“Employment Guaranteed”: SUSU Students Take Intership at Reginas Automobile Complex

South Ural State University actively cooperates with the major employers in our region. Leading companies and enterprises work with the university in the training of specialists. Many students can get acquainted with a particular company through practical training and internships. Special opportunities in this regard are provided by the Department of Cars and Car-Caring Service of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, which was formed at Reginas automobile complex.

Reginas is one of the major automobile holdings of the Ural region, and is an official dealer of Nissan, Infiniti, Datsun, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Skoda, Kia, Toyota, and others. In total, the holding includes more than 20 dealerships located in Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Magnitogorsk, and Miass. The Department of Cars and Car-Caring Service of the Faculty of Motor Transport trains qualified specialists, taking into account the specifics of the company.

"We are training personnel for a particular enterprise. The contract between Reginas automobile complex and our university states that all students’ practical training is to be held in the production divisions of the company. We have introduced the technique of gradual increase in the complexity of practical training. In the first year, during the practical training course, students try their hand at the simplest technological operations, for example, helping employees to repair cars. In senior courses, they perform much of the work on their own under the guidance of employees. After completing their studies, they are guaranteed employment. Many of the Department’s fourth-year students are already employed in the company", said Head of the Department of Cars and Car-Caring Service Aleksandr Rulevskiy.

Students take internship in almost all of the dealership centres, including those located in Magnitogorsk and Miass. Before the practical training course, heads of divisions meet with students, after which the students are tested and can express their desires. They can choose one of three paths of practical training: service, body shop, and sales department. After the practical training course, many students are invited to the holding and combine their studies with work.

"Thanks to the close cooperation between the Department and the enterprise, students have the opportunity to see how they can apply theoretical knowledge to practice. This is very important, because the problem of discrepancy between practice and theory has always existed: as you know, the first one is always a little ahead of the second. Here, at the enterprise, students can see for themselves that the knowledge gained at the university is really necessary for further work. After completing their studies, graduates have different starting positions. However, specialists who have received real practical skills through practical training are in a more advantageous position than those who have not received this experience. Now we have officially employed 16 students of the Department of Cars and Car-Caring Service on a permanent basis. They are combining work and studies, and they truly have good prospects for their future career", said Head of the Department of Human Resources of Reginas holding Elena Ermalaeva.

This year, more than 60 students of the Department are completing practical training at the holding. Working with cars is a great responsibility, because even one mistake can lead to large financial losses. Interns perform various technological tasks under the guidance of experienced mentors, who explain to them the specifics of servicing, body repair, and sales work. Many promising students are offered additional training through the organization for further employment.

Ivan Sharkov, who has completed the third year of studies, spoke about the practical training in the Service Department of a Nissan dealership: "I chose servicing because I love machines. In the practical training, I guide customers through warranty and typical car maintenance. Here, for the first time, I faced the documentation and technical aspects of working with cars, with which we do not come into contact during our studies at the University. This practical training course provides many opportunities for development. For example, I was offered further training at Nissan Academy in Moscow."

In 2018-2019, many students from the countries of Central Asia enrolled in the Department. They also complete practical training with Reginas holding. Many of them are already completing serious work in the body shop within the practical training course. First-year student Arslan Asanaliyev shared his impressions about the practical training:

"My friends recommended SUSU to me, I read about this university, and I immediately liked it, so I decided to come here. It is interesting to study here. In the practical training course, we perform body work. For example, we disassemble the body of a car and give some part of it – the bumper or the mud guard – to other specialists for painting, and then install it back. We have already installed doors, bumpers, and rear cover of hoods, removed windshields, and much more", said the first-year student from Kyrgyzstan Arslan Asanaliyev.

So, through practical training, students are put into the real working conditions of the company and can determine the most appropriate field for themselves. Upon completion of the practical training, students are again tested to find out what they have learned over this time. The management of Reginas pays serious attention to the quality of the students’ practical training, as almost all of them become personnel reserve of the automobile complex.

Azaliya Sharafutdinova; photos by Oleg Igoshin
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