Meet DTU's talented students

Tuesday 02 Mar 21
What are the future engineers looking for when they scout for career opportunities? What do they value most about the company culture? And what is their advice to companies looking to collaborate with students?

DTU Industrial Partnerships spoke to two of our bright young talents about their future career plans and what they value most at a future work place.

You can read more about Jakob Rydhof and Nanna Mortensen below and get inspired on how to best reach the students and how you can get the most out of your student collaboration with DTU.

Kvindelig DTU-studerende i blå DTU t-shirt

Nanna Mortensen, BSc student, 6th semester.

Chemistry and Technology.


Which field would you like to work within when you finish studying?

- Primarily chemical companies, e.g. biochemical and medicinal companies. I am specializing within the industrial area, for example upscaling when producing or creating new processes in real life. The exact field is actually not that important to me. To me, the most important thing is to find out how to optimise industry processes in the cheapest, most environmentally friendly and most efficient way.

What type of company would you like to work for?

- It is not that important. If I have to choose I think it would be an SME though – because you get to create something which will be used at a larger scale and get to work in cross-disciplinary teams – whereas in very small companies I assume the tasks would be more solo. I like to collaborate with people and feel that what I do has a direct effect on other people.

What is most important to you in a future job?

- I like when things amount to something, whether it be a physical product or a process being used in the real world. Flexibility is also important to me because I am good at structuring my own time. It would be hard for me to have a clear 9-5 work day. Sometimes I would like to work more, and sometimes have the flexibility to leave earlier. It is also a priority to me to be able to grow in the company, e.g. gain more responsibility with time or get continuing education. These aspects are more important to me than a great salary.

Is it important to have experience with company collaboration before you start your future career?

- Yes, definitely. But often it is quite difficult to get something relevant for your studies because the student jobs are in high demand and there are few spots. I think it is important because you get a clearer idea on what work tasks and what companies you would like to work with when you have been out there actually getting the hands-on experience. It does not necessarily have to be a student position; it could also be through a special course where you collaborate on a project with a company. These insights could lead to students already changing course throughout their studies.

Have you worked with companies? And do you have any advice for companies who want to work with students?

- Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to collaborate with companies in larger projects yet. However, we have had company visits who told us about what an engineer can work with in their company. I thought that was very cool and I would like more of that. I also heard about companies starting to do “company visits” through Zoom during lunch breaks where you can hear more about different companies you did not even know existed. That is a very good opportunity for us because it broadens our horizon. I think it would be cool if the companies took initiative to brand themselves to the students and talk to students more – as well as start a dialogue about what the companies can do for us as students and what we can do for them. It would also be beneficial as a student to know more about how to write a project with companies, who to contact and what the procedure is when collaborating with companies.

Billede af Jakob Rydhof

Jakob Rydhof, MSc student,

Information Technology. Will finish this summer.


Which field would you like to work within when you finish studying?

- The IT field. In other fields some would think that IT is just a necessity. As a starting point, I do not want to work in the consulting field, because I think I will get too far from the user. However, the field overall is not important to me.

What type of company would you like to work for?

- I think I would prefer working at an SME, because it is small enough to get influence, but still established enough to not all of a sudden have to prioritise work over spare time to keep the company alive or reach an important deadline. It is also very important to me to work with special technologies which are a bit niche and therefore seldomly used in large companies.

What is most important to you in a future job?

- I have this idea that I need to test some job aspects first to see how important they are before I start a job. As an example, I think I would like to work at a place where the work-life balance is not necessarily great and one has to work a lot. However, if one has to do that, there must be payoffs in other ways, like a good social environment or a high salary. Besides from that, it is very important to me to work with certain technologies (in my case a special kind of programming called functional programming). It is also very important to me that I can see myself in the company’s goals/visions. They do not need to solve the biggest societal problems, however, I need to feel that the company is contributing to making the world a better place. Flexibility is another thing I value, because I am a flexible person myself and do not mind that the work takes up a lot of my time for some periods; however, I need to know that the flexibility also goes the other way around.

Is it important to have experience with company collaboration before you start your future career?

- Yes, because it gives an advantage when I need to search for a full-time job – both in terms of my CV, but also to make the companies more interested in me because they can see that I have learned some basic skills about being at a work place. It is also a big advantage to me personally, because it means that I will end up being clearer on advantages and disadvantages in different jobs and know what is important to me job wise.  

Do you have any advice for companies who want to work with students?

- For a company that wants to work with students, it is important to assign sparring partners to the students so you feel like you are actually collaborating. Also know that when you work with students, it is important that the problems or challenges we must solve are also interesting to us academically. However, the best part of working with a company is getting a very concrete task where all the tools are ready for you to use, and you just need to concentrate on the technical part and investigate how to solve the problem in the best way.

Would you like to collaborate with DTU's bright students? Then read more about our Talent Partnership here: Talent-Partner

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