Participating in Projects May Help You Establish Business Contacts

DTU is ready to offer students a project bank filled with great opportunities.

Gaining Work Experience While Still in School

Combining your student job with your studies may prove challenging; you really need to be able to manage your time and prioritize your tasks. If the structure of your studies does not leave room for a student job, you may choose to devote your time to community service. Both options look good on your résumé.

The media house Ingenøren (“The Engineer”) displays relevant student jobs on their website,

A student job may be the first step on the path towards landing a full-time job in a company. You will also gain specific and relevant work experience and become more aware of which professional field interests you the most; thus, your student job will help you find the focus of your studies. In Jobfinder’s student job section you will find student jobs and internships aimed at students with a technical or scientific background. The webpage provides tools for finding internships, project collaborations, and student jobs. The former site, Studiejobfinder, has now become an integral part of Jobfinder; therefore, you are able to use the same job agent system. Former users of Studiejobfinder need to reset their passwords.

You will also find jobs on your university’s webpage.

While studying to become an engineer, you may choose to spend as much as a fourth of the required ECTS-points as you see fit, as long as it’s relevant to the field of engineering. Thus, you may earn points by cooperating with a company and performing some sort of task for them. Usually, this is a win-win situation: with your help – or with the help of some group you are a part of – the company solves a problem, and you expand your network and gain some work experience. Employers often view work experience as one of the most important qualifications, when evaluating recently graduated candidates. A project may replace a course or become a part of a Bachelor’s project or a Master’s thesis.

“Students really want student jobs that are professionally relevant, but because of the Study Progress Reform, they now have very little time for student jobs,” says Rikke Bjerregaard Jespersen, career counselor at DTU’s Career Center. She admits that companies still need to adjust to the effects of the reform. It’s no longer easy to find students who are able to work 10-15 hours per week. “Companies are not required to learn the rules governing the universities, yet, we try to tell them that the traditional student job has to be more flexible; students will be able to work hard during the holidays but not during the semester.”

New Project Bank

The Career Center views DTU’s new project bank as a better opportunity for students to gain work experience in the future. DTU has set up a project bank aimed at helping students and companies connect with each other. When a company is on the look-out for students, they must provide the project bank with an “appetizer” – an appealing description of the project. Students enrolled in relevant programs will then be able to find the proposal in the project bank. Beforehand, the project will be linked with a lecturer, who will function as the project’s advisor. So, the project bank is a really good place to find opportunities for cooperating with businesses, if you prefer working on a project with a company instead of taking a student job.

“Companies need to be prepared for students’ becoming a part of the company, so that they are prepared to provide the necessary support and take care of the project description, in order to ensure that the collaboration on the project is successful. “The students do not get paid. In return, the companies must make sure that the collaboration is adapted to fit the structure of the semester. For example, students will not be able to help solve an urgent problem during the exam period. However, when the students do show up, they bring lots of enthusiasm and a desire to show what they can do. Through our contact with different companies, we know that many project collaborations mark the beginning of more long-termed collaborations. Often, the project collaboration turns into a student job and maybe even the first proper job, after the engineer student has graduated,” affirms Rikke Bjerregaard Jespersen.  The career counselor regards projects as priceless additions to your network – a network you will be able to utilize, when you look for employment. Companies still do most of their recruitment through job ads (66 per cent), while the use of networks comes a close second (56 per cent), as evinced by numbers from Ballisager’s annual recruiting analysis.

Sources: Karrierecentret DTU, Ballisager