Find yourself a focus area. This is the advice that Esben Durup Dickenson passes on to students who want to work at MT Højgaard. He himself chose to focus on working with 3D models.
When Esben Durup Dickenson only had his final exams at HF level (Higher Preparatory) left to take, he decided that it was not really for him. He wanted to do something that was more active, so he left and began training to be a carpenter.
For five and a half years he worked at a carpentry company in his hometown of Viborg, where he built houses and holiday homes. He also spent two and a half years in Norway, building mountain ski chalets as well as kindergartens and offices in Oslo. However, his back began to cause problems and at times he had problems bending down.
“An argument with a lazy Norwegian construction manager combined with my back problems made me stop as a carpenter and return to my studies,” says Esben.
He returned home from Norway, gave up his apartment in Viborg, moved to Copenhagen and started studying to be a constructing architect.
“I had always been able to draw in autoCAD and been quite good at it. At college, we learned to draw in 3D in revit and this caught my interest and was something I pursued,” he says.
It earned him a student job at a company that worked in 3D and which collaborated closely with MT Højgaard on the new headquarters for Novo Nordisk.
What the heart desires
This meant that he joined during the start-up phase when 3D drawing was being implemented at MT Højgaard.
“Needing an internship, I got a place at MT Højgaard, and I put down roots. From the first day, I felt that there was a future, opportunities and everything that the heart could desire in construction at MT Højgaard,” says Esben.
His internship programme included work on 3D models, and his job was to find out what they could be used for and how they could be implemented at MT Højgaard. After the internship, he was employed as a student assistant and, during that time, he acquired so much construction responsibility for membranes, glass walls and speedgates that he had to complete his degree work in the evening while working full time.
Esben worked with 3D models on the design for Novo Nordisk and on Nordea's new head office; and he has now been appointed process manager at a housing project in which MT Højgaard is to build four tower blocks and a row of terraced houses.
“My work will consist of using BIM in workflows during the execution phase and to ensure that the construction progresses well. For that I will produce follow-ups on whether the timetables are kept to by registering the work done against the 3D model,” he says.
MT Højgaard's strategy and focus on being best-in-class in VDC confirms that Esben has come to the right place.
“I think it's great to work in a big company because it offers a lot of potential. If I want to progress, I can do this. I can try different things and this helps to make me more capable and stronger so that in the future I can perhaps be a site manager or a senior project manager," he says.
He emphasises that you do not necessarily have to have the ambition to become a manager to work at MT Højgaard.
“You need to find a focus area, and you need to go for it, whether it's design, construction engineering, health and safety or process management. There are many opportunities in MT Højgaard, but it's not that you necessarily have to work your way further up in the organisation,” says Esben.