It sounds like a marketing gimmick: complete an interesting degree course and get paid at the same time. Yet that's exactly what Helvetia IT in Basel and Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Lörrach are offering. Marianna Harmath already had a Masters in Archaeological Science from the University of Basel under her belt. But she wanted to get some experience of the working world outside of research, so she worked in HR consulting for a few years before deciding to study business IT.
"I didn't want to be a full-time student again, though, because I didn't want to give up practical experience in the workplace or a monthly income," the student tells us. Whilst looking for courses she came across the option of combining academic study at DHBW Lörrach with workplace training at Helvetia IT in Basel. The theory blocks take place in Lörrach and finish with a week of intensive work, then comes the placement at Helvetia with small projects for students to complete independently, with the support of a mentor from their team. Later on in the course, Marianna Harmath will choose to specialize in IT, Digital Transformation or Consulting. The end of the combined course is marked by a Bachelor's dissertation and possibly a Master's thesis.
"I'm currently in my second semester. During my placements I work with lovely colleagues at the CTO Office. At the moment I'm working on two projects that involve mentoring and the trainee programme, and I help with day-to-day tasks as well," says Marianna. She also finds taking part in events like the Lego Serious Play Workshop really interesting. "The combination of IT strategy and HR topics really suits me because I can use the knowledge I already have and also learn lots of new things. "
Those looking for a "typical student lifestyle" won't find it on the combined workplace and academic study course: scheduling your first lecture of the day for 2 p.m. isn't an option. What you get instead is professional experience, financial independence and a steep learning curve thanks to the close link between theory and practice. "I have the opportunity to get an insight into the exciting world of digitalization, understand its complexity, and experience cutting-edge technology up close. And it's precisely that variety that I like," concludes Marianna Harmath.