Bilal Kurt | Junior Product Developer
Bilal Kurt started his apprenticeship as a chemical technician at UZIN UTZ in 2017. After successfully completing his apprenticeship, he started his career as a junior product developer in the research and development department for liquid products in spring 2020. The IHK Ulm honored him with an award, as he completed his apprenticeship as the state’s best.
In the following interview, Mr. Kurt answers some questions about his apprenticeship and looks back on his training period at UZIN UTZ.
Mr. Kurt, how did you become aware of UZIN UTZ and why did you decide to start the apprenticeship as a chemical technician?
It is hard to believe but a friend of mine who also works for this company told me about the company as we were working out in the gym. Since I have never heard of the company, I did some research on the Internet. On the company’s website, I discovered the apprenticeships on offer and after analyzing the field of activity in detail, I decided to start an apprenticeship as a chemical technician. I have not completed an internship before but I already kind of knew what to expect because I studied chemistry in advance. The good reputation of the company and the advice of my brother, who is also employed by UZIN UTZ in the meantime, finally convinced me to take this step. After I received the confirmation, I was working at Plant 1 from April 2017 – August 2017 before I started my apprenticeship in fall.
You completed your apprenticeship as a chemical technician in spring 2020 as the best in the state of Baden-Württemberg. What will you always remember when you think back to the time working as an apprentice?
First of all, I think of the excellent training quality at UZIN UTZ. The internal laboratory training with Ms. Hiller and Mr. Eisenmann, as well as the weekly workshop lessons with Mr. Bentenrieder and Mr. Mitteltann, created the best conditions within the company and prepared us optimally for the upcoming final exam. In addition, the theory classes at the Kerschensteiner Schule in Stuttgart were very practice-oriented, as most of the teachers worked in the industry before. The theory classes took place in blocks (in units of 3-5 weeks). During this time, my colleagues from the company and I (we were 3 chemical technicians from UZIN UTZ in total) lived together in a residence for students, which meant that we also spent a lot of time together besides the classroom. We were working out in the gym, played basketball together, or swam a lane or two after school. It was a really cool time there! Last but not least, I remember JuzinIOR, our junior company, as part of the training at UZIN UTZ. All apprentices, both commercial and industrial, met on a weekly basis and carried out various activities as part of the junior company. In particular, I enjoyed the collaboration with the apprentices from the other departments. During my training at JuzinIOR, I was responsible for the purchasing and sales departments.
Interview conducted in November 2020.
Which particular departments did you pass during your practical training and what do you do today?
In total, I got to know six different departments during my practical training. These include the two production plants at our headquarters in Ulm, intralogistics and the locksmith's business. Likewise, I spent some time in the electrical workshop and in the research and development department.
After successfully completing my apprenticeship, I started to work in our research and development department as a junior product developer for liquid products. My day-to-day business includes the general development of adhesives. It is necessary to implement a specified requirement profile that presupposes certain characteristics of an adhesive. At this point, the choice of the right raw materials is of fundamental importance. It can take months or even years to develop a completely new adhesive with all relevant characteristics. However, every single attempt is valuable, as you gain new experience and get closer to the final adhesive with each time.
If you could turn back time, would you decide to do the apprenticeship at UZIN UTZ again?
I would definitely do everything the same way - but much earlier!!!
Finally, I would like to thank my wife who always supported me during this not always easy time (having two small children).