The graduate moved out when the work gang dropped a hammer in the concrete

As a graduate in MT Højgaard Danmark you will experience being “new” multiple times when you grapple with everything from tender calculation to project management and in-house production. Carpenter and construction architect Thomas Sander Christensen has been a graduate since 2018, and he has gotten to know our projects from widely different roles. Along the way he has grown professionally, and he is now ready for a career with contract management on the construction site. But just as Thomas thought he could handle everything, a text ticked in with bad news from the concrete work gang. Read how he handled the bad news here.

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The 29-year old Thomas Sander Christensen became a graduate in 2018 after a very thorough process.

- I went through an application process with a personality test, video introduction, interview, and Assessment Day before I was offered the position as graduate in MT Højgaard Danmark. I especially remember Assessment Day very clearly. I live in Randers and had to go all the way to Søborg to meet my competition and possible future colleagues. I was nervous, but as soon as I got there the nerves blew over. We did a lot of exciting exercises and got to talk to each other and the managers. I got the call shortly after. The job was mine, and that felt really good.

Thomas has served his apprenticeship as carpenter and he is also a construction architect. He chose the graduate program to get to know the building process from beginning to end.

- As a graduate I learn to think in an interdisciplinary fashion and to understand the building process from beginning to handover. I started out with half a year in the tendering department where the experienced tender estimators took me under their wings. I ended up calculating my own tender for a client. After that I moved on to work as construction engineer on a giant housing project in Aarhus. I worked with installations and commissioning. After nine months, I went to Frederikshavn as production manager on a concrete contract. I didn’t know a lot about it when I started, but it was exciting. I got to develop my interdisciplinary competencies, and I think I found my way in it relatively fast.

Thomas continues:

- I moved on to the university building AAU Sund in Aalborg as construction engineer where I worked with the shell construction, and I was supplementary production manager and foreman for the concrete work gang. After the shell construction, I headed to Gellerup Sports- and Culture Campus where I’m currently helping with the handover. I’m going back to AAU Sund afterwards.

Good at being new

We always say about graduates that “they’re good at being new”. They try many different roles in a short time. Sometimes that means that the colleagues play a trick on them. That was exactly what the concrete work gang did to Thomas recently.

- The ganger sent me a text. It said that someone from the work gang had dropped a hammer in the mould for the in-situ concrete which was going to be a visible trademark for the building. He sent a picture, and it looked terrible. So, I had to gather the project management and inform them, and we all went too take a look at the concrete. There was no hammer to be seen when we got there. All we saw was a good-looking mould and the entire concrete work gang bursting out laughing. At that point, I knew they fooled me. At first, I thought it was terribly embarrassing. But the project management had a good laugh as well, and the mood was really good afterwards. I guess the prank is forgiven today.

Thomas is about to finish the graduate program, and along the way he figured out exactly what he wants to do from now on.

- I’ve tried a lot of things on many different projects, and now I know for sure that I want to work with contract management on construction projects. I like in-house production so I would like to work with shell construction again. I’ve also figured out that the construction site is where I belong. No day is the same here, and it’s where I can really make a difference.

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