INTERNSHIPS can be the highway to your first job

Marianne Bom & Rie Jerichow, Publicér

With an internship, you gain knowledge about your opportunities as an engineer and boost your career.
A prolonged internship or collaboration with an engineering company can make your career. Three CEOs from a small, a medium-sized, and a large company agree about this. Which company size you should go for depends on what you want to learn and which career you dream of.

Torben Riise, who is the CEO in the company Tekfa from eastern Jutland, is primarily looking for interns who show initiative and are willing to learn and understand.
Photo: Ditte Langer Mørch.
Internship in a small engineering company
“Our interns are a part of the whole process – in every part of the process, from the order arriving at the sales department to it being delivered. And since we work with electronics, software, and mechanics, an intern can learn a lot of different things,” says Torben Riise.Riise is CEO in the company Tekfa from eastern Jutland, which delivers process tools for powder dosing and weighting of granulates, amongst other things. As an intern in Tekfa, you become what the CEO calls the ‘project manager of your own life’. “Since we are only 13-14 employees, you will not be observed all the time. You are not left to yourself, but you have to be comfortable working on your own, and we expect our interns to be proactive. It will do you good,” he says.If you want to work in a larger company later in your career, it can be good to have experience from a smaller engineering company, in his opinion. “If you, for instance, later go for a job in a larger technical department, it can be a plus to know of the processes in, for instance, the economy and buying department, or have knowledge of the mechanisms that are vital for the production to go smoothly. It is a great advantage to understand the process from start to end,” says Torben Riise.

To be assessed for an internship in Tekfa, it is therefore an advantage to be curious about all parts of the process. “We go for students that show initiative and want to learn and understand. The dream intern is typically an engineering student that also has a crafty background, but those are unfortunately few and far between,” says the CEO.

Read more about Tekfa at

Internship in a medium-sized engineering company
“In our company, the interns gain knowledge in many aspects of the engineering work,” says CEO Ole Rasmussen from the consulting engineering company Dines Jørgensen & Co. A/S.The company, which has 90 employees and has departments in Hillerød, Sorø, and Odense, counsels within facilities, building, drainage, environment, and geotechnology. “If you have to make a piece of a road that consists of coating, draining, and so on, it will, in a large company, maybe be one man who takes care of the drainage, one man who takes care of the coating, and so on. With us, it is the same engineer who has the responsibility, and we give the intern a part in all of it. Therefore, an internship with us gives good insight over a long list of work areas, and if you later wish to specialize, you can do so, but you will make a qualified decision,” he says.It is a challenge for the company that many engineering students generally do not know about Dines Jørgensen & Co. A/S. “The young people know COWI and Rambøll and think that is where they have to go. But we would like it if some of them tried us. If there is good chemistry and we can work it out, we have basically offered all our interns employment afterwards,” says Ole Rasmussen. Interns that care about topics that are relevant to the company have an advantage.
“It could be within LAR – local drainage of rainwater where we have some competences and where we are open to new ideas in regards to how the issues could be solved. But it is most important to us that you have the right attitude. If you do not care for stiff offices and waxed floors, but would like to work with what engineering is all about and is not completely derailed socially, you should just apply. The food chain is so tight for us that we are open to anyone. It is best to call, show up, and show interest. Then there are good opportunities,” says Ole Rasmussen.

Read more about Dines Jørgensen & Co. A/S at

CEO Ole Rasmussen from the consulting engineering company Dines Jørgensen & Co. A/S encourages anyone interested to call, show up, and show interest. Then interns have good opportunities in the company. Photo: Dines Jørgensen & Co. A/S.
HR manager Lena Kjær from the international engineering and consulting company Rambøll sees the internship as the start of a possible employment. Photo: Rambøll.Internship in a large engineering company
“In a large company like Rambøll, the engineering students will meet a broad palette of competences and realize how many possibilities there are. For instance, maybe you will be intern in a department that does light design, and you didn’t even know of that subject area. In that way, an internship can be used early in the study period to find out what specific direction you want to choose as an engineer,” says HR manager Lena Kjær from the international engineering and consulting company Rambøll. Rambøll houses 14,000 consulting engineers, architects, and management consults, spread over 300 offices in 35 countries.An internship can also give the student a sense of what the companies are looking for. “It is a great advantage for the students, because it can help them realize their career possibilities. They can also build a network early on in their education, which will eventually lead them to the dream job. We sometimes joke that when you arrive at Rambøll as an intern, one long job interview starts, because a lot of our interns get a study job, and when they finish their studies, a lot of them get full-time employment. So it is actually a good idea to think of the internship as the start of a possible employment. It is very realistic,” she says.To make yourself attractive to Rambøll, it is a good idea to do some groundwork. “You can apply for an internship via our website, and then we make sure that you are channeled to the departments that can be relevant. The same goes for students writing their thesis. They only have to contact us, show interest and gusto, and it does not hurt to write a good application. It goes for everyone that we appreciate if you have researched our history and may have chosen us due to our values,” says the HR manager.

Read more about Rambøll at