On September 1, 2023, Ben Nerstheimer started his apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician at HEIDELBERG - exactly 40 years to the day after his father Bernd, who began his career as an electronics technician with us in 1983.

We met with the father-son duo to discuss how it all came about and what makes HEIDELBERG special to them.

Ben, you started your apprenticeship at HEIDELBERG in 2023. The same year your father celebrated his 40th anniversary. What led you to apply at HEIDELBERG as well?

Ben: I've had my first encounters with HEIDELBERG since I was a baby. My mother often picked my father up from work by car and I had my diapers changed in the trunk of the car in the parking lot. So, you could say HEIDELBERG was ingrained in me from the start (laughs). As I got older, I found the factory premises absolutely impressive. And I always found what my father told me about work exciting and positive.

However, my personal interests were the deciding factor. I had always been interested in technology at school - especially mechatronics. To try out whether the job was really for me, I did a student internship at HEIDELBERG during the fall break. We had to solder a small figure, which I really enjoyed. But I also really enjoyed the rest of it: The canteen, the gym and the fact that you are provided with clothes and work materials.

The trainers were also really nice, and I noticed the positive working atmosphere and camaraderie.t wasn't so stiff, but very relaxed and everyone had fun. So, I decided to go all-in and apply for an apprenticeship at HEIDELBERG – and only there. Fortunately, everything worked out, and I'm still very happy with my decision today.

Bernd, how do you feel about your son following in your footsteps?

Bernd: Of course, I am very proud and immediately told all my friends and acquaintances about it - even before Ben got the confirmation. My wife and I also regularly check what's happening on the training program's Instagram channel and are happy to see Ben there.

How do your perceptions of HEIDELBERG differ from one another?

Bernd: Even after 40 years, I still enjoy working at HEIDELBERG. But what I find particularly great is to feel how enthusiastic Ben is about the training and the company. When he talks after work about all the things he has experienced and learned during the day, sometimes you almost have to slow him down a bit. I'm also in contact with other parents whose children work at HEIDELBERG, and you hear the same thing everywhere. The kids just love it here. Ben even wears the jacket with the HEIDELBERG logo sometimes in his free time. We would never have done that in the past. It's a different, new way of identifying with the company, but it's really nice. We used to talk about the "HEIDELBERG spirit". It's being revived - and not just among the young people, but also among those who have been working here for years. You could say it's contagious.

Ben Nerstheimer, 2024

What are the advantages of working in the same company as your father, Ben?

Ben: Our specialist areas are different, but I can always ask my father for advice, especially when it comes to electronics. On the other hand, I'm already quite a bit ahead of him when it comes to mechanics. So it's a give and take. We can also always drive to work together - that's very practical and it's also nice to start the day together.

Are there any disadvantages?

Bernd: I always have to hold back from dropping by the training center too often (laughs). I'm always curious about what he's up to, but of course, it's embarrassing if the father is constantly showing up. Other than that, I don't see any real disadvantages.

Ben Nerstheimer, 2024

What makes HEIDELBERG special for you?

Ben: For me, it's the excellent training and working conditions. They take care of the apprentices. That's great, and I feel very comfortable here.

Bernd: There used to be an advertisement: "HEIDELBERG is everywhere." At that time, it was actually referring to the products. But for me, it's more like going on vacation and meeting a colleague from HEIDELBERG wherever you go. It's like a kind of family to me. Even now, I can still proudly say that I work at HEIDELBERG. In my 40 years here, I've always noticed that everyone gets along. And I'm looking forward to spending the last 12 years here.

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