Competitive sports and top vocational training

by Virág Tóth
coffee world report

Why vocational training works well with sports and school?

Competitive sports and vocational training: The Feusi Sports Business School makes it possible

Competitive sports or vocational training? A decision I neither able nor wanted to make. That's why I chose a combination of both, which the sports business school made possible. I, Virág Tóth, would like to tell you how I found my path as a competitive athlete and trainee at Schaerer AG.

How I became handball player

I have been a passionate handball player for over eleven years. I was introduced to the sport by my mother, who was an active handball player for 30 years. I started as an eight-year-old on the small field, and now I play in the adult first league. For me, the sport of handball is not just a physical activity that provides a good balance to everyday life. When victory is in sight and the crowd is cheering us along, I feel an incredible rush. Every success we achieve as a team gives me a great feeling and spurs me on to keep pushing myself to my limits — even when it sometimes seems hopeless. My team has become my second family. A family that motivates, respects and supports me when things aren't going well, but also one that celebrates together.

As great as competitive sports are, my vocational training was just as important to me. In 9th grade, I was faced with a tough choice between my athletic career and vocational training. Then I found the Feusi Education Centre online. The sports business school in particular made my decision much easier.

This school was the perfect solution for me. I can complete my vocational training and continue to play sports at a high level at the same time. Vocational training at the sports business school lasts four years and offers a learning environment tailored to the special requirements of competitive athletes. For example, the classes are half-day, so there is enough time for training sessions. The sports business school is connected to practice company VitaliKa. It is part of a training firm market, which replicates processes and interrelationships of the real economy. Trainees learn commercial skills in a practical way. They can apply these during their 18-month part-time internships, which complete their training.

At the beginning of the second school year, my class set out to find suitable companies for their internships. This was not always easy — the countless applications, not to mention the rejections and the associated disappointment, took a lot out of us. Fortunately, Feusi provided us with active support and, in the end, we all found internships.

I was already familiar with my internship company, Schaerer AG. My father has worked at Schaerer for several years and is very happy here. Of course, I immediately asked myself if I could work at the same company. At that time, the type of internship I wanted to do did not exist here. My father then met with HR and explained the training program at the sports business school as well as the internship. They then gave me the opportunity to send in my application documents and introduce myself shortly after. I liked the working atmosphere and the company right from the start. Everyone was very open-minded, helpful and understanding, both towards me and my training.

After the two trial days, it was clear to me that I did not want to do my internship at any company other than Schaerer AG. When they told me during the interview that they wanted to hire me as an intern starting on August 1, 2019, I was very happy.

Sports and vocational training — a winning team!

For me personally, it wasn't an option to rely only on playing sports. Of course, handball is my greatest passion, but I also really wanted to complete a vocational training. In professional sports, the risk of injury is ever-present; a minor mishap is enough to end a career forever. That is why I chose to attend the sports business school. I will admit that the road was not always easy. You have to successfully master the high demands of competitive sports and the vocational training as well. This is only possible with strong self-discipline.

In addition, an athlete is usually only seen as a person who regularly and intensively plays one or more sports. While that's true, there’s much more to it, and only very few people know what they have to sacrifice for success in the world of sports. Athletes have to constantly push themselves to their limits to get better every day. And sometimes, despite their best efforts, it is not enough to get a win, even after the many hours of training and preparation. It takes time to process these moments. Professional athletes have to set priorities early on and learn to deal with the many things they miss out on: The birthdays and weddings, or the broken friendships that can't handle the pressure.

All the more reason to find a training position that allows you to seriously pursue sports along with your professional career. However, for such a collaboration to work at all, a high degree of flexibility and dedication is required from both the employer and the trainee.

My own experience

During my training, I made sure that nothing was neglected, be it school, sports or work — which, to be honest, was not always easy. In the process, I realized that it is important to focus only on the task at hand at any given time. Sometimes I wanted to discuss the plays for the next match even though I was still at school.

“Which department did you like best?” — I was often asked this question. It is difficult for me to answer, because I don't think I can compare the departments. The different areas of responsibility and therefore the types of work are very diverse, and I really enjoyed the variety. What I greatly appreciated was that I was very warmly welcomed into every team, which made me feel at home very quickly.

I learned a lot of new things during my internship. Right at the beginning, for example, I had the chance to plan National Future Day together with the commercial interns, which was very exciting for me. I worked in the HR, export, and marketing departments. This helped me get to know the teams and the tasks in detail and also what it means to work independently. Now that my internship is complete, I feel prepared for the working world, as I was able to develop not only professionally, but also personally. I learned to work independently and take responsibility. For example, another important lesson for me was that speed does not always equal quality. It's better to take a little more time to do a job right than to just do it as quickly as possible.

Do you know Feusi and its vocational training opportunities?

Feusi is a targeted, accredited and owner-operated private school group. It offers consistent and practice-oriented educational programmes in an informal atmosphere. Feusi stands for lifelong learning, flexibility and competence. This is demonstrated by its 200,000 graduates who have been expanding their knowledge since 1952. There is a wide range of vocational training opportunities for athletes, allowing them to pursue competitive sports and complete their training at the same time. These sports schools have been certified partner schools of Swiss Olympics since 2004.

Swiss Olympics is the National Olympic Committee and the umbrella organisation for organised Swiss athletics under private law. It has 104 members and approximately two million athletes in around 19,500 clubs.

Apprenticeship opportunities at Schaerer AG

Schaerer AG has been training commercial clerks and logistics specialists since 2009. And since 2018, computer scientists, design engineers, mechanics, electricians and technicians have been mastering their apprenticeships at Schaerer as well.

Students in 5th through 7th grade have the opportunity to accompany parents and other caregivers to work each year. This event is called National Future Day, in which Schaerer AG takes part every year.

I was given the chance to write this article as a final paper in the marketing department.

If I have piqued your interest in completing a vocational training programme at Feusi or becoming a Schaerer team member, you can find out more about your areas of interest by following the links below:

Feusi Bildungszentrum

Schaerer AG