Students visit potential future employers

10 July 2015

This week 16 students from Chemical and Biochemical Engineering visited Danish catalyst company Haldor Topsøe in Lyngby north of Copenhagen. Here they got the chance to see what their future job opportunities might look like

Most students are probably on summer holiday at the moment, but not the SDC students from CBE. They are attending summer school program in Denmark, where they have studied, participated in the Green Challenge and this week they have visited three huge Danish companies - Novozymes, Haldor Topsøe and Hempel.

Out of the classrooms and into reality

8.30 a.m. on Wednesday the students walked from the dorms at DTU, where they live while staying in Denmark, to Haldor Topsøe's headquarters in Lyngby. They were welcomed by Employer Branding Specialist Ole Stahl, who believes it is important that students and the industry meet.

"At Haldor Topsøe we want to contribute with what we can do for the students, and that is to take them out of the class rooms and give them a glimpse of the reality that might await them after graduation. Moreover we want to help create a long term interest for the field and attract more potential engineers to the universities. Short term we have a natural interest in attracting talented individuals to Haldor Topsøe, and who knows, there might be future colleagues of mine in this group."

A strong connection

Head of Educational Programme for CBE at SDC and Head of the CBE department at DTU Kim Dam-Johansen, who is responsible for the summer school program believes it is important for the students to spend a considerable time period in Denmark.

"We want the students to come here for an extensive period of time, in order for them to develop a strong connection to Denmark and not forget about their experience here. Coming here is also a good supplement to their education in Beijing, as they will have access to some specialized equipment here".

It is the second year in a row that an SDC Chemical & Biochemical Engineering class does summer school in Denmark and also visits Haldor Topsøe, and Kim Dam-Johansen values the link to China highly.

"At our institute (Chemical & Biochemical Engineering) we want to help create and develop jobs in Denmark, and the Danish companies we visit during summer school have a strong interest in cooperating with China. We also know from last year's group that around half of the students are interested in coming to Denmark later on in their careers and possibly work for one of the companies we have visited."

During the day the students were given presentations on what kind of company Haldor Topsøe is, introductions to how they work with catalysts, and a tour of their laboratories.

We asked a couple of them what their favourite part of the day was. Student Yuan Chen enjoyed the opportunity to see some of the types of equipment he might get to work with when his career starts.

"It was very exciting to visit them (Haldor Topsøe), and I especially liked to see the laboratories and hear about their company values, which I think are very unique."

Another student, Xiao Tong's academic interests are more aligned with the work done at Novozymes, who they visited the day before. She thinks it is great that the companies they have visited are very open and she also highlighted the opportunity to see the laboratories as her favourite part. Besides that, she has enjoyed experiencing Denmark and meeting new cultures.

"Before I only knew Denmark from what I have seen on the TV, but now I have a better understanding. By living at the dorm at DTU and sharing for instance the kitchen with Danes, Americans and Spaniards I have also achieved a better insight into what they are like."