"I'm able to learn theories much more easily when I can quickly apply them. It also motivates me."
Working in Berlin and studying in Leipzig, Lara needs to make the most of her time. She is getting her degree together with Telekom at its own University of Applied Sciences. It’s a tough job, but it pays off.
I wasn't happy just studying math and information technology at a regular university – it seemed too anonymous and theoretical. I wanted to be able to use what I was learning right away. Deutsche Telekom's work-study program was the solution. I'm able to do both, work in a Telekom office in Berlin – where I'm from – and study one week out of every four or five at the University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig.
Right now I'm helping test telecommunications installations for a customer while studying Telecommunications Informatics at the university, which is operated by Telekom. I really enjoy being able to apply the things I've learned in the classroom right almost the next day. On the other hand, I also like how work brings up issues that I'm able to learn more about at the university. I'm even improving my English as well as learning about business operations and legal issues.
Sure a work-study program isn't easy. In addition to the job and classroom work, I also have online classes every Wednesday evening and have to study on the weekends – like any student. At school – just like in the office – I'm part of a team of professionals who are focused on helping me learn and even supporting me by developing the right curriculum for me.
It takes a lot of organization to ensure I have enough free time for me and my hobbies, but it works. I used to be a semi-pro basketball player and still like to shoot some hoops with friends. I also enjoy spending time in France, where my boyfriend's from. I hope to get my degree in 2013 and continue doing what I'm doing – applying what I learned in school to my career with Deutsche Telekom.