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Laura, Lea & Julius, dual students
Laura, Lea & Julius, dual students

21. November 2023

Dual study program @ CHECK24

Laura, Lea and Julius started their dual study program in Leipzig, Munich and Berlin. Find out in the interview what the three of them are studying, which verticals they are working in at CHECK24 and what your dual study program with CHECK24 as a practice partner can look like.

Hello, please introduce yourselves briefly.
Lea:

My name is Lea, and I'm in my 7th semester of Marketing Management at IU. I have been working as a dual student at CHECK24 in the financial services department for three years.

Julius:

My name is Julius, I've been a dual student at CHECK24 Handwerkervergleich in Berlin for two years. I'm currently doing a short "semester abroad" at Flugvergleich at the exact location. At the same time, I'm doing a dual study program in computer science at HWR Berlin.

Laura:

Hi, I'm Laura, and I've been with the company for four years. In 2019, I started my dual studies at the IBA Leipzig with CHECK24 Reise as my practice partner. I studied Business Administration and Tourism Management and completed my studies in September 2022. As I really liked CHECK24 as an internship partner, I decided to stay and have been working as a product manager in the package tour app team since October 2022.

What are your tasks at CHECK24?
Julius:

In each practical phase, I have worked on exciting projects that are still useful today. The projects primarily consist of frontend and backend aspects so that I can gain experience in the entire tech stack. In a recent project, I was allowed to build the top professionals pages of the artisans comparison, where the best craftsmen of a particular category in a city can be found. My great team always helps me with the many questions I have.

Laura:

I had the split-week model. In other words, I spent two days a week at university and the rest of the week at work. CHECK24 allowed me to work in different departments each semester to get the best possible insight into the company. I started in Customer Service, moved to Quality Management in the second semester, then Service Planning, Operations Management and Back Office, and SEO.

In each team, I had my own tasks and smaller projects that I could take forward. I became interested in app development and UX/UI design when I finished my studies. Our CHECK24 Pauschalreise app team was an obvious choice. I spoke to my current team leader, Tony Berger, and there was a smooth transition from my studies to a permanent position. My tasks differ from those from my studies in that I now have more responsibility, but I can also contribute more ideas. The functions of a product manager in my role include project planning, design proposals and a lot of consultation with our IT as well as a good level of technical knowledge to provide the best possible package tour app for our customers.

Why did I decide to stay with CHECK24? Clearly, the CHECKito spirit and the career opportunities keep me here!

Lea:

I work in product management at the interface to customer service. This means that I work with IT to develop our internal systems further to ensure smooth customer service. I'm also responsible for our chatbot Clara on our comparison page. I've been in charge of the project independently for a good year now, so I've already taken on much responsibility. It's pretty technical, but I've got to grips with it very well and now know my way around AI and the integration of CHECKGPT into our chatbot! Initially, it wasn't clear that I would be given the project, but I'm happy about the challenge and learning new things daily!

The best thing about CHECK24?

"The CHECKito spirit and the career opportunities were just two of the aspects that convinced me to continue working at CHECK24 after my dual studies!"

Laura, Product Manager

How do you combine your working hours at CHECK24 with your studies?
Laura:

I had the split-week model. In other words, I was at university twice a week and at work the rest of the week. At the weekend I had to study or write homework. As we had to write the bachelor's thesis about the company, my team (SEO at the time) was very helpful during the time I was working on it. After I had completed my tasks at work, I was allowed to sit down at the BA. Since my topic, "Possibilities and limits of the use of artificial intelligence in content management in the travel industry - a critical analysis of CHECK24", benefited the company and the team, I was also allowed to put my working time into editing it.

Julius:

My dual study program is divided into practical and theoretical phases, which last three months on average. In the theory phase, I receive a fixed timetable from the university, which I don't have to put together myself. In the later semesters, I can choose between different elective subjects and thus determine the direction of my studies. During the practical phase, I can work full-time on exciting CHECK24 projects, which I then have to write a short report on at the end. The regular variety with enough time for more extensive projects excites my studies.

Lea:

My university clearly defines the lecture and working hours. I work part-time most of the time from Monday to Wednesday afternoon and have classes from Thursday to Friday. The model is called a split week, which I'm pleased about. I never really got out of my duties at work, and I also had enough time to concentrate on university. In the lecture-free periods, which were two months a year, I worked 40 hours a week. Which definitely contributed to team building.

Theory & practice: Can you apply what you have learned directly at CHECK24?
Julius:

In my opinion, the course content serves as a helpful knowledge base for the practical phases. But I have learned much so far, especially in the practical projects. The practical experience also clarifies why the course content is essential and relevant. I often had real-life applications for the theory in mind during the lectures.

Laura:

Much of what I learned in my business studies and tourism lectures is reflected in my work.

Lea:

With my degree course and the tasks I had at CHECK24, the course content was not always 100% applicable. However, there was a lot of overlap in the project management module, for example, as we also applied the agile project management method Scrum with IT and had to give a presentation on this at university. I contributed to my daily work very well and expanded my understanding of agile project management.

How did you learn about CHECK24 back then, and why did you choose CHECK24?
Julius:

I found CHECK24 through a list of partner companies at my university. At the time, it was also one of the few companies where I could imagine using the product a lot myself, which is why I applied there.

Lea:

IU supported me during the application process, and they also forwarded my CV and cover letter to potential employers. I then received an invitation to a telephone interview with my boss at the time. I was then invited to a personal consultation on-site and was accepted. Every interview was very pleasant, and I also felt very comfortable on site. Probably also because the colleagues are all very young! :) I had another offer from another company, which was much smaller, but the area of responsibility was very similar. Ultimately, CHECK24 convinced me to be a large company with many young, motivated employees.

Laura:

After my two-year stay in Australia, I knew I wanted to combine studying and working to learn as much as possible in a short time. I also wanted to gain work experience to start working straight after my studies, which worked well. After some research, I found the CHECK24 careers page and saw that the company offered a dual course of study in business and tourism management, so I applied immediately. I saw this combination of IBA and CHECK24 as providing me with the best opportunities for further development and was delighted to be accepted.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in a dual study program?
Laura:

Be patient, it will be worth it in the end!

Of course, a dual study program is not easy, but it is worth persevering with discipline, a strong will, and a focus on the outcome.

It was challenging, but I would do it again.

Julius:

If you want to study something related to computer science, I think a dual study program is one of the best options. Just don't forget to apply early enough.

Lea:

In hindsight, I don't regret my decision to do the dual study program for a second. Be aware of the amount of work that is said to be involved in the dual study program. In many ways, my time working over the three years was more valuable than writing exams. Of course, this is also necessary, but if you have the opportunity to study for 3 1/2 years and gain an insight into the world of work in a field that you might want to enter permanently, then definitely do it. It will be much easier for you to enter the world of work, and you will already have valuable skills, such as working with Jira, chatbots, etc., which will set you apart from other applicants.

And finally, can you tell us how stressful a dual study program really is?
Lea:

My colleagues always joke that I'm on vacation every two weeks. At first glance, it may seem that way, but I often have exam periods for which I am released. This also applies to revision periods, regardless of whether you need them. As a result, I had more free time than other students. So, all in all, it is moderately time-consuming. However, the experience of working with my team and the many team events are worth the stress, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Julius:

It is a lot of work. But the result is very varied, which makes it all the more fun.

Laura:

At least in the split-week model, you constantly jump back and forth between the topics at work and university. After work, it's back to the laptop at home to study for the next exam or write a term paper. Even the weekends were only sometimes relaxed, and there weren't any semester breaks (at least at the IBA). This can be stressful in the long run, but you also learn an incredible amount, and when your professional life starts, you are used to a reasonable workload. This makes it easier to enter the world of work.

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