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Would your company benefit from an international intern?

Posted: 20th June 2017

“You may have a new career Hampus!” exclaims the photographer, while Hampus Hansson, a 3rd year Civil Engineering student from Luleå, Sweden, shifts awkwardly in his chair as the camera lens brings him back into sharp focus.

Hampus is posing for photographs in the Glasgow office reception of CH2M Hill, one of the world’s largest engineering firms, and is sat aside, appropriately, a giant Scottish thistle made entirely of Scandinavian spruce trees. Hampus is nearing the end of an internship provided by IAESTE UK (the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience), and is effusive in his endorsement of the programme, which exchanges placements in Scotland for international students with those for Scottish students overseas.

In late 2015 CH2M tasked IAESTE UK and our colleagues in Norway and Sweden with identifying ten high quality civil engineering and project management interns to undertake placements in their Glasgow office, with a view to their leading the development of new Scandinavian offices for the company in the coming year. Hampus is part of this group, and began a one-year internship at CH2M Glasgow in June 2016. After completing his induction training, Hampus has developed his experience and knowledge within the company, working across multiple teams including Highways, Asset Management and Human Resources.

Hampus has enjoyed leading on several projects, including a Transport Scotland initiative comparing road safety practice in Scotland and Scandinavia. Nicola Vemmie, Senior Asset Management Consultant at CH2M, and Hampus’ internship supervisor is delighted with his work, emphasising the value of his hard work and technical knowledge, as well as that of his language skills in helping with both the Transport Scotland project, and in representing the company at trade fairs in Sweden over the past year. Hampus meanwhile is hugely enthusiastic about the experience and future career opportunities the internship has provided, identifying the scale of the company, which led on much of the construction for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, including the Emirates Arena, and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, and subsequent opportunities to work with colleagues across the UK, notably in London, Birmingham and Bristol, as major benefits. He stresses however, that he has enjoyed the entire experience, feeling valued and trusted from his first day. Hampus will return to his studies to complete his degree this autumn, after which he hopes to return to work for CH2M in Sweden, helping to grow the company’s footprint in what is one of their key development markets. “It’s been a life changing experience”, he admits, adding “I feel better equipped to begin my career after graduation following this experience, and the opportunities I’ve been given have definitely focussed my career motivations. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Glasgow too, it’s a special city.”

Would your company benefit from an international intern? Whether you’re working in new export markets and seeking language and business culture expertise, would like to internationalise your work force or simply want to work with some of the best young international talent, the IAESTE programme can help. Our reciprocal programme places the best science, technology and applied arts trainees from across a 92-country network in your business, and for each position offered in Scotland, a student from a Scottish university is offered the same opportunity overseas. Help your own business, and at the same time broaden the global outlook of Scotland’s graduates. Interested?

Get in touch with Doug Watters, Project Manager IAESTE at doug.watters@britishcouncil.org, 0131 524 5765

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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