Learn English – How would you call someone who is working part-time as a student (Werkstudent in German)


I'm struggling finding a term for a job rank for a part-time working student to use it for my CV or in general in the whole interview process: In Germany we don't only have interns, but something called "Werkstudent", a part time student worker, which works in his field of study. This is what a lot of German university students do.

The idea of a "Werkstudent", which would be "factory student" translated literally, comes from the engineering field where students, while studying full time, regularly worked for 10-20h/week for a industrial company in their factory management to get to know their field, all the industrial and corporate processes and to earn money. But in the 21st century it is not limited to engineering fields anymore and any academic profession has its own "Werkstudenten" e.g. for business development, legal, HR etc…

The idea is close to being an intern, but it's not full time and in most cases for a very long period (until you finish your studies, for up to 3 years or so) and you get paid very well. Your tasks regularly are the same as the full time employees, you just have more time to do them and/or making a lot of errors is expected. (think of a step below a junior position)

So yeah, I'm really struggling with that. International companies based in Germany sometimes call it "apprentice" "working student", "student trainee", "industrial student" (!?) or just "intern", but I am really unsure of all of them since I want non-Germans to understand the term and I want neither to make my role bigger as it was, nor want I others to think I did labour work / a side job…

Maybe other English speaking countries have something similar I just haven't heard of?

Best Answer

A step below a junior position makes me think of an "undergraduate trainee" or a "student trainee" as mentioned by the O.P.

  • trainee - one that is being trained especially for a job MW
  • a person undergoing training. TFD

"a trainee manager", "a trainee teacher", "a trainee solicitor"

job resposibilities of a trainee engineer

  • The trainee engineer is majorly responsible of the tasks that are desk job nature.
  • The engineer trainee is responsible for the designs of the commodity depending on the sector in which he/ she is based.
  • The engineer trainee is responsible for managing the data and all the information related to the particular project he/ she is assigned to.
  • The trainee is responsible to follow all the directions given by his/ her mentor.
  • The trainee engineer is responsible for completion of all the assigned tasks in the given deadline. All tasks assigned are for the trainees own learning.
  • The trainee is responsible to carefully perform the tasks he/ she has been assigned and keep the mentor updated about the progress of the task/ project.
  • The trainee is responsible for reporting to his/ her mentor after the completion of each and every task. And present to the mentor a summary of the project.
  • The engineer trainee is responsible for preparing a report in how the training has helped him/ her in understanding the dos and don’ts of the sector. The report should be a comprehensive representation of his/ her experience.

To make sure it means someone who is still a student, the word "undergraduate" must be included.