Polytechnic University Alumnus Speaks about his Job at the Mercedes-Benz Company
Everyone has one’s own secrets of success, but there are common features in them: hard work and determination would most likely help to achieve the desired result. Back in 2004, Nikita KONDRASHOV enrolled at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (now the Institute of Metallurgy, Mechanical Engineering and Transport), the Department of Transport and Technological Systems. Later on, he graduated from a Master’s degree program in Germany and an off-campus postgraduate degree program at Polytechnic University, followed by an invitation to work at a global automobile company. Nikita spoke about his way to success in his interview with the SPbPU International Services.
- Nikita, do you remember why did you choose Polytechnic University?
- Polytechnic University has always been and remains one of the leading technical schools in Russia, and that was exactly why I made this decision. And the actual specialization I chose based on the demands on the labor market.
- What, in your opinion, your education at SPbPU gave you?
- It was the fundamental base, which yet the soviet school of higher education was famous of. The knowledge I got allowed me to enroll of the Master’s degree program at a German university, and, later on, get jobs at several car corporations in Germany.
- When did you decide to continue your education abroad? What countries did you consider?
- I came to this decision by the middle of the fifth grade. It was interesting for me to compare the European and our domestic learning approaches, and I went to Germany within the frame of a student exchange program.
- How different is German education as compared to Russian?
- As a whole, the principles of learning are similar. They also teach lectures at German universities, have practical classes and laboratory works. The major difference is, in my opinion, the practicality approach. In Germany, the curricula are based on practical terms lasting from three to six months. Thanks to that, students get their first professional experience yet before the defense of their diplomas. In fact, many do their diplomas right at the enterprises. By the graduation, many Master’s degree holders have already tried themselves in several sections and have up to 18 months of practical experience. It is not infrequent that companies offer permanent jobs to the graduates they liked, and this is great! I was glad to know that the same methods are now practiced in Russia!
- You presently work at the Mercedes-Benz Corporation. How did you get there?
- As many other students, I was writing my Master’s degree thesis at the enterprise. This was the BMW Center for Prospective Developments in Munich. After that, I got a job at a design bureau working with the Audi Company. Two years of working in the car industry, persistence and some luck, and now I am a staff member of the Mercedes-Benz Corporation; to be more precise, at the Daimler Corporate Group.
- And what exactly is your job about?
- I work at the department of supply quality control; I verify the technical documentation for the components before their being sent in mass production. I am also monitoring the manufacturing process of the components supplied to the company, and work on the development of the of the system of quality management at our suppliers.
- Nikita, this is a serious and responsible job. What piece of advice would you give to our present-day students to help them achieve success?
- My advice would be far from original, but it works, I’m sure of that. First, learn foreign languages, the English language at the minimum. I remember how our then dean Yury K. MIKHAILOV advised us, freshmen, about that. Secondly, still a university student, look for the opportunities for internships or get some part-time job in your profession. Then, by the time of graduation, you will already have practical experience, and this is a big plus. And if in addition you are able to operate specific software that would give you serious competitive advantages.
- Nikita, thank you very much for an interesting interview. Good luck to you in your professional career!