Henrik Håkansson, LEGO, Denmark
Why did you choose to do a traineeship?
I wanted a taste and a picture of what working life could look like after finishing my education. In addition, I've always been curious about an international career. To get the chance to work at an international company like LEGO was amazing. A bonus was that this made every 10 year old that I know really jealous.
What did you do during your traineeship?
As part of the team I was working with, we presented conceptual ideas and prototypes of new toys at LEGO – ranging from new physical parts of toys to a new overall play experience. The internship allowed me to work on my degree project thesis while working at the company.
Which tasks were the most interesting?
During my degree project, my co-worker and I presented a completely new toy from scratch. We had a lot of freedom and could work however we wanted, which was also a big responsibility. This meant that we were able to explore the company and its possibilities on our own while also being expected to deliver results. The internship was extremely independent, a chance for personal development and also a bit intimidating.
In what ways do you think this traineeship will affect your future career?
Having completed an internship abroad is something that stands out on my resume. It shows that I can take responsibility, go out my comfort zone and that I am open to new ideas. Above all, I feel that I got a better picture of what kind of company I want to work with and which role I want to take on in my future professional life.
Do you have any advice for future trainees?
Ask the company for help with finding accommodation or housing. It is probably not the first time the company has had a trainee that is in the same situation as you.
If possible, try to find housing near other interns and colleagues. At LEGO, they helped us find a corridor-like accommodation. I shared a kitchen with a number of professionals, from young British designers and Chinese technicians to German IT-project leaders in their 40s. I learned much about the company and its possibilities by talking to its employees.
Go to a country where people understand English, or where you understand/can learn the local language. I was not far away from Sweden when I did my internship in Denmark, but knowing some of the language can facilitate your understanding of the bureaucracy, which is sometimes only available in the country's own language. In addition, learning the language can help you avoid pouring buttermilk instead of milk into your coffee.
Name and age:
Henrik Håkansson, 26 years
Field of study at Lund University:
Engineering, Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Design (in his sixth year)
Did his traineeship at:
February 2016–January 2017
Email: henke [dot] hakansson [at] gmail [dot] com