Working student at Halfar - Alisa

Interview with our dual student Alisa

What does the everyday life of a dual student at Halfar actually look like? We asked Alisa these and other questions.

Alisa is 29 years old and has been completing a dual study programme at Halfar since January 2020. She can apply and try out knowledge from her degree course “Integrated Media & Communication” in her practical phase at Halfar. That’s why we asked her how she came up with the idea of dual studies and how studying and working can be combined.


Working student at Halfar - Alisa

Alisa, how did you get the idea to work as a student trainee alongside your studies? How did you get the idea to start a dual study programme?

I previously worked as a product designer in the textile sector and worked closely with the marketing department at the time. This sparked my interest in corporate communications. Since I was keen to further my education anyway, my research into opportunities brought my attention to my current degree programme in “Integrated Media & Communication” at Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The eight-semester programme with a focus on business administration/marketing and strategic communication combines the fields of corporate communication for marketing, public relations and human relations. In addition to the main focus on strategy conception and content preparation, the programme also includes training as a “Design Technical Assistant” (m/f/d). I still like the dual concept very much because I can then apply what I have learned from the university phases in practice in the company.

How did you find out about Halfar?

While looking for a suitable partner for the practical phases, an acquaintance suggested Halfar to me. Since bags are also made of textiles, I was immediately enthusiastic and after a nice telephone conversation I applied by speculative application.

What exactly do you do as a student trainee at Halfar?

I’m mainly employed in marketing and get to implement projects in creation, planning and realisation with the support of my colleagues.
But I can also support product management and design in between.

Can you apply the content of your studies at Halfar?

Yes, thanks to the intensive interlinking between the university and company phases, I can apply the theory I have learned in practice. That helps me a lot to better understand what I have learned.

What were your first impressions at Halfar?

I was very nervous when I started in January 2020, but I immediately felt comfortable and welcome. During a tour of the company, I was introduced to all the employees. I found it very pleasant that everyone is actually on a first-name basis. I was also impressed by the variety of bags and backpacks and the topic of sustainability.

What do you like best? What do you not like so much?

What I like best is the variety of my tasks. I get to work independently and responsibly, but I can get constructive feedback at any time if I need it. I think it’s great that I can continue to live out my creativity in the artwork as well as in the conception and planning of new projects.
It’s a shame that I miss out on some of the company’s activities during the 3-month university phases.

Would you recommend Halfar for working students?

Definitely. At Halfar, you are challenged and encouraged. The working atmosphere is great, you are integrated quickly and everyone has an open ear if you need help.


Thank you very much for the interesting interview. We wish Alisa every success in her studies and work at Halfar!

Training at Halfar - Merchant in e-commerce

Training at Halfar – Interview with trainees: Merchant in e-commerce

Halfar now also offers training as a merchant (m/f/d) in e-commerce. The first trainee in this field reports on her experiences and impressions in the sixth part of the series “Training at Halfar – Trainees interviewed”.

Training at Halfar - Merchant in e-commerce

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship instead of studying after school?

I wanted to apply the knowledge I had gained from my vocational baccalaureate in the field of business and administration and incorporate it into my first practical tasks and thus really start my working life.

How did you become aware of an apprenticeship at Halfar?

I became aware of Halfar through a job offer on the employment agency’s job exchange.

How long is your training expected to last?

My training as an e-commerce clerk is designed for 3 years, but there is also the possibility to shorten it, which I will use. This means that I will complete my training this summer.

What were your first impressions of Halfar?

My first impression was very good. We are on first name terms here and everyone is friendly and very helpful.

What activities have you been able to learn and apply so far?

Since I have already been at Halfar for 1.5 years, I have already been in many different departments and have been able to learn a lot. This includes writing offers, creating orders, placing orders, checking invoices, picking goods, creating customers in the online shop and much more.

What are your ideas for your time with Halfar?

My idea is to learn other activities so that I can then contribute well to my team and support my colleagues.

What have you liked best so far?

I like the fact that I am assigned to many departments. That way you always see something new and get to know the company and all the employees better.

What have you liked least so far?

You always spend a certain amount of time in each department. Sometimes there are tasks that you are less comfortable with.

What makes Halfar a good training company?

Halfar is a good training company because as an apprentice you are given varied and responsible tasks right from the start. You get to know many departments in a familiar atmosphere. I am already looking forward to learning more about e-commerce.

Why did you decide to become an e-commerce merchant?

The great thing about the profession of e-commerce clerk is that it is not a purely commercial training, but that it also falls into the technical-creative area. At school, for example, we learn programming language and we can incorporate our creative side into the design of the website. That’s what makes the profession so versatile and exciting.

Thank you very much for this interview, Laura! We wish you every success for your final exams!

"Von Azubis für Azubis" - Unser Azubi-Film mit Henri

“From apprentices for apprentices” – Henri talks about his training

3..2..1..and action! We are currently working on the new film project of WEGE mbh for the portal “Das kommt aus Bielefeld“. In the format “From apprentices for apprentices” young people give insights into the work of Bielefeld companies and report what drives them and what they enjoy most.

Our trainee Henri also tells future trainees what Halfar does and why he decided to train at Halfar. Henri is currently in the second year of his apprenticeship as an industrial clerk and is passionate about his job. So that other young people can also get an impression of Halfar as an employer, Henri has thought about what new trainees would certainly like to know. You can see Henri’s film here:


And here again the whole interview with Henri to read up:

This is me!

Hello, my name is Henri and I am doing my apprenticeship as an industrial clerk at Halfar. I am currently in my second year of training.

"Von Azubis für Azubis" - Unser Azubi-Film mit Henri

What am I doing here and what does the company I work for do?

HALFAR® produces special bags for special purposes as well as promotion bags for the advertising market. Our company is therefore divided into two divisions, which are not only separated thematically but also spatially.

The colleagues in the “Technical Bags” department take care of customers who need a special bag for a professional use. Often the customers here come from the medical sector or automotive industry.

I am currently working in the finishing department. Here I support my colleagues in sending orders to the suppliers, sending proofs to our customers and generally planning production. Checking the movement of goods, checking invoices and writing delivery notes are also part of my daily work.

Why do you like working at Halfar?

I think that Halfar as a training company is particularly characterised by the pleasant and familiar working atmosphere. As a trainee, you belong directly to the team and can start working immediately. The colleagues are open to questions and are always happy to help. There are no stupid questions.

I also find it exemplary that Halfar is so concerned with sustainability. Many charging stations for electric cars and green spaces on the roofs set a clear signal.

It simply motivates me every day anew to enter a new working environment and gather new impressions. During your training at Halfar, you will pass through many different departments and get to know, for example, the everyday working life of colleagues from logistics or sales.

Why should you train at Halfar?

If you are a team player, looking for new challenges every day and enjoy working with people, then Halfar is the right place for you.



Training at Halfar – Trainees in Interview: Logistics

Good junior staff is essential for a company in order to ensure future success. That is why we are training young people in many different vocations here at Halfar: such as in the field of logistics. Linus is one of the new trainees in this area. He reports his experiences and impressions in the fifth part of “Trainees in Interview“.


Why did you decide on vocational training rather than studying after school?

In 2015 I first began studies in landscape architecture. As I quickly realised that I enjoyed practical work more, I looked for training in the field of logistics.

How did you find out about training at Halfar?

I became aware of Halfar at the employment agency.

How long is your training expected to take?

My training in specialist warehouse logistics will take three years. This means I will finish in 2021.

What were your first impressions of Halfar?

What I noticed immediately was the particularly friendly and familiar atmosphere between all employees. Everyone gets along really well, in the logistics team and also with all other colleagues. Readiness to help and the determination to integrate a new colleague into the team was really something special. I went to work with a good feeling right from day one.

Which skills have you been able to learn and apply so far? 

As I have now been at Halfar for seven months, and I have been able to learn several skills and can also take on responsibilities, including tasks such as commissioning of goods, loading and unloading of transport vehicles or preparing finishing materials. I try to support my colleagues as much as possible.

What expectations do you have for your time at Halfar?

I hope that I can learn further skills. It would also be good to be taken on here after the training.

What have you liked best so far?

I like commissioning goods for dispatch best. I very much enjoyed that in an earlier stint of work experience. But I have to say that I have enjoyed all tasks so far. This shows me that I have made the right choice.

What have you liked the least so far?

There are surely certain tasks in any department that are less enjoyable. For me that is the packing of bags for example.

 What makes Halfar a good training company?

Definitively the company atmosphere and the varied responsibilities you can take on already during training.

Thank you for the interview, Linus! We wish you continued success in your training.  

Florian macht eine Ausbildung zum industriekaufmann

Apprenticeships at Halfar – Meet our apprentices: industrial clerk

In the third part of our interview series “Apprenticeships at Halfar – Meet our apprentices”, Jacqueline reported on her experiences about her apprenticeship as a media designer. Now Florian tells us about his time at Halfar so far. He joined Halfar in August 2017 and expects to finish his apprenticeship this summer.


Apprenticeship at Halfar: Florian completes training as an industrial clerk

Florian, why did you choose an apprenticeship when you finished school, instead of going to university?

During my final year at school, I quickly realised that I wanted to gain some practical experience first. An apprenticeship was the obvious choice. I didn’t see a year of volunteering as an option for me, because the commercial apprenticeship allows me to learn things that will help me in my degree later.

How did you find out about apprenticeships at Halfar?

I wanted to stay in or near Bielefeld. My girlfriend at the time told me about her internship at Halfar. It sounded good, so I applied.

How long is your apprenticeship expected to take?

If all goes well, I’ll be finished in summer 2019.

What were your first impressions of Halfar?

I got my first positive impression even before I had my interview. Every member of staff said “hello” or even tried to calm my nerves.  This first impression was confirmed in my first few weeks. It is a very relaxed yet hard-working environment.

Which skills have you been able to learn and apply so far?

I have already finished my placements in most of the departments, so I have learned a huge amount. That includes, for example, creating purchase orders, orders and quotes and entering invoices in the accounting program.

What do you hope to gain from your time at Halfar?

I would be delighted if I could stay at Halfar after my apprenticeship and support the team as well as I can.

What have you enjoyed most so far?

My favourite placement was in Sales. The colleagues there were very friendly and always gave me useful tips. Advising customers on the phone was a lot of fun, although I was nervous to start with. I’m already looking forward to my placement in Sales Export.

What have you enjoyed least so far?

It’s difficult to say. Every department has some tasks that are more or less enjoyable.

What makes Halfar a good company at which to do an apprenticeship?

For me, it is undoubtedly the atmosphere in the office and the way the apprentices are treated. In every department, we are seen as part of the team and are allowed to work independently, which is the best way to learn. All the staff are interested in passing on their expertise.

Thank you for talking to us, Florian! We wish you every success in your final exams!

Halfar's Energy Scouts are thinking about new ways to save energy.

Halfar Energy Scouts discover potential savings

Turning off the light when we leave a room, installing energy-saving bulbs or using self-generated energies – there are lots of ways to save, both in our own homes and at the company. We at Halfar try every day to handle resources responsibly. But potential savings are not always easy to spot. That is why a group of Halfar apprentices took part in the Energy Scouts project for the first time this year.

Their aim was to discover further potential savings and look for ways to implement them in the company.


Halfar's Energy Scouts are thinking about new ways to save energy.

Halfar’s Energy Scouts are thinking about new ways to save energy.

Energy Scouts – who, what, how?

This year was the fifth time that apprentices from the OWL region were able to sign up for the Chambers of Trade and Industry (IHK) project via their companies. The role of the Energy Scouts includes highlighting specific potential savings through practical experience and basic knowledge they have gained. At the same time, the apprentices are sensitised to ways of saving resources and taught the basics of project management.

The project has been a great success over the last five years. In 2017, 190 apprentices from 42 companies and organisations took part, discovering potential savings of more than € 450,000 within a year.

The Halfar project: Saving emissions

At Halfar, too, the Energy Scouts went on the hunt for resource robbers. Our apprentices set themselves the challenge of compiling and analysing a precise site balance for the CO2 emissions generated. As well as the operation of the company headquarters itself, the analysis was to consider processes and circumstances. By doing so, they hoped to find out where potential for targeted CO2 savings lies.

They were aided by the program “Eco-cockpit”, which enabled them to classify the various types of emissions as direct or indirect emissions, for example, and thus to look at the big picture. The analysis showed that a large proportion of the emissions still being generated are produced by staff and company vehicles.

As a first step, this finding has already been incorporated into the objectives of the eco-profit project. Business trips are to be reduced, consolidated or taken by public transport as far as possible. Company cars are to be gradually replaced with electric vehicles.

When it comes to emissions from staff vehicles, the apprentices have created an option for finding car pools on the company’s internal communication platform. Colleagues can enter the time, day and location of their car journeys. Some groups have already been formed and now travel to work together – benefiting the environment, team spirit and the colleagues’ bank balances.

Other colleagues already use public transport or the JobRad bikes to travel to work. Halfar appreciates these measures and supports them financially.


The Energy Scouts project by Halfar's apprentices at a glance

The Energy Scouts project by Halfar’s apprentices at a glance

Award for the best ideas – the 2018 winners

16th November 2018 was the big day, when apprentices from 24 participating companies would present their projects to the judges. The winners were then announced. Two shared first prize this year: decor metall GmbH from Bad Salzuflen and BOGE KOMPRESSOREN Otto Boge GmbH & Co. KG from Bielefeld.

In their project “Cardboard shredder eats Flo-Pack film”, the apprentices at decor metall GmbH were able to replace plastic films with recycled cardboard as a filling material, saving around € 9,000 in the first year alone.

The apprentices at BOGE KOMPRESSOREN named their project “PAPP it down”. Their aim was to change the cardboard packaging in such a way that it could be reduced by 80% per year. Their hard work now saves the company more than € 130,000 every year.

Third prize went to the apprentices from JENZ GmbH, who succeeded in reducing “CO2 emissions in the final acceptance of biomass treatment equipment” by using electric instead of diesel engines. This saves the company around € 2,600.

Unfortunately, Halfar’s apprentices were not among the winners, but we are still delighted with their hard work, the car pools that have been formed and the inspiration they have provided. After all, thinking and working in a sustainable way depends on participation, lots of little steps, and strong cooperation. Keep reading our blog to find out what progress Halfar is making when it comes to sustainability.

Halfar's apprentices at the EnergyScouts 2018 award ceremony

Halfar’s apprentices at the EnergyScouts 2018 award ceremony Photo: “IHK Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld”