4 Min

How to become a trainer – Behind the scenes with Laura

A company's strength depends greatly on the skills, expertise, and experience of its employees. At SMS digital, we prioritize continuous learning and development for our teams to ensure personal and professional growth. Sharing knowledge and skills within the company is also a crucial aspect of training. Recently, our colleague Laura Buddewig achieved a significant milestone in her career by obtaining her training license.

Laura holds the position of Junior Commercial Manager in the Finance & Commercial Operations department. Her main responsibilities include providing project support, managing contracts and invoicing, as well as maintaining regular communication with technical project managers. She began her commercial training at SMS group in 2020 and in January 2023, she successfully passed her final exam with an outstanding result of 100%.

How do you acquire a training license?

To obtain a training license, you must demonstrate both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. This can be achieved by completing an online course that typically takes 45-60 hours to complete. The written examination is computer-based and consists of multiple-choice questions. The practical examination is conducted at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and involves either presenting a training situation or carrying out a company instruction. After the presentation or practical implementation, you will have a technical discussion with the examination board where you will explain your selection and organization of the training situation. This is where you will demonstrate your ability to apply your vocational and labor pedagogical skills in practice and use appropriate training methods and resources for the given situation.

How long does it take to obtain the training certificate?

The duration of the "Training of Trainers" course (known as AdA) offered by IHK (Industrie- und Handelskammer) depends on several factors. The course consists of 8 Saturdays, starting from 8:00 am and lasting until approximately 3:00 pm, which means that the learning time alone takes at least 2 months. Four weeks before the exam, you can register via the IHK portal. During the time between the IHK course and the exams, you can prepare well for both the written and oral exams.

It is possible to register for the AdA exam without any prior preparation, but I would not recommend it. The courses available offer valuable tips and tricks focused on specific exams. There is a wide range of providers who offer preparation for the AdA exam. Online-only courses are also available as an option for preparation.

What did you learn from the training program that will help you train employees effectively?

Since joining the program, I have developed better skills to interact with young people during training sessions. I have also learned to recognize the different types of learners and when to use each teaching method. Additionally, the program has helped me to appreciate the diverse knowledge, skills, and interests that young people bring with them to the training sessions.

How do you use your newly acquired skills as a trainer?

Since March 2023, I have been supervising industrial clerks and IT specialists in the Finance & Commercial Operations department and passing on our specialist knowledge to them. I use my skills daily and enjoy working with the trainees. It is great to support and guide other people in their professional and personal development.

Are there any experiences during your own training that motivated you to become a trainer?

I had great training supervisors who taught me the learning units very clearly during my training. My trainer, Fee Ambaum, played an instrumental role in demonstrating the benefits of training and how much fun it can be if the learning units are tailored to the individual.

During my training at SMS digital, Michael Vitt became my "mentor" and taught me a huge amount about project management. His guidance played a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition into my role after completing my apprenticeship. I want to be like that for my future trainees and act as a role model for them.

What other plans are you pursuing?

Since September 2023, I have been enrolled in a Business Law program to deepen my legal and business management knowledge in order to improve project management on the commercial side.

Additionally, I am taking part in the "women@SMS grow" junior program (2023), which is specifically designed for women to enhance their personal and professional growth. This program aims to promote diversity of perspectives, multi-faceted communication, and a management culture that will contribute to the success of our company. I strongly believe that this is an incredible opportunity for young women to establish a supportive network and advance their careers.

Susan Strumbo
Marketing & Communications
SMS digital GmbH