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The 23-year-old Richard is currently doing an internship at the K+S Zielitz site. Originally, he was born in beautiful Weinböhla in Saxony. He is on the home stretch of his graduate mining training and tells us in this exciting interview how his internship is proceeding and what fascinates him about mining itself.

Glückauf Richard! At which university are you studying and what is the name of your course? In which semester are you doing your internship?

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Glückauf! I am studying mechanical engineering at TU Bergakademie Freiberg with my 1st specialization in processing machines and 2nd specialization in mining and specialized civil engineering machines. I am now in the 9th semester of my studies and would like to complete the last part of my professional training at the Zielitz site at the end of my internship. The last internship will take about 6 weeks and I will work in the pit. I already did an internship at the K+S Bernburg site in 2018 for my professional training. Afterwards I completed my specialist internship at the K+S Wintershall site in 2019 as part of my mechanical engineering studies.

Graduate mining training In the graduate mining training you learn mining knowledge and skills to prepare yourself for your studies or profession. The training comprises 120 shifts and is divided into basic and advanced training.

 

Why did you choose your course of study in the field of mechanical engineering?

At the end of the 11th grade, I had planned to study mining. After a long conversation with my father, however, I decided on mechanical engineering. In the course of the 1st study year, an event organized by Oberbergamt Sachsen (Saxon Mining Office) picqued my interest in a parallel training program to become a graduate mining trainee. Since then I have been working in mining almost every year. 

Every working day is different. Hardly a day goes as planned the day before. So it is never boring."
Richard

Was there a specific reason why you decided on pursuing an internship at K+S? What expectations did you have of the internship?

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K+S operates large mines in Germany and thus covers a wide range of tasks. In addition, K+S is also close to my home. 

Since I specifically specified the shafts department as my preferred department, I wanted to gain new insights into the materials handling technology used. In addition, I had to complete a test mine tour with the mining office as part of my training. I hoped for and received support for this as well. 

Can you briefly describe your daily routine?

In the pit we begin at 5 o'clock in the morning. Afterwards there is a meeting with the pit foremen. In the beginning of my internship, I accompanied colleagues in their different jobs. But currently I am working on a project and therefore either sitting in the office and analyzing data or I am in the plant and working out measurement data.

I am thrilled by the rich colors you can find in the mining districts. I am especially enthusiastic about the blue salt!"
Richard

If you had to describe your internship in one sentence, what would it be?

My internship is exciting, varied and definitely challenging due to the project scope. 

Do you have some final tips for future interns?

It is helpful to have a clear idea about what you would like to see or what you want to learn during your internship. The more precise you know, the more exciting it will be. 

Thank you for your time. We wish you all the best and good luck with your internship. 

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