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The first two courses were a complete success, the third course will start in April 2022 and will probably not be the last. What are the reasons for the success of the in-service training? What excites the “Digital Experts” so much? And for whom is participation in this program, which we offer together with the Digital Campus Zollverein and the Schmiede Zollverein, suitable? To answer these questions, we’ll let some Digital Expert Zollverein graduates have their own say here.

Combination of methods and technologies

For Maren Humbert from OGE, it was above all “the combination of methods and technologies and the cross-industry exchange up to the solution-finding for a concrete problem” that made the program so special. “After all, without the methods learned, any technology, no matter how good, quickly becomes an unused opportunity,” she adds. Christian Weber of Gasline appreciates the methods taught to successfully meet today’s digitization challenges. “Technology and methodological expertise paired with practical applications and the opportunity to try out technology components live makes the program very valuable for practical applications,” praises Jasmin Hoffmann from Stadtwerke Essen.

Portrait Samuel Gerlach, Absolvent Digital Expert Zollverein

"The Digital Expert Program cleverly combines exciting insights into key technology trends with the teaching of the design thinking approach and associated methods. The first-class lecturers who not only conveyed the basic knowledge but also went into depth without forgetting the practical relevance were outstanding."

- Samuel Gerlach | e.on

Exchange at eye level - the Digital Expert Community

In addition to the combination of technologies and methods as well as the practical relevance, all graduates without exception praised the exchange with other companies.

"It's fantastic to have such a network (including graduates from previous years) around you and to be able to access different resources."

- Christian Weber | Gasline

Portrait Christian Weber, Absolvent Digital Expert Zollverein

For Kristin Schmidt from OGE, it was even her “personal highlight” and for Jasmin Hoffmann, too, the exchange and the development of a digital expert community “have the highest value in retrospect”. She was able to take away a lot for herself from the program content as well as from the exchange and already implement it in her everyday life.

Portrait Jasmin Hoffmann, Absolventin Digital Expert Zollverein

"I took away a lot of input for my daily work. Topics such as artificial intelligence seem closer to me and it became clear that medium-sized companies can also tackle projects in this direction with the expertise of the Fraunhofer Institute, for example."

- Jasmin Hoffmann | Stadtwerke Essen

Driving digitization forward in the company

Inspired by the program’s input, Jasmin’s peers are also devoting more time to digital topics, such as Christian Weber, who will focus even more intensively on digitizing the company in the future.

"After the program, I see myself as an innovation driver. I try to bring what I've learned to areas that still have a lot of potential for digitization."

- Kristin Schmidt | OGE

Portrait Kristin Schmidt, Absolventin Digital Expert Zollverein

Maren Humbert will even – together with a previous year’s graduate – implement an in-house pilot on the digitization of finance and accounting. She is pleased that the program will also give such topics greater visibility in the specialist departments. Samuel Gerlach from e.on already worked in the innovation area before but was able to gain a deeper understanding of individual technologies through the program, which helps him identify opportunities and challenges more quickly and argue accordingly.

Fun with technology and willingness to try new things

Who is the program suitable for? Kristin Schmidt puts it in a nutshell: “For motivated colleagues who are burning to live digitization.” Samuel Gerlach adds interest in trend technologies and innovation tools, as well as a willingness to drive change in one’s own environment and to think outside the box.

Portrait Maren Humbert, Absolventin Digital Expert Zollverein

"If you are interested in "new things", if you like to share what you have learned with others and if it is important to you that your team, your department, your division or your company benefit from it, if you perhaps see yourself as a "changer" and if you like to exchange ideas across industries, then it is time to apply. Even if you are not an IT professional, this is the right place for you."

- Maren Humbert | OGE

Jasmin Hoffmann also emphasizes the desire for new topics and cross-company exchange, as well as a certain affinity for IT and digitization topics. If this applies, the program is not only a great benefit for every employee, but also for every participating company, she explains.

Fancy a go? Applications for the third round are still open until March 1. For more information and to apply, visit Digital Campus Zollverein: