Malte, Operations Graduate

September 2019

26-year-old Malte Corydon-Petersen from Copenhagen is a production engineer. He has been participating in a 2-year Operations Graduate Programme at LINAK A/S. The programme has taught him a lot about his own professionalism and about LINAK as a company.

Malte, Operations Graduate

The time as graduate at LINAK has been very important to Malte. Previously, he had a lot of theoretical knowledge from university, but not much practical experience from the real world. As Malte explains:
“There is a significant difference between calculations in mock-up school assignments and in reality. Just take data generation and the preparatory work, for instance. In school this is given to you. But in real life you have to make the research yourself. The job rotation at LINAK has given me an idea of where I want to go”.

On tour around the organisation
Throughout the Graduate Programme, Malte has been involved in four different functions in the LINAK organisation. Among other things, he has been focusing on automation, lean, layout material flow, internal material flow and production optimisation. One of the things Malte is most proud of is his contribution to flexible automation:
“It is a relatively new field with collaborative robots located in the production and cooperating with people. I have taken part in the shaping of this field as we know it today. It gave rise to frustration as disagreements about the conditions occurred at times. But to be part of the team, setting the standard here at LINAK, was very cool”.

8 months in the US
One of his four job functions was at the LINAK U.S. subsidiary. Here, Malte worked with internal material flow for eight months:
“I am also proud of my stay in the US. To work in a subsidiary, experience another culture, and to introduce a standard (internal material flow) that was formed at our headquarters, and which I had to implement and develop in the US, was exciting and pushed my boundaries and helped define our course,” Malte says and continues: “Personally, I have never been fond of speaking in front of large audiences. I can do that now – even in English. It was quite challenging at first, but now I actually like it”.

Network is everything
One of the most important things Malte has learned during his Graduate Programme is the importance of the relationship with the co-workers:
“The most important thing is the network. My daily work is dependent on other people. Spending a little more time to understand your co-workers’ job better makes a difference. When I need help, they will make an extra effort for you and vice versa,” Malte says and continues: “LINAK is a large company, and this fact can easily make you feel small. Now, I see the company as a whole – from corporate management to the factory floor and back.”

Life in the southern part of Denmark
Malte has previously been an intern at LINAK and he returned because of the positive working environment – as he says:
“I like the culture, how we treat each other, and our whole work approach. This has only been confirmed with every job rotation I have had. I felt I was being taken seriously from day one. You are thrown in at the deep end and truly get to contribute and make an effort”.

It is no secret that Malte was a bit hesitant about moving from Copenhagen to the southern part of the country:
“At first, I was a bit nervous about moving to the region as I thought it a bit slow. I am from Copenhagen, you know. But I have only been pleasantly surprised. When you walk out that Copenhagen door, you are bombarded with options and choices. In Sønderborg, you just have to seek them out. You are especially fortunate to be surrounded by nature and water, and the German border being just 30 minutes away is not just an entrance to another country, but to the rest of Europe. In Copenhagen, everyone minds their own business. People from ‘Sønderjylland’ (Southern part of Denmark) are forthcoming. Here, you say ’mojn’ (howdy!) to everyone – also to people you do not know. There is always someone to talk to”.

A definite recommendation
Malte has been very pleased with his Graduate Programme and would recommend others to apply:
“This really is a unique opportunity to find out what you want. You get to try out the ‘whole nine yards’ you learnt in school. Even things you are not fully familiar with yet. Those are experiences you can use along the way,” Malte says and continues: “I have had a hand in influencing my own future goals during the course. LINAK is a good stepping stone with a good learning curve, if you know where you want to go. The company is also of a resourceful size and is very invested in your success. People devote time to help and offer professional assistance back-and-forth along the way, so you have the prerequisites for succeeding at your job”.

In the Graduate Programme you have two mentors available – a personal and a professional one. According to Malte it has been very nice to have some professionals to turn to:
“They guided me and asked me reflective questions in order for me to reconsider things. I felt a genuine interest from both of them, and for that they deserve credit. They gave me time to reach my potential”.

The future
After the Graduate Programme Malte got a permanent position in Operational Excellence, where he is now responsible for ongoing improvements on many levels. According to Malte, the Graduate Programme has been a good career starter:
“I entered the graduate programme because I saw it as a stepping stone towards a career as a production manager or something similar. That is still my goal. What drives me is having influence, responsibility, and improving the present workflow, so we can go home every day knowing that we did our best every day – and maybe even a little more than yesterday”.