Young interior decorator from St. Ingbert wins scholarship for the USA

The interior decorator exam is no picnic. After several months of planning and design, 23-year-old Maren Hartz from Oberwürzbach had to furnish an entire berth consisting of a floor panel and two wall panels as a room: lay the carpet, cover and paper the walls, sew curtains and classically upholster and cover a complete armchair prepared as a wooden frame . The young woman managed all this after her three-year apprenticeship at the St. Ingbert interior decorator Albersmeyer GmbH as the best trainee in her area with a grade of 1.

After graduating from high school, Maren Hartz first enrolled at Saarland University to study psychology, but quickly realized that it wasn’t her thing. “I then looked for creative, technical vocational training, e.g. B. Seamstress, costume or make-up artist, but nothing came of these applications,” she recalls. Then she came across the Albersmeyer company in St. Ingbert via a Google search for training positions in St. Ingbert. In July 2019, after a two-week introductory internship, she began her apprenticeship as an interior decorator with a focus on upholstery. A multifaceted apprenticeship, during which she learned how to lay different floor coverings, plan and manufacture light and sun protection and – according to her specialization – how to upholster and upholster old and new upholstered furniture. “It’s exciting to get to know these three areas and you have to master them all. But upholstery is my passion,” explains the young woman.

Further training as an “interior decorator”

After graduating from the Leibniz-Gymnasium, Maren Hartz worked as an au pair for a year in Hamilton near Boston, USA and – loosely based on the song by Marlene Dietrich – still has a suitcase in the USA”. In October 2021, for example, she applied to the parliamentary sponsorship program, a youth exchange program of the German Bundestag and the US Congress, for which young people up to the age of 25 who have completed vocational training can apply. The German-American friendship and the cultural exchange of young, working people are promoted. She won the scholarship and the associated sponsorship of a member of the Bundestag, in her case Markus Uhl. The scholarship will finance a one-year stay for Maren Hartz in Wilmington, North Carolina. She is staying with a host family. In the first six months, she will attend courses related to her job at the city’s Cape Fear Community College. For the second half of the year she has to look for a job, ideally in her profession as an “interior decorator” with a focus on “upholstery” – but in an emergency also in the supermarket. Then she is also obliged to pay the fee for the host family herself – personal responsibility is therefore very important.

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“I am really looking forward to the year. As an au pair, I simply fell in love with the country,” says Maren Hartz. “Actually, I’m planning to come back and do my master’s degree in a year, but who knows what’s going to happen…” she continues, laughing.

The city of St. Ingbert wishes you a lot of joy, many great experiences and countless new friends!

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