New – young – ideas, and new – young – employees: that pretty well sums up what we have achieved at Siemens Real Estate (SRE) since 2018, thanks to our collaboration with the Mittweida University of Applied Sciences near Chemnitz, Germany. It is a truly extraordinary project that goes far beyond mere recruiting. Are you curious? Then read on…
It’s nothing new, of course, for companies to cooperate with universities. Siemens has also been doing this for many decades. However, our collaboration with Mittweida University of Applied Sciences stands out for a number of special reasons. Firstly, it’s the range of topics. We’re not talking about today’s universal rarities – engineers or IT specialists. No, we’re talking about the profession of a location manager which is so important to us at SRE. Secondly, the intensity and depth of our collaboration are more than just a little unusual. Finally – and most importantly – it’s about tangible success for everyone involved. But first things first.
Location manager – what sort of job is that?
For a number of years now we’ve had problems at SRE recruiting talented young junior staff for the position of location manager. The location managers look after our real estate assets at the Siemens locations around the globe. Their duties range from leasing, marketing, managing and administering their properties and technical facility management right through to cost-based utilization and the increasingly important issues of digitalization and sustainability.
After all, at SRE we manage and are responsible for some 8 million square meters of facility space at over 1,300 Siemens locations worldwide.
The good news is that Mittweida University offers a degree program in precisely what we’re looking for. There, students taking a Bachelor of Engineering in Sustainable Real Estate Management prepare for the profession’s current and future challenges based on real-life practice. The ever-expanding technical background needed is one particular area of focus.
Trial testing and deployment – and now even abroad…
This is why we’ve entered into a model collaboration arrangement that is truly exemplary. We invite students to get to know first-hand on site what their future profession is all about. We place specific project orders with the university which are then worked on by several teams of students and presented at the end. And it’s not just Siemens internships that await the winners: positions can now also be organized for students to go abroad if they so wish, for example to Canada and Austria.
Students are welcoming such offers, as Dr.-Ing. Jan Schaaf, who heads up the program, confirms. “This collaboration program bears fruit on many different levels,” says Schaaf. In particular because it also allows students to develop specific solutions for real-life facilities and problems that “have to stand up to testing by SRE”.
And we, in turn, gain from the fresh ideas and new approaches that perhaps may not have occurred to us had we not collaborated with these young, unspent minds.
And yet, the best – as so often – is saved for last. So far four graduates from Mittweida University have already been hired by SRE Location Management.
They’re now deployed across Germany, from Berlin and Düsseldorf to Nuremberg and Erlangen.
This collaboration between SRE and Mittweida University has meanwhile become not just an integral part of our junior staff recruiting. The University and all of us at SRE are likewise benefiting just as much from regularly sharing ideas and information, and closely interlinking theory with practice. It’s a major win-win situation for everyone.