First-hand information: get to know the Festo company from the perspective of our Scholarship holders. Learn more about the careers and activities of people who could soon be your colleagues.
Anna-Maria Georgarakis was made aware towards the end of her bachelor degree in engineering of Festo's scholarship for women engineers. She is now one of the six scholarship holders who are benefiting from interesting contacts, a personal mentoring program and exciting placements abroad. She is currently completing her master's degree at the ETH Zürich on the subject of "Robotics, Systems and Control".
"My first meeting with Festo was at the corporate contact fair IKOM in Munich. My original intention was to find out about an internship abroad. However, I came away with the intention of applying for a scholarship for women engineers. But one thing at a time – after my bachelor degree and before undertaking my master's I wanted to gain some experience of working abroad – especially in the field of mechatronics. I went to the Festo stand to enquire about this.
I can still remember how I found the interest shown by the stand staff to be very positive. Instead of referring me to websites and handing out leaflets, they asked me in detail about my study and my professional plans. In conclusion, I was encouraged to consider a scholarship for women engineers instead of an internship. The only problem was that the closing date for applications was two days away. After this, everything went quickly – I gathered all the necessary documents together and was able to submit an application just in time. The effort was well worthwhile, since I was invited to an interview and was delighted to learn a short time later that I had been accepted.
I could hardly believe my luck – two birds with one stone, a scholarship and an internship.
But this was not all - immediately after I had been accepted, my mentor and I began to consider in which of the Festo national companies I could complete an internship. In the end, I found myself going to China, or to be more exact, Jinan. For just under five months, I worked here in the development department in the area of mechatronics. The time in China was very valuable for me – I gained a great deal of fantastic experience and was also able to develop considerably professionally through an exciting project which I completed during this time. My main task was to design a concept for leak-testing aluminium die castings.
Close contact with a company during study – by no means a matter of course
During a course of study at a university, there is naturally from time to time an opportunity to have contact with industrial companies. Nonetheless, contact as close and intensive as I had, which was only possible through my scholarship, is something quite different. For me, this relationship with everyday practice is very important, since in my direct environment there was no contact to companies in my specialist field. I now obtain valuable experience and advice through my mentor at Festo. Through our exchange of ideas, I receive a very concrete impression of the working life of an engineer and what tasks there are in our specialist area apart from purely technical matters. This individual professional mentoring is for me the big advantage of the scholarship. I also greatly appreciate being a member of the Festo "Stay Inspired" network. There are very few women in my specialist field, and I accordingly always look forward to the regular meetings at Festo.
At the moment, I am still in the first half of my studies for my master's degree. I therefore still have some time to consider where to go from here. I have not yet decided whether to work for a PhD or begin a professional working life immediately. Here too, I will certainly draw on the expert advice of my mentor. His advice has already helped me a number of times in taking decisions and resolving questions in the course of my study."