Lea und Laura Feldmann

Interviewer: Nina Hartmann, Sophie Constantinescu, Selina Weigel, Phuong Anh Ta, Noah Pahle aus dem Englischleistungskurs der Klassenstufe 11 von Heike Biedermann

Datum: 07.04.2022

Ort: Bibliothek der IGS Kandel

Die Zwillinge Lea und Laura Feldmann besuchten zunächst die Realschule Rheinzabern, bevor sie im Jahr 2013 auf die IGS Kandel wechselten und dort im Jahre 2016 ihre Abiturprüfung ablegten. Sie begannen anschließend zusammen ein Duales Studium mit dem Studienziel “Bachelor of Law Rentenversicherung” und arbeiten nun als Verwaltungsoberinspektorinnen für die Deutsche Rentenversicherung in Karlsruhe.
Das Interview wurde auf Initiative Ihrer ehemaliegen Stammkurslehrerin Heike Biedermann mit Schülerinnen des Leistungskurses auf Englisch geführt.

Nina: Hello, nice to meet you; how are you?
Laura F.: Thank you, we are fine and thanks for having us here.

Anh: Today, we would like to interview you about your jobs and about your school time at the IGS Kandel.
Selina: Maybe you can just tell us some facts about your job.
Lea F.: Alright; I graduated at the IGS Kandel in 2016 and started my dual studies in the same year. My studies took approximately three years; they were split: we spent one complete year at university and one complete year at work and then the last year again at university. It was quite fun, we had [...] the experience of being a student in contrast to other dual study systems, we were educated in wide-ranging, different topics and we could choose whatever position at work we wanted to. Our employer is the German pension insurance; I work in the sector for the pensions you get when you are ill and in the typical rehabilitation sector. [...] I was already promoted once and right now I’m waiting for my second promotion...in two and a half years after graduation, which is quite fast but I really appreciate.
Laura F.: For me it’s pretty much the same. But I work in very different fields. We did the same studies, the same courses [...]. I’m a consultant in the German pension system; I do consultations concerning people’s retirement, i.e. old-age pensions, pensions because of illness, rehabilitation and prevention, so everything we offer. Right now, I’m waiting to be a consultant for even more topics, because we don’t only consult about the statutory pensions, we also offer consultations about your private provision or what your employer offers you for your pension.
Lea F.: Which means if you are a "normal" employee half of your pension is payed by yourself and the other half is payed by your employer.
Laura F.: But there are many other possibilities to fill up or to pay more than you have to or there are some questions like for example if I should free myself from the contributions [...], what happens if I leave my country, if I move somewhere else, or many people are just here because they want to know what they will receive when they are old, if it will be enough, what do I have to do to receive my pension...so I have to do lots of calculations, mostly by hand, in my consultations; my maths teacher should be proud of me!
Lea F.: Well, I don’t calculate too much by hand; but my German teacher should be proud of me because I write a lot of lawful texts and letters, so all these difficult letters you get from the pension insurance or the administration [...], which means transcribing or applying the official laws on your specific case and adapting the letters to every single person [...].

Nina: Why did you choose this specific job?
Lea F.: It’s a kind of funny story; when I was a child I always wanted to be a police officer, but as I stopped growing at the height of 1,60 I was no longer sure; but I still wanted to be a civil servant as soon as possible and then I discovered our pension system and I said to myself: you will be a civil servant right from the start of your studies and you will be payed during your studies, you’ll have a safe position, you’ll have an attractive employer, so why not do this? And with our studies and education, we could also work for any other administration.
Laura F.: I wanted to be a lawyer but after an internship at a lawyer’s I changed my mind [...] and looked for something similar, so I found the Bachelor of Laws and the pension insurance in Baden-Wuerttemberg which payed better than the one here; the selection interviews were nice; the interviewers cared, they asked questions, they gave information in between; we knew they could accept 60 students per year and they would employ everyone. So today, they could even accept 90, but the university can only take 60...we need a lot of young people because our law has changed a lot during the last seven years, and the baby-boomer generation is leaving; that’s maybe we’re getting soon our second promotion because the positions are free.

Noah: Do you have a daily routine?
Lea F.: Yes, I definitely have; it depends, because right now, I’m working from home because of the pandemic, but let’s just say it’s a normal office day: you arrive, you set everything up; the first thing I do, because I have a lot of different digital files to work through, I have a quick overview of what is there in the morning, what do I need to do first or see the things I do not need to do immediately;[...]  it always depends on what the ones who provide my work actually need, what they need to know, what their questions are...sometimes you have to give a quick course to the team because there are topics that have been worked through for years but nobody really understands why or how and you suddenly realise that you have to explain quite spontaneously...
Laura F.: I don’t have a really strict routine. It depends; I show up pretty early, in the morning I do my computer work, I also do the notifications for self-employed persons [...].  At 8 o’clock, my consultations start, either in person or online or by phone, so I answer the phone all day long, but I also visit companies and do my consultations at their places and we are also requested by different companies to do presentations about the pension system, people’s retirement or rehabilitation.[...]

Selina: If you could go back in time, would you still choose your job?
Laura F.: Yes, because I’ve decided that my hobbies stay my hobbies and I wanted a stable income to be able to do my hobbies as I like them; I like my job, I can get along with my job, but it’s not like a dream; many people think they have to fulfil themselves [...] putting all their passion into their job.  I like hiking in the mountains for example; of course I could say I’m going to be a mountaineer, but that’s my hobby and it’s not something I can do for the rest of my life; choosing something safe for the rest of my life, having a good income, a good pension, and so I can do my hobby my whole life.
Lea F.: It’s in a way what my sister says: for me,  it’s really about safety – so everything I would consider as a possible job would either not be a possible choice because you can’t study it in a dual system [...]or something you couldn’t really do until you are very, very old. And if you are an employee right now you need to work until you are very, very old. So you really need to be careful with your choice in which direction you want to go. I really like my job, I know it sounds boring to some people because it deals a lot with law and writing complicated letters and so on; [...] I am able to get my self-esteem with my work [...] and I really do appreciate my job; that’s why I’m quite satisfied with my decision.

Noah: Which subjects at school supported or influenced your choice?
Laura F.: Maths – I have to calculate very much; of course, German is very important too – but I have to say that there wasn’t any subject I was very good at or very interested in that pushed me to my job. The A-levels are more useful for the fact that I learned how to learn and how to keep stuff in my mind and how to organise myself; especially when you go to university, you have to learn […] how to work yourself, how to participate in a class where there aren’t only ten, but fifty people, you have to be confident in class.
Lea F.: The only thing I might add would be the time management which was different to our lessons at school; we were not allowed to give the answer first and then explain – it was just the other way round [...] this reminded me of my biology exams and that kind of helped.

Anh: What were the most memorable moments during your time at school?
Lea F.: Actually, when we had an English class at the end of the year and everyone brought something to eat […] at some point we started doing karaoke in class, singing High School Musical, and it was so loud that the other class came over and joined us [...].
Laura F.: I think that was the last lesson before the A-level exams and we felt well prepared, so we decided not to learn, but to sing; it was funny. But also, when Herr Biernoth set off the fire alarm twice […];we went outside and he was standing there quite pale, but it was him again, that was quite funny.

Sophie: In which way did our school help you in your career? And to what extent did it help to develop your character?
Laura F.: We had this presentation/fair of employers in the Bienwald-Halle which was pretty interesting.   And […] everything was possible in the MSS, so we could take some days off to go to see companies we were interested in [...] that was good.
Lea F.: The time in the MSS was a time of personal development. It made me more confident, in myself, in what I was doing, and also confident in having different opinions [...], which really helped me during my studies [...]
Laura F.: The discussions here at the IGS were really good, really intense, really long, almost fights; it was about what others think and even more about what you think and what your position is on a specific topic or question. And that was really something we did every day, we found the time to have such discussions about everything that really moved us and that was going on in our mind.
Lea F.: And this helped to really form our own personality, opinion and attitude.

Nina: What advice would you give us A-level students and your teachers?
Laura F.: My first advice is learn how to learn on your own. I know, many people like to enjoy their lives and right before the exam they start to learn and to write their summaries for the different topics; I did this too, this summary writing, even at university, but I did it every day; so every day, I wrote a short summary about what had happended, what we had done in the different subjects because as I was reflecting the day,  I already knew if there was something I didn’t understand; because when you are sitting in class and the teacher or someone speaks you always think, yes that sounds good, that sounds correct, that sounds logic, but this is just listening, your mind  does not work when you are listening; you have to participate in class, so your mind goes active, and you have to rework […] even if you only take ten minutes a day try to reflect what had happened in class, this is the time when your mind switches on and when you notice, stop, there was something I did not understand and then you have time to go to your teacher and ask again for more time or another explanation. When you do it right before the exam, it’s too late, too far away, because listening is not learning – that’s a completely different thing.
Lea F.: The only thing I might add is [...] use this time to become confident, because when you go to university you will be in a room with so many people...you should really boost your confidence [...]. So educate your personal opinion and educate your personal style so you’re confident enough to think [...] if you’re not confident enough [...]  to ask yourself questions about the topic, and also ask questions to your professor, you won’t really remember anything.
Laura F.: And my last advice: enjoy your summer after your A-levels – it was the summer of my life, best time ever; we had finished in March and we started on the first of October – it was really a great time – I couldn’t even tell you what day it was.
Lea F.: And my advice for the teachers: invest time in discussions – because there’s a lot of personal development in it for the students […]; discussions form your personality and that’s something we should really push to create stable trainees for the future.
Laura F.: […] I don’t know if it is still like that, but don’t do group work in class; because everyone knows that [...] it just doesn’t work. - And maybe: talk less and explore more – that’s really important; students can come to conclusions, they are no children any more, they are young adults, so they can do it on their own

Nina: Is there anything we haven’t talked about and you would like to mention?
Laura F.: Well, yes, my personal interest as a consultant – you mustn’t be shy to contact your German pension insurance. [...] When you start your life as an employee you’ll have to provide for different risks, for your old age, for your health, for dying too soon...we therefore offer consultations, they are free of charge; [...]  we don’t sell any products, we just inform people [...]. Come to see us in our consultations, take your time [...] and get help from us.

Mrs. Biedermann: Thank you for coming, the time you‘ve spent with us and the insight you‘ve given us into your life and your work.