– Company and Culture
A part-time Master's Degree
Further training and employee development is a real commitment
Tim Jungebluth could have been content with an exciting job. But the Media Studies IT graduate, Senior Developer at IKOR and father of a four-year-old, had a dream: to complete his Master's degree while working full time at IKOR. In an interview with the WhatWeThink editorial team, Tim reveals how he is currently making his dream a reality thanks to IKOR.
You've been with IKOR since October 2020. How did you come to IKOR?
Tim Jungebluth: There were colleagues from a previous company who joined IKOR and reported very positively about their projects, the working atmosphere and the whole company. The feeling was "start-up-like, but in a mature environment", I liked what I was hearing. It also appealed to me to work more strategically, in a people manager role and client facing. IKOR gave me these opportunities and inspired me to make a move.
What worked. How did you get started at IKOR, what is your current position?
Jungebluth: I work as a senior developer and software architect and - depending on the project - also as a technical project manager or product owner. Initially, I worked in a different "dock". At IKOR, docks are the names of the departments within the organization. Since 2022, I have been working in the Public Sector dock. My day-to-day work is focused on classic project business. I find it exciting to constantly design and implement new solutions according to customer requirements.
Why did you start studying part-time?
Jungebluth (laughs): It definitely wasn't boredom. I always had the dream of going to university and getting my master's degree. Before I got my bachelor's degree, I did a commercial apprenticeship. This was followed by my studies, which I financed myself through work, educational grants (Bafög) and a student loan. I paid off these debts very quickly after I had my first job. My dream of completing my Master's degree took a back seat more and more as I prioritized establishing my professional career and starting a family (partner and son). It was only when I started working at IKOR that this dream came to the fore again.
Surely there must be a reason for this?
Jungebluth: Apart from the fact that I find scientific work easy and enjoy communicating complex issues well, two factors played an important role: First, my partner said "Yes!" to my wish, giving me her full support. Secondly, IKOR immediately embraced my aspiration. I had hardly expressed my desire to get my masters‘ degree before IKOR wholeheartedly endorsed my goal. My Supervisor and IKOR HR fully supported me, without complications. Because further training and employee development is a real commitment. It's not just talk like in many other companies, which tend to hope that people will ask for as little as possible.
What is your Major? How far along are you?
Jungebluth: I'm enrolled in a master's in IT-Management program at FOM, a university for working professionals, and I successfully completed my first semester and exams in summer 2022. All the students there are also actively working in the industry in which they are studying part-time.
To what extent does IKOR financially support your studies?
Jungebluth: If the topic fits IKOR, my employer is happy to participate in part-time studies - in my case, my entire master's degree. I have entered into contractual obligations for this, which is a matter of course. I like the studies and I really enjoy working at IKOR. I expect my enthusiam for IKOR to only grow in the next few years.
What is your biggest challenge in part-time study?
Additionally, you are a family man...
Jungebluth: That's right. My classmates all have jobs, but at 35 I'm almost the oldest student and the only one with a family and a child. Nevertheless, the challenge remains the same. It starts and ends with being organized and managing a complex schedule.
Presumably your free time is manageable?
Jungebluth: Yes. I invest the time I have in our child: Taking him to kindergarten in the morning or to bed in the evening and going on weekend excursions when I don't have classes is my top priority.
What benefits do you think a modern company should provide so that you can live, work, study and have a family?
Jungebluth: The most important thing is the opportunity for a good work-life balance - in other words, a balance between career and personal life. IKOR offers me this and more. Of note, this includes covering some of my family’s kindergarten fees, which I am grateful for.
How do your classmates, family and friends view your IKOR "work life culture"?
Jungebluth: My fellow students are often pleasantly surprised about IKOR’s generosity and wish their employers similarly valued their employees. This includes financial as well as non-monetary support, benefits in the form of reduced hours and the most flexible working hours possible. Incidentally, family and friends also respond very positively to IKOR's support for the same reasons.
If you could make a wish, what would it be?
Jungebluth: I wish there were more hours in a day: 30 instead of 24, and eight days a week, three of them as weekends. That would be super (laughs).