EQAsce has met Master-degree-graduate Julia Boothe who has done the additional training for becoming “Quality System Manager Junior” next to her regular study program at the University of Bonn. She talks about the advantages of this extra qualification, how many benefits she has got and her career plans for the future.
EQAsce: During your regular study program you have done the additional training for becoming “Quality System Manager Junior”. Thus, you have done an internship outside of university. Where have you been and why did you chose that internship that you did?
JB: To be exactly, I have done two internships: The first one took place at REWE Group. There, I worked in the department for quality management and attended internal audits. Afterwards I worked for AGRIZERT, where I found the topic for my Master thesis. This way I could benefit from having all experts around me during the writing.
EQAsce: What have you done exactly and which things from your studies were helpful?
JB: I have been team-assistant for the field of “foods”. There I could use my knowledge about certification and got to know what this means in practice. Part of my tasks was – beside others – to instruct auditors, collect documents and having constant contact to the customers. I recognized many different topics of the modules I took at university in my day to day work. Out of this working I found the topic for my Master thesis.
EQAsce: And that dealt with learning materials for combined audits QS/IFS…
JB: Exactly. During my work I discovered that enterprises increasingly want combined audits. Retailers demand certifications following more than one standard and that’s why enterprises decide to have combined audits – for example following QS and IFS – and this way, to save time and money. Furthermore, I noticed that customers put the same questions over and over. And that lead to the idea to set up a training that deals with these questions.
EQAsce: So, you have decided to do this additional training during your studies. What lead to this decision and how do you think about it now?
JB: That was definitely the right decision for me. On the one hand, many courses I had for my regular studies at university also counted for the additional training for the Quality System Manager Junior and that saved time. On the other hand I could learn a lot about quality management in the food industry and certification procedures through the classes I took.
EQAsce: How did you find out about the chance for this additional training?
JB: Even before applying for the Master program at the University of Bonn, I found information about it on the website. That sounded interesting and became one of the reasons to actually apply for the Master program at the University of Bonn. During my studies I attended another information event by Prof. Dr. Petersen, where everything was explained in detail.
EQAsce: The Quality System Manager Junior is the first level of many. In the sense of the life-long learning concept, are there fields of expertise that you want do further training?
JB: Definitively. In my eyes crisis management will gain more importance worldwide and needs experts. That’s why this topic is something interesting to me that will be part of further training in the future. Since developments go on and things change, a life-long learning is very important anyways.
EQAsce: This concept has a digital “companion” that is being developed right now: The “Digital Academic Career Card”. That is a personalized interface that enables all-time access to all degrees, certificates and proofs of qualification, saved in a blockchain. This card – like a check card – is something I can always have with me. What do you think of such a card and might it be helpful for auditors as well in their practical work?
JB: I think this is a good development. Digitalization touches almost everything and has a big advantage through the huge amount of data that is available and needed. For example, the “Digital Academic Career Card” could help for the field of applications, that is highly digitalized nowadays and takes place online, to get a quick overview over applicants and to compare the qualifications. The same is true for audits. Also, standard providers get rid of paper documents and replace it with digital systems, apps and data bases. Thus, a digital card follows the current demands.