frequently asked questions
Here we have summarized the most frequently asked questions. If you can’t find an answer to your question, you can always contact us personally at any time.
Why is FreeTech the perfect place for you?
Our core is the close connection of tech and journalism to drive disruptive innovations. You can choose your focus and learning content with a high degree of freedom and deepen it through practical projects and on-the-job training. In this way, you gain both practical experience and the necessary theoretical foundations. In addition, you will build up a company-wide network right from the start and establish contacts worldwide.
Does the journalism training always take place together with the tech program?
No, these are two independent programs. On the one hand, we train young journalists (German-language program), on the other hand, there is the Tech Program in cooperation with our educational partner CODE University of Applied Sciences (English-language program). However, both training strands are linked through joint events and projects.
What does the training at the FreeTech Academy cost?
The FreeTech Academy invests in a shared future with you. Journalism students receive a monthly stipend of 1,667 euros (gross) during their training, while Tech students receive 1,400 euros (gross). In addition, our Tech students can qualify to have their tuition fees paid at CODE University of Applied Sciences.
Do I have to be present in the office during periods of remote work?
Flexibility is important to us. For the sake of your health and safety, we recommend that everyone work remotely for the time being, if possible. We are closely monitoring the development of the pandemic and are constantly adjusting our internal recommendations. However, should the situation allow it again, we will be happy to meet you on site. The exchange in the community (especially here in Berlin) as well as the meeting with work colleagues cannot be completely virtualized – which is not our goal either.
When is the application deadline for the next training start?
As it stands now, the application deadline for the next possible cohort (2024) is June 1, 2023, we’ll keep you posted.
When does journalism training begin?
Training at our journalism school begins at the beginning of January or July of each year.
When is the application considered to be received in time?
The decisive factor is the time at which you submit your online application. Postponers have until June 01, 23:59:59.
Can I upload Word documents instead of PDF?
No, only files in PDF format are accepted.
What if you are not accepted? Can I apply more than once?
Yes, of course. Many of our journalism students only succeeded on their second or third attempt. Apply early, so you can gain valuable experience in good time.
Can I also submit a previously published story as part of the application?
No, a story that has already been published will not be accepted.
Can I deal with any topic in the application story?
In principle, yes. But it should be a topic that has a certain relevance or personal significance.
How are the characters counted in the application story?
We expect about 120 lines of 30 characters each (spaces also count), i.e. about 3,600 characters.
How many work samples should I send along?
Send along your three best works.
Can multimedia work samples also be uploaded?
Only files in PDF format can be uploaded directly. Please make multimedia work samples available via direct link and upload a simple PDF with a short description and the link to the work sample in the application tool.
What is the best way to prepare for the knowledge test?
Read daily newspapers and weekly titles intensively several weeks before the test, whether online or print, and you should be well prepared.
What units does the Tech Program consist of?
Our Tech Program consists of four parts: a tech degree program at CODE University of Applied Sciences, on-the-job internships at various Axel Springer units, and interdisciplinary projects with our student journalists, as well as joint workshops and events at the intersection of media and tech.
How can I apply for the Tech Program?
To be accepted into our Tech Program, students must select one of the following state-approved degree programs at CODE University of Applied Sciences: B.Sc. Software Engineering, B.A. Interaction Design, and B.A. Product Management.
Can I choose my own on-the-job training?
During your participation in the Tech Program you will visit several units of Axel Springer to get to know different teams, tools and work processes. Of course you have a say in choosing the right unit – because we want you to work where you like it!
I am not part of Axel Springer Group, but I find your offer very relevant to me and would like to join. Can I?
Unfortunately not, our Upskilling Offerings are available only for Axel Springer and its subsidiaries worldwide.
I am working for Axel Springer, is participation in the Upskilling offerings free of charge?
Most of our workshops are offered at no cost to the participants. Should there be costs associated, we will inform you accordingly.
I would like to share my ideas for future topics and workshops, which are relevant to me and my department. How can I do that?
All our Upskilling Programs are demand-driven and future-oriented, therefore your ideas and proposals are very welcome. You can get in touch with us here.
Are all your workshops taking place virtually? Which tool are you using?
Most of our workshops are offered online via Miscrosoft Teams. Some of the workshops, like voice training and video, are offered in presence, at Axel Springer Headquarters in Berlin.
I am based in the United States and we have quite a time difference with Berlin. How can I still benefit from the Upskilling offers of FreeTech Academy?
Our colleagues overseas are equally important to us, as our Europe-based colleagues, so we are always trying to schedule our workshops to US-Friendly times, to ensure the maximum reach and an equal opportunity for all Axel Springer brands.
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