Dual Master’s Programme in Computer Science (DMI): Experience report by Vanessa Krüger

Vanessa Krüger completed the Dual Master’s Programme in Computer Science (DMI) in the project development department at encoway.

How I came to encoway

My time at encoway began in 2006 when I applied for a place on the Dual Study Programme in Computer Science (DSI). I was given the opportunity to spend a week getting a taste of the company and working on a minor project. And I learned a lot not only about the professional field, but also about encoway. I was overwhelmed by the helpfulness of the staff and fascinated by the wide range of activities. I was made to feel that I was accepted as I am, and that I would not only have to work hard as an employee but would also receive the best possible support. I really wanted to be part of the team and was delighted when I was offered a place on the course.

From 2007 to 2011, I completed the DSI at encoway and realised that my initial feelings were not wrong – both the DSI and the company were exactly the right choice. I spent time in various areas of product development at encoway and also got to know the project business, which was particularly interesting for me.

For Vanessa Krüger, the main highlight of the DMI was an international internship in the USA

Why I chose the DMI

Following the DSI, I was immediately taken on full time. I worked as a software developer for customer projects – my main area of interest. At this time, the DMI was being planned. I was one of the first to be given the opportunity to be part of this interesting project – a combination of working in a company, studying at university and a profile programme (additional qualifications). Although my previous work was very interesting and varied, I wanted to be able to take on more responsibility. The DMI gave me the opportunity to keep my permanent job, while at the same time developing my theoretical knowledge at university and acquiring additional skills for a management position.

What the DMI involves

Since the winter semester in 2012, I have been dividing my time between working and studying as part of the DMI. On average I spend around 20 hours in the company every week, even during the semester. As regards the individual courses at the university, I always try to concentrate on those that will also benefit my work at the company. I have taken part in courses such as software reengineering and participatory design. Each semester, a range of courses is offered within the profile programme which take place on two or three weekends. These seminars are conducted by professional trainers with a small number of participants. Here you can acquire, for example, project management, facilitation and intercultural skills – subjects that I had not dealt with in this depth at the company or during my studies.

My work and responsibilites during the DMI

As I had hoped, the DMI gave me the opportunity to assume more and more responsibility and to gain additional experience in dealing with customers. At the beginning, I developed, together with a team, an online configurator which included project management, pricing and quote generation. After a short time, I took over the technical project management for small-scale customer projects. I also took part in workshops with customers that dealt with the planning of configuration applications and new features. I was allowed to provide support for a project from the first planning workshop right up to the productive use of the application by the customer. Here, I was responsible for the concept, cost assessments, technology-related communication with the customers, the technical leadership of the development team and the technical implementation. Now, at encoway, I was able to practically apply much of the knowledge and skills I had acquired at university and in the profile programme.

My personal highlight was an internship in the USA

As part of the DMI, I completed together with another DMI student, an 11-week internship in the United States, at one of the sites of encoway’s parent company, Lenze. Our job was to develop a concept for a simple configurator for the American market. In particular, the hospitality of our colleagues in the USA was amazing. This experience has influenced me a great deal – I have learned a lot about American culture and have become much more independent.

Outlook and conclustion

After the successful completion of my master’s degree, my goal is to take on the technical management of a major customer project. I would also be able to assume responsibility for a particular topic or tool, for example in the area of quality assurance or performance analysis. I could see myself being responsible for part of the software development process. In fact, many doors have opened for me since I graduated. I could, for example, work as a software architect in product development or provide expert support for the sales department. In the long term I could even take on an initial position in project or product management.

Looking back, I can say that during the DMI I have made even more progress than I had initially hoped for. Wherever the future may lead me, I know that the DMI has prepared me well.

Biography: Vanessa Krüger was born in Bremen, and took her A-levels at the grammar school in the Hamburger Strasse in Bremen in 2007. As part of this DMI programme, she is studying at the University of Bremen and works in the project development department at encoway. In 2015 Vanessa started work on her master’s thesis.

Would you like to apply for a place on a dual master’s degree course in project development? Or read more experience reports from other departments? You can find out more here:

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