deutsche Telekom has locations all across Germany and enables students to carry out the practical phases at 9 different locations (including Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Munich, Münster, Leipzig, Darmstadt), so sites are also available nearby. I chose Bonn, where Deutsche Telekom also has its headquarters. The weeks spent in Leipzig are then a welcome change and offer plenty of opportunities for lively exchanges with my classmates – in person again once we have the pandemic behind us.
Daniel has inspired you and you are interested in learning more about the Dual Master's program? Here you can find all information about the study curriculum and an overview of all current job offers.