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"The best thing was successfully finishing my first project."

If you start earlier, you'll make faster progress: Why two students from Salzburg University of Applied Sciences work at SKIDATA while they're still studying.

It’s the perfect entry-level job that combines theory and practice: study.work.support. This is the name of the new programme at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, which offers students the opportunity to gain relevant work experience in their subject area during their studies. SKIDATA is one of 16 renowned Salzburg-based IT companies supporting the programme. It is aimed at students of Information Technology and Systems Management. Participants receive a part-time job (eleven hours per week) at SKIDATA or one of the other IT companies, with gross pay of 680 euros per month. In addition, students receive a monthly housing allowance of 120 euros. Tuition fees (just under 400 euros) are also covered.

Sandro Schnetzer and Florian Höll are the first two students who began the programme at SKIDATA at the end of 2017.

Why did you choose SKIDATA as your employer?

Sandro: I'm interested in hardware and electronics and less in developing websites or network technology. That's why SKIDATA was the optimal choice for me.

Florian: I was already familiar with SKIDATA from the ski areas around St. Johann. And I wanted to get to know the technology behind it, because there is a lot of software in it. In general, I find access and visitor systems very exciting, so the choice was easy.

What is your job at SKIDATA?

Florian: I work in hosting. We manage the worldwide computer network - internally and for our customers. We update the hardware, maintain it and develop new functions.

Sandro: I work in the innovation department. It's a small team. We develop concepts for the products of tomorrow and build and test prototypes.

What was the best experience so far?

Sandro: That the tasks are always exciting. In research and development I can try things out and be creative. This is the biggest difference from traditional industrial companies – there is plenty of room for creativity at SKIDATA.

Florian: For me, the best thing was successfully finishing my first project. I updated the documentation of our servers. You have to be very precise in your work. I was very surprised that I was given a task requiring such responsibility right at the start. But that was exactly what I wanted.

What expectations have been fulfilled for you?

Sandro: Actually, everything fits quite well: the working hours are flexible, the job matches my studies and money is also available.

Florian: That's how I see it. It was extremely important to me that I would not be restricted in my studies and that everything would be handled flexibly. And that is 100 percent the case.

What surprised you?

Florian: I was surprised that I was able to handle an exciting project on my own right from the start. I was able to take on a lot of responsibility.

Sandro: What surprised me most was how much technology – hardware and software – is in such an access barrier.

Your next target?

Florian: My big goal is to take on management responsibility and carry out interesting projects worldwide together with international partners.

Sandro: My next stage goal is to successfully complete the semester and then my studies. I hope to be able to write my bachelor thesis at SKIDATA.

SKIDATA: Of course, Sandro can write his bachelor thesis with us. We would welcome it!

Sandro Schnetzer is 23 years old and grew up in Dornbirn in Vorarlberg. After his apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician, he moved to Salzburg and worked there in boat building in prototype development. At the same time, he took his school-leaving certificate. In September 2017 he began his studies in Computer Science at the FH Salzburg. To relax he does martial arts and sings in a metalcore band, but he has little time for his hobby of paragliding.

Florian Höll comes from St. Johann im Pongau. After finishing middle-school, the 24-year-old studied at the HTL Mechatronik for a year before taking on an apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician at Bosch in Hallein, during which time he completed his high school diploma. After the apprenticeship, he worked at Bosch for two years. In order to take on projects with greater responsibility he began his studies at the FH Salzburg in September 2017. Jogging, martial arts, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding are among his past-times, as well as playing the piano.