I started as an apprentice at icon incar

First-ever apprentice

I joined the team here six year ago and work at our office in Ingolstadt. After starting as an apprentice, I worked my way up to designer three years ago. I had the chance to observe and design for many projects – essentially I’m an experienced rookie, if there is such a thing. By the way, I’m Jakob, icon incar’s first-ever apprentice.

Like so many of us, after getting my Abitur (German high school diploma), I was uncertain of my next step. Most people ponder the question “What should I study.” But I’m a hands-on person and knew the answer was “nothing”. I was sure I wanted to pursue something in design and that led me to a media design apprenticeship. Thankfully, icon incar, undertaking a new experiment, had just started looking for an apprentice and put an ad in the paper. That’s how I came to be an apprentice at an organization.

The educational program is split into theoretical and practical parts, though the vocational school is responsible for the theoretical one. It teaches basic design principles for digital and print media, meaning it covers various areas of applications. The practical part takes place in a company and comprises a substantial part of the program. I was lucky to have a lot of freedom at icon incar; I could try out whatever area sparked my interested. This allowed me to learn a lot at the outset without the pressure of having to show my accomplishments at the end. I dabbled in different 2D, 3D, animation and prototyping programs. The best part was being surrounded by grand masters in every discipline. Whenever I had questions or problems, they helped me learn to advance my know-how, not just a project. The more I experimented, the better my skills and the more obvious it became which direction I wanted to pursue. With time, I was included in projects and quickly had contact with clients. It was awesome that icon incar trusted me so much that I, an apprentice, was sent alone to client meetings. The team showed me it’s not just your qualifications and experience, but what you do that counts. After three years, countless cups of coffee, breaks to fire up the grill and nerf gun wars, the end of my apprenticeship drew nearer. And with it, once again the question of what to do next. But before I had time to agonize over it, the agency made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: a job as a designer.

That was three years ago and ever since I’ve kept up my steady coffee consumption and breaks by the grill. Nerf gun wars, however, are a thing of the past. Still, the work is really fun. The experiment of looking for an apprenticeship was a huge success, which is why others have followed in my footsteps. Two recently finished their program here while others are waiting in the starting blocks.