20 years of RCG apprenticeships – Sandra Hirz on her experiences as apprentice and trainer

27. 10. 2020

In the course of our anniversary, we are putting our colleagues in the spotlight who have made the RCG apprenticeships what they are today – a successful joint project. Current and former apprentices and trainers are taking it in turns to give us an insight into their workday; they tell us what motivated them to do an apprenticeship at the RCG and look ahead to the next 20 years.

Sandra Hirz, who completed an apprenticeship to become a freight forwarding specialist at the Rail Cargo Group (RCG), now passes on her knowledge to young people as a trainer at the rotational post Service Delivery Regions South in Graz. We’ve asked her to share her experiences, motivations and perspectives.

What motivates you in your role as a trainer?

It makes me proud watching the apprentices grow up. It’s really exciting to be part of their journey and watch them grow in strength and confidence. On top of that, it’s a lot of fun teaching our young people about all the ins and outs of being a freight forwarder. It means a lot to me to show them all the great sides of this job and to spark their curiosity and interest.

Which apprentices do you look after?

I’m responsible for training all of the apprentices in Styria who are stationed at the rotation post Service Delivery Regions South.

What makes the RCG apprenticeships so special?

The incredible RCG team spirit impressed me from the word go. It is so nice to have colleagues you can count on and who support each other. What’s more, our knowledge sharing culture works so well that we really do learn a lot from each other. The course contains a great mixture of theory and practice. This gives the apprentices a real head start in their careers and helps them grow as individuals. Working on rotation also gives them the opportunity to learn many different aspects of the job and get to know all about the world of freight transport. 

What piece of advice would you give RCG apprentices?

I’d advise the apprentices to seize every opportunity going in such a big company as the ÖBB and really become part of the RCG family. I’d also tell them to stay as motivated as they were on their very first day. This will help them gain as much experience as possible.

What do you think the RCG apprenticeships will be like 20 years from now?

A lot has already changed since when I was an apprentice. There will certainly be more changes in the coming years. Personally, I had the privilege of enjoying very good, in-depth training, however there are always opportunities for improvement – whether it’s in the courses, the practical trainings or how these two areas are linked to each other. That never ceases to amaze me. It gives young people of the future the chance to learn and experience even more than ever before.

Describe your RCG apprenticeship in one sentence:

A top-notch education that gives young people the knowledge and skills they need to achieve great things in their careers.