05.03.2019 / Selina Schmitter

My training as a commercial clerk

When I opted for this vocational training course, I came up against various kinds of stereotype ideas in my environment. "Great job! Another pencil-pushing clerk that doesn't have to do anything and earns a lot. You can make coffee all day, fill up the printer and look after the office chair!" That were just some comments I had to put up with. But I don't let such prejudiced ideas get to me. 

Now about me. My name is Selina Schmitter, I am 18 years old and I am currently completing my apprenticeship at Muller Martini Zofingen as an EFZ commercial clerk. The Swiss Federal Certificate of Competence (EFZ) is, by the way, the professional certificate you get after doing an apprenticeship in Switzerland. I will finish my apprenticeship in summer 2019.

Why am I training to become a commercial clerk? 
I knew from the beginning that I wanted an apprenticeship with varied activities. I have always enjoyed doing various computer tasks and I really like languages. Even when I was at secondary school, I liked to write texts that made readers think. German is a particular strength of mine. After doing a few trial apprenticeships in different professions, it was clear that training as a commercial clerk was just the right thing for me. I don't regret this decision to this today, because I'm really enjoying it.

First a trial apprenticeship 
At the beginning, I was very apprehensive about asking to do a trial apprenticeship at Muller Martini, and it took a lot of courage. Since I was very shy and reserved back then, I was afraid that it would be too much for me in a company with many employees. It started in March 2015. To my great relief, I noticed right at the beginning of the trial apprenticeship that my fears were unfounded. Everyone was very welcoming and the support I got during those two days was outstanding. It didn't take long until I felt that there was a very good working atmosphere and that the interaction among employees was very pleasant. 

Job interview with shaky legs
I was very nervous during my subsequent job interview. That was followed by a tough period of waiting for feedback from the vocational trainer. I could hardly believe my luck when I got the call. I was so relieved. I had been selected for the apprenticeship! 

At the beginning of August 2016, the time had finally come. The apprenticeship started with an apprentice camp in Elm, GL, which was attended by all new apprentices. After an instructive week there, my training at Muller Martini began.

The vocational training school
The first two years of training as a profile E commercial clerk involve two days a week at school. In the last year of training, we attend the vocational training school one day a week. 

After the 2nd year of training, in the summer of 2018 I successfully completed the two subjects: English and IKA (Computer Science, Communication, Administration). During the first two years, I had the option of taking the exams for the Advanced User SIZ diploma (Swiss Computer Science Certificate). I am currently also doing the optional course for the First diploma (English).

In my first year as an apprentice, for example, I drew up delivery documents for export in the Spare Parts Service Center.

My tasks in the office
Since I have the opportunity to work in six different departments during my apprenticeship at Muller Martini, my tasks are diverse and varied. 

1st year of apprenticeship: In the Spare Parts Service Center, I drew up delivery documents for export, triggered orders or prepared order confirmations. In the Procurement department, my daily tasks included checking order confirmations, ordering materials, and postponing and bringing forward orders. 

2nd year of apprenticeship: In the Accounting department, I was asked to do the bookkeeping for the company's own KITA and check the cash flow on a weekly basis. Another task was to assign invoices to accounts and post them in our system. 
In the Human Resources department, I entered information about new employees, prepared service anniversaries, created job references and prepared all the formalities when someone left the company. 

3rd apprenticeship year: In the Internal Sales department, I prepared order confirmations for our representatives, entered new business customers in our system and ordered advertising materials and brochures for our customers. In the Technology department, I was responsible for checking workflows, planning meetings and events, and supervising holiday planning. 
I am currently working in our Communications department. There, I am responsible for updating the website, uploading blogs to the website, allocating invoices, ordering merchandise and keeping the minutes in team meetings.

I liked the work in Human Resources best because of the personal contact with employees and people outside the company, such as applicants.

My plans for the future
From working in the Human Resources department, in particular the recruitment of new employees, I discovered another fascinating side to the company. Here, you have contact to a lot of people, both internally and externally. I am deeply impressed by the activities in this department. That‘s why, after completing my training as an EFZ commercial clerk, I‘m planning to do further training as a human resources clerk and then as an HR specialist.

Selina Schmitter
Apprentice Commercial Clerk EFZ
Müller Martini Druckverarbeitungs-Systeme AG

05.03.2019 Selina Schmitter Apprentice Commercial Clerk EFZ