Career - Aug 24, 2021

5 questions for Fabian Gerhart, Systems Engineer in Networks and Security.

Bechtle’s IT system house in Kiel lies in the north of Germany, and it’s where Fabian Gerhart did his vocational training and graduated as an IT specialist—finishing as the best in his year. Sounds pretty straight forward, doesn’t it? It wasn’t. He tells us his story in this interview.

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1. Fabian, can you tell us what your average work day looks like and how you spend your time off work?

I started off at Bechtle three years ago as a trainee to become an IT specialist and was one of three at Bechtle Kiel. I passed my final exam in February 2021 and now work as a Systems Engineer in Networks and Security. We’re quite busy there at the moment. The pandemic has led a lot of people to work from at home, which means that infrastructures and networks have to be customised and restructured.

I never would have thought when I started out that I would end up in network technology. It was all so new and exciting. And to be honest, I didn’t have a clue what the department stood for. I spent my first half year working in Clouds and as a part of the Microsoft Team. And then I came to the network department and I knew almost immediately that it was meant to be. Everything is built up logically and it’s easy to perform checks if something isn’t working. What does that mean? Well, if a cable is plugged in properly, the information flows. As easy as that.

When I’m not working, I’m mostly off-line, playing football for example. I play in a small amateur team in Kiel with a lot of students in all fields, like archaeologists or material scientists, which makes things exciting. My other passion is role-playing—the type which does not require any technology whatsoever either. I really enjoy diving into different worlds and going on adventures.

2. How did you come about applying for training at Bechtle Kiel?

I started studying maths and physics after finishing school, but I noticed there was too little pedagogy for my tastes, so I changed subjects, which led to me studying for some time. During my studies, I worked in first level support at an IT company and really enjoyed it. This led to me searching out the corresponding training for the job and ultimately applying to become an IT specialist.

I applied at several companies, including Bechtle, who declined my application at first. Only a few days later I received another call from a Bechtle employee. One of the applicants had withdrawn their application and I was asked if I wanted to come in for an interview on the same day. Needless to say, I took my shot. The talk was good and the interviewer even explained the training plan to me. The second talk with the department also went well and ended up with me bagging a contract.

3. What influenced your decision to undergo training at Bechtle and to stay once you were finished?

There were two major points that influenced this decision. For one, the company’s size—that was really quite impressive. For two, the interview, the sheer amount of information on the training and the opportunities to get active and do things independently. At the time, I already had another offer from another company, but I decided on Bechtle and I’m still there to this day. And why? I like the company culture, how people speak to and treat each other, how superiors treat their team and that colleagues are open to meet up after work if you want to. But that being said, the actual tasks and enjoyment you have carrying them out is also a key factor.

4. Do you have any tips for those starting out their vocational training this summer?

I only just welcomed the new trainees at our location yesterday. My credo is to be open and interested! If someone explains something to me, I like to ask questions and show gratitude for them sharing their knowledge with me. And I expect the same in return. It also helps to exchange information with other trainees. While going to school for training, I made a study group with three classmates. We were all specialised on different topics, so we covered a lot. We used to meet up on Saturdays and go through old exams, and I wouldn't change a thing.

5. What does the perfect work day look like for you? What sends you home with a smile?

I really like having a result and knowing I shared my knowledge with others. Sometimes I grab some hardware components and round up the trainees, so we can configure and customise them. We then ship it all out to the customers and everything works like a charm. That’s my perfect work day. Ideally, my customer is located on the Timmendorfer beach, so I can relax there after work. 😉

  1. Thanks for the interview, Fabian!

Published on Aug 24, 2021.