Dual Degree in Computer Science: Interview with two graduates

Roman Gischkowski from Bremen is 24 and did his A-Levels at the technical college for electrical engineering (a specialist Grammar School) in Syke. Jonas Sell, 25 and also from Bremen, took his A-Levels in 2009 at the Horn Grammar School in Bremen. He then completed a voluntary social year and a work & travel period in Australia. After an internship at encoway, he and Roman began the Dual Bachelor Degree Course in Computer Science on August 1, 2011. Roman is studying on the DSI course at the University of Bremen and Jonas at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences.
The interview was conducted by Maraike Griebel, Human Resources Manager at encoway.

Why did you chose the Dual Degree in Computer Science?

ROMAN: “I knew I wanted to study, but I also liked the idea of an apprenticeship so I could not really decide. On the website of the DSI agency, I stumbled across on the dual degree course and found it really interesting. I realised I had discovered a way to combine both of the things that appealed to me.
I liked the idea that you do not have to worry about a part-time job or an internship during the DSI study programme. During my entire studies I was financially independent from my parents. And the time you save is an enormous advantage. After four and a half years, we already have two qualifications. Normally, this would take at least six years”.

JONAS: “If you want to study, you have to choose from a seemingly endless number of courses. And even then you still do not know what job you will be doing afterwards. With the DSI you have a much clearer picture, because you know that if you successfully complete the course, you will be fully qualified for your profession. And you have a realistic chance of being taken on by the company directly after your studies – I never had to worry about my future“.

Interview Dual Degree in Computer Science at encoway
The DSI graduates Roman Gischkowski (left) and Jonas Sell (right) in conversation with personnell officer Maraike Griebel

What is so special about the DSI at encoway?

JONAS: “I have gained incredibly valuable practical experience as a DSI student at encoway. I was able to use a lot of what we learned on the course at encoway and vice versa. We were quickly able to take part in actual customer projects and thus gained a significant advantage over the other students. Now, at the end of our studies, we already have several years of practical experience and know how to work successfully in a company.
Another positive aspect is that you have a very good chance of being taken on by encoway. And the valuable contacts I made during my training are a great side effect”,

ROMAN: “I have benefited from encoway’s years of experience in the implementation of the DSI and its cooperation with the University of Bremen and the Bremen University of Applied Sciences. My supervisor at encoway also studied at the University of Bremen and knows exactly how the University ticks. At encoway there was always someone there to answer my questions and provide any help I needed.
During our training at encoway we were very much aware that our Managing Director, Christoph Ranze, stands fully behind this type of training and sees it as an important element of personnel management. This was always a very reassuring feeling. The family atmosphere and the fact that everyone here is on first-name terms is another reason why I enjoy working at encoway”.

What tasks did you have at encoway?

JONAS: “Most of the time, we worked with our colleagues on actual projects. After only a few weeks they let us loose on day-to-day tasks, so we were able to help the team in a practical way. We also had support from a mentor who provided us with specific responsibilities.” 

ROMAN: “And we changed department every year to allow us to get to know a whole range of different projects and encoway products”.

What did you find difficult during the DSI?

ROMAN: “Well I did notice that I had less free time than my classmates, because I had to visit the company, the vocational school and the university. But I was well prepared for this”.

JONAS: “Especially in the final stages of the DSI, when I was doing my dissertation, it was pretty stressful at times. It’s true that we had already completed our training, but the workload was still really high”.

With hindsight, would you still choose the DSI?

ROMAN: “Of course!”.

JONAS:“Yes, the advantages simply outweigh the disadvantages”.

What was your personal highlight during the DSI?

ROMAN: “I have always much preferred working on real projects and being able to make a real contribution. Contributing in a productive way and at the end of the day being proud of having achieved results, and all this in a really great team – That was my highlight.”

JONAS: “The same applies for me – the practical experience was the main highlight.”

What do you think a person needs to bring along with them to successfully complete a DSI?

ROMAN: “Above all, an interest in software development. Experience in programming is not essential because you will learn this during your training. However good organisational skills are a great advantage. After all, you have to juggle three different types of training at three different places. You should therefore be hardworking and target-oriented. There will be times when you have to study at home in the evenings or revise for exams at the weekend.”

JONAS: “In order to cope with your studies, good skills in mathematics and English are important. And proficiency in English is very useful in many areas of the everyday working life of a computer scientist”.

What does the future have in store for you after completing the DSI?

JONAS: “After graduating, I was immediately taken on as a software developer, and I now work for encoway on customer projects”.

ROMAN: “I am just finishing my dissertation and I will then start work as a fully-fledged encoway employee”.

Many thanks to both of you!


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