From study job to first employment

With a dream of being able to make use of his professionalism and influence the business development in a real company, Esben Schmidt applied for a student job at SKIOLD. A good match, which led to a permanent appointment.

For Esben, the "squid tasks" that characterized his time as an intern have been replaced by major business development projects. Tasks where he, among other things, helps to set the framework for everyday life to run as it should.

It has not been a big shock for him to start in the job because there has just been a smooth transition. But the road to the job required more consideration by the 26-year-old business development engineer.

- I have always known that I want to be an engineer. I have not been fully aware of what type of engineer, but the subject has always seemed exciting, says Esben.

Therefore, Esben chose the education ‘business development engineer’ combined with a master's degree in Technology-based Business Development. A fairly broad engineering education to achieve more qualifications in the work with the business development area.

- We joked a bit that we were not really good at anything. But that we were a little good at everything. It can be said that it is a broad education that is not very specialised, says Esben.

The choice was thus made. A choice that is not least due to the fact that Esben had the opportunity to understand all parts of a company and work across its value chain.


The hunt for the student job

In his first semester of his master's degree, Esben had to go out and look for a company, which he had to work with and do projects for.

A process that gave Esben more consideration in terms of how he could develop himself, as well as how he could influence the company he was to work with.

- I didn’t want to be a place where I would be one of a hundred engineers and where I would have a hard time bringing my ideas forward. I wanted to be in a place where I could impress and show my worth, says Esben Schmidt.

Therefore, Esben was not looking in the direction of the big mastodonts. It was more the small agile or medium-sized companies that were on the radar.

Esben established contact with one of SKIOLD's Supply Chain departments in western Denmark. Here he was interviewed by the former warehouse manager, who had taken the same training as himself, something Esben thought could be to his advantage.

Another possible benefit could also be that Esben came from a family that runs a dairy cattle farm, which meant that he came with knowledge of the industry. In any case, Esben got a student job in the company, and that now meant he had to carry out projects in real life.

- I was happy. I had heard by detours that the company had previously made use of students who had also subsequently gotten jobs. Something I also wanted, so that way there was a lot to gain for me, says Esben.

When the dream came true

For a start, Esben Schmidt began to throw himself into the work of a calf box, as his first project. A project where Esben was self-driving and mostly managed his tasks himself. Yet he stood, with a sense of not really being where he wanted to be in the work he was doing.

His dream was still to get closer to the part of the work that dealt with business development, the part he was really passionate about, and one day it should turn out to be a real option. SKIOLD was in a situation where they needed Esben and his expertise.

- I was moved to our development department in SKIOLD, which was about 30 kilometers away from the Supply Chain department, where I was placed originally. Here I onboarded a department in SKIOLD, where I was more challenged, says Esben Schmidt.

Now he became involved in projects that were largely aimed at business development. He was involved in key discussions and strategic planning, which meant that Esben was now helping to set the directions of how things should work in practice.

Among other things, Esben took on the development of a stage gate model, which is a project management technique in which an initiative or project is divided into different phases.

- It was something I knew something about, and also a good opportunity to gain more insight into the company. I needed better knowledge and understanding to be able to work with a development process and come up with suggestions for improvements, says Esben Schmidt.


To make your mark

Back in 2021, Esben Schmidt could call himself a fully trained business development engineer, but the workplace was still called SKIOLD. He had been given responsibility for several tasks that had become central to the daily work of SKIOLD.

- The fact that I had been allowed to assert my influence and had been allowed to participate in important projects, and take control of them, has motivated me a lot. If I had still been working on the calf box, I probably would have left a long time ago, says Esben with a big smile.

He especially appreciates the trust he has been met with from SKIOLD's management, which has given him the opportunity to prove his worth to the company, his colleagues and himself.

- It requires an enormous trust from the management to give, someone like me, some responsibility, so I am incredibly grateful for that, says Esben Schmidt.

Courage for more

For Esben, the road from education to company has been short. And maybe it has given him some tailwind and courage for more.

- I am in the process of shaping my career, and since I am a person who wants to take some responsibility, I also want more of it. I think I can continue to develop the more I get the opportunity to work with the heavy and strategic tasks that I already have today, says Esben.

At the moment, it's about stuffing more experience into the backpack so he can work more with it in practice. This is where he knows he will only get better with time.

- I can feel that when I sit with some of my more experienced colleagues, this is where I often fall short on the experience part, says Esben and continues.

- Therefore, I also feel that the division of roles between me and my colleagues is that they constitute a great experience as well as a lot of practical knowledge. And then I hope I can offer a little more new and theoretical knowledge.

Because even though it is not the great experience that Esben can contribute with he still hopes that he can come up with new approaches that can help make a positive difference.


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