Michal Terlecki Nielsen is an intern on a large refurbishment project in MT Højgaard Danmark. In school, you cannot simulate a construction site, so it is a whole new world to work as a contractor for him. He never knows what is waiting when he comes into the site, and he learns something every day.
Michal is originally a mechanic, but when one of his friends became a construction architect his eyes opened for construction.
Opened his eyes for construction
Michal has not always had his course set on the construction industry. When he finished primary school, and most of his friends started high school, Michal chose to focus on learning a craft. He finished his education as a mechanic, but he still needed new challenges. At first, he planned on studying a Bachelor of Technology Management and Marine Engineering. But when one of his friends became a construction architect Michal’s eyes opened for construction. Today, he is also studying to become a construction architect at KEA in Copenhagen, and right now he is an intern at the refurbishment project Sankt Kjelds Gård.
- I had a lot to catch up on when I started studying. If I had a background as a carpenter for example, I would have known all of the technical terms in constructing. But I pitched into it, and eventually I caught up. My elective subjects really don’t point in the direction of execution. I thought I wanted to do my internship at an architect. But I sent an application top MT Højgaard Danmark anyway. Thomas, my manager, was the first one who called me, and after he told me about the job, we agreed that we were going to have a good time together.
Michal anticipated his internship and started as a student worker on Sankt Kjelds Gård on his summer break. The project consists of the refurbishment of a 18,500 square metres office building and installation of new ventilation.
- I come into contact with many aspects of the project. I started helping the senior project manager of installations with management of the project, and as work progresses I will work with the other senior project managers as well. I have plenty of options to have impact on my tasks, and I can pursue it if something catches my interest.
- In school, we can prepare and practice how for example project planning happens. But we can’t simulate a construction site.
A big leap from school to the construction site
- It’s a whole new world to be on a construction site as an executing contractor. In school, we can prepare and practice how for example project planning happens. But we can’t simulate a construction site. I never know what my day will be like when I come into the site in the morning. I learn how to apply my tools in practice and to solve challenges. I like the hard days at least as much as the days where everything just runs smoothly. It is the challenges that make me better.
Michal enjoys his time as a contractor in MT Højgaard Danmark even though his future is not necessarily in the executing part of the construction. He has a dream of becoming a fire engineering consultant. But he would not want to do without his time on the construction site on Sankt Kjelds Gård. In his eyes, experience with the execution of a project in real life is an important strength.
- If I end up as a consultant, it is worth gold that I have worked as a contractor. It is important to know what life looks like on a construction site when you’re on the other site of the table. I already have a lot of insights in where junctions happen and how to solve them.
Michal has no doubt that the knowledge from his internship will be valueable no matter where his career takes him.