Testimonial from Mikkel Haferbier Lillelund
The Architectural Technology and Construction Management programme in Denmark gave access to Mikkel to do his internship at a major metro project in Vietnam
Five months of internship in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam prepared construction student Mikkel Haferbier Lillelund to work on major building and construction projects, as well as to communicate across languages and cultures.
In 2015, Mikkel Haferbier Lillelund went on a study trip to Vietnam together with his fellow students from UCN (Professionshøjskolen UCN) and found an internship there, despite it never being the plan.
- I already had an internship agreement with a Danish architect company; the only thing that was missing was to sign the contract with them. I went to Vietnam because I thought that it would be exciting to get the chance to experience a country and a culture that are so much more different than Denmark. However, as soon as I came home, I felt like going for an internship in Vietnam instead, because that gave me the chance to be part of some major projects with budgets worth billions, says the 24 years old student.
Mikkel Haferbier Lillelund worked as a site engineer on the part of the metro that builds the elevated viaduct bridges.
- I worked both on site and off site, where the metro itself was installed, and in the factory where the big concrete elements were produced. Among other tasks, I had to produce a report that stated why the concrete had cracks and air gaps some places. I was also a part of setting up workflows for the finishing process of the viaduct bridges – basically supporting assembly work. In connection to this, I contributed to the hiring process by helping decide how many workers we had to hire. My last task was to finish a plan against theft.
When speaking about the challenges encountered by Mikkel, the education level, the language, the cultural differences and climate were the most striking.
- There were many nationalities among the 400 construction workers, engineers and office staff that worked for FVR. They were from countries such as France, Vietnam and Thailand, says Mikkel, who during his stay in Vietnam was challenged by differences in language and culture.
As a result of the internship, MIkkel received a job offer to work in Asia.
- I was offered to go back and work for two of the three European companies that have major projects in Asia, Middle East and Australia. This is something I would really like to pursue when I am done with my education.