Escea Student Stories: Introducing Tobi, Jeppe and Frederik

The three interns arrived from Aarhus in Denmark 2 months ago and already have several NZ adventures under their belt. So far they have walked the Milford track, cruised Doubtful Sound, gone skiing at Cadrona and visited Mount Cook. To date, the Milford Track has been their favourite – and it was a 4 day trip!

When asked what their favourite part of New Zealand is they all say in unison: “The scenery”.

What inspired you to come do your internship in New Zealand?

In a funny turn of events, Jeppe met four previous Danish interns three years ago when he was traveling around New Zealand. They told him about Escea and studying Mechanical Engineering, so Jeppe went home eager to find out more. In his third year of Mechanical Engineering study, he was presented with the opportunity to come to New Zealand for his internship and work at Escea. He knew he had to apply. And now, here he is.

Tobi’s older brother had traveled New Zealand eight years ago and couldn’t recommend it enough. He had heard the people were friendly and the views were stunning, so he knew he needed to see for himself. In a flash of spontaneity, he applied for the position and he couldn’t be happier he did.

Frederik heard about the laid-back, relaxed attitude of Kiwi’s and wanted to experience the difference in culture. “It’s so important to have an understanding of how diverse cultures are around the world. New Zealand was one culture I really wanted to experience for myself. Initially, I just wanted to go overseas because I wanted to work somewhere that was foreign. I believe international experience is extremely valuable”

What area at Escea are you working in?

Jeppe: Product Improvement which includes testing equipment, increasing efficiency, assessing new products.

Tobi: Testing the Wood Fireplaces.

Frederik: Manufacturing which includes factory improvement jobs plus a project recently moving the dispatch area.

What is it like to be in a practical environment in comparison to a theoretical environment?

Frederik: Working at Escea is so completely different than working on projects at school. At school, you work on projects that you only partly understand, but in a more practical environment you have the opportunity to understand all aspects. It has taught me that knowing your customer is so important. In the environment at Escea, I can walk around the factory and talk to my colleagues and see what they need. I gain a much deeper understanding of what is needed in a shorter amount of time.

Tobi: Working in a practical environment has taught me that in most cases it is better to work towards a minimal viable product than the “perfect solution”. Sometimes a solution can be too over-engineered; a problem you don’t notice when you are only working with calculations. It also gives us the opportunity to just go out to the factory and build a prototype. Instead of having to complete a calculation about how you think it might work, we can create a basic working example.

Jeppe: I have learnt so much more about working with products, especially how important it is to understand all the aspects of your project.

What has been your biggest learning curve working at Escea?

Jeppe: My biggest learning curve has been realising how important it is to look at your product from several different perspectives. At Escea, we can talk to lots of different people from different departments and understand it from how they see it. This helps us create something that is a full rounded product.

Tobi: My biggest learning curve has been achieving balance between what is a good enough product and what is over-engineered.

Frederik: It has taken some time to adapt to how a business works in comparison to school. In school you can sit and research a solution for hours. In real life, everything is more cost oriented and time sensitive. Using the people around me to accomplish my goals faster and more efficiently has been the biggest learning curve for me.

What has Escea offered?

The three Danes all agreed that the internship itself is unique. Escea gives the students the use of a house and a car so they are comfortable and can easily travel around the city and the country. They say that it is also a really good environment to work in because Escea understands what they are capable of. “Everyone has been so friendly and we have made really good friends. It’s easier to learn in a supportive environment like this and everyone is so patient with teaching us along the way.”

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