Ever since he was a child, Faissal Nurin was keen on technology – especially cars. Today, he is turning his passion into a career: with an apprenticeship as an automotive mechatronic technician for systems and high-voltage technology. At the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, he is learning how to look after engines and electric drive systems, as well as to how to ensure maximum safety on the roads. In our interview, Faissal explains why he was set on starting an engineering apprenticeship after graduating high school, what aspects of the course he finds particularly motivating and why he was happy to move from the north to Rastatt to train with the Mercedes-Benz Group.
Faissal, you’ve been an apprentice Mercedes-Benz since 2018, learning automotive mechatronics for systems and high-voltage engineering. Where does your enthusiasm for technology come from?
I’ve always liked unscrewing things to see how they work. So at home, whenever an electrical item went wrong I’d take it apart to look for the fault. At school, I had a friend who had been given an old car by his grandfather. We used to spend our afternoons in his garage, trying to get the engine started. I find it really fascinating how the systems in a car work together.
Then an apprenticeship as an automotive mechatronic engineer is an obvious choice.
Absolutely. In 2017, I took my Abitur: my school leaving exams. Many of my friends applied straight away for a college place. But I wanted to do something with my hands. At job training fairs I started talking to engineers from various industries. Most of them had done a technical apprenticeship themselves and advised me to gain some practical experience and use that as a basis for further study later. So I decided to do an apprenticeship.
How did you come to choose an apprenticeship with the Mercedes-Benz Group?
Mercedes had always been my favorite brand. The cars are so cool. So I was really keen to work for Mercedes-Benz– even though it meant leaving home in Hamburg and moving to Rastatt. I applied for an automotive mechatronics course and was invited to "Let's Benz" . That same week my contact got in touch and asked me how I would feel about taking a course focusing on "systems and high-voltage engineering" – it was a completely new field at the time. I accepted immediately as electric mobility is a really exciting area. During my training I’m getting practical experience working on the drive systems that are going to be really important in the future.
What was it like at the start of the apprenticeship?
I was new in town and didn’t know anyone. That was strange to start off with. My supervisors and training mentors were understanding about the fact that I needed to settle in properly. They supported me from the beginning – they helped me to find accommodation in a shared apartment, for example. That helped me settle in quickly. And I immediately got on well with the colleagues who started at the same time as me in the training workshop. We make a great team and also like to do things together after work.
How is the course taking shape?
We spent most of the first year in the training workshop. That was like a sort of foundation course. We learned metalworking, for example. Since then, our supervisors have been assigning us our own projects. We usually work in teams of two on these. That means we can give each other mutual support – and it’s also much more fun that way. Our workshop is really well equipped. We have modern lifting platforms and we all have our own tools. For me, it’s important to get to know absolutely all the technical systems during my apprenticeship. Our supervisors take us through new topics step by step.
What do you mean, exactly?
For example, if part of a project is about a new type of brake, we start by discussing the individual assembly steps with the supervisor. Only then do we work on the vehicle. That’s how we get the know-how we need. Another good thing is the way mistakes are dealt with in the training workshop. If we get something wrong during a project, our supervisors go through everything with us again. We don’t have to worry about it. That helps, particularly of course at the beginning, and valuable experiences come out of it. From the second year of the course we can put our skill to the test in placements within the company.
Which areas have you worked in so far?
I’ve had placements in motor preassembly, bodyshell engineering, central reworking and quality management. The placements at the plant last three to six weeks. We always have a placement supervisor attached to us there. I particularly enjoyed working in the quality management section.
Why did you like that placement in particular?
In quality management, a lot of checks and tests take place during and after production of the vehicles. That’s how we make sure that everything is in order when the vehicle is handed over to the customer. It’s really varied work and I can get fully involved.
What is your personal highlight from your training?
I find working on new vehicle models and technologies especially interesting. For example, in a project at the training workshop we dismantled and reassembled the high-voltage battery for a completely new hybrid vehicle . That was a first even for our supervisor. Those kinds of jobs are the most fun.
Have you got any advice for young people who might be interested in an apprenticeship with Mercedes-Benz?
Just apply. The company offers so many different apprenticeships – there’s something for everyone, both on the technical and the commercial side of things. At the Group, trainees have the opportunity to develop their skills. So get the information you need and send your application off.
One last personal question: of the people you know, who do you think deserves a Nobel prize – and which one?
My parents, definitely. My father encouraged me to do my own thing and start the apprenticeship with Mercedes-Benz. That was the right decision and I can see the progress I am making every day. That wouldn’t be possible without the support of my parents. I’m sorry, I don’t know which Nobel prize category that comes under! (Laughs).
The application phase for our vocational trainings at Daimler has started already! Find your dream job and apply today: careers.mercedes-benz.com/pupils/vocational_training
In person: Faissal Nurin (21) Faissal Nurin’s enthusiasm for Mercedes-Benz is in his genes. His father has been a Mercedes driver since way back when. No surprise then that the toy cars the young Faissal played with as a boy in Hamburg had to boast the three-pointed star. Now he particularly likes the sporty models such as the E-Class and the Mercedes-AMG Coupe. In his spare time he likes to go to the gym or spend the evening relaxing with friends.