The success of MIT-Denmark Internships
Photograph: MIT Denmark
Text: Skyler Bentley Hall
Pursuing an internship while studying at university promotes newfound knowledge, enhances personal and professional aptitude and boosts employability. When supporting my clients with their Higher Education search, a top priority is finding an ideal match based on academic and personal interests. I encourage students to consider internship prospects, offering them the opportunity to learn more about themselves, their future goals, and the industry they are passionate about.
Making a successful match
Last year I became aware of a successful regional internship: MIT-Denmark. The programme was searching for sponsors to host MIT students in Denmark. My initial response was to forward this post to my husband, a Danish pharmaceutical company director, who is often searching for interns. The more I learned about this initiative, the more intrigued I became by the sheer scope of organisations willing to participate. Launched with support from The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri) and The Danish Industry Foundation (Industriens Fond), MIT-Denmark places students in internships at local companies and research institutions. Internships typically occur over the summer (lasting between 3 to 12 months) within technology, design, life sciences, and engineering fields and more.
A key component for a successful collaboration is making a match that meets both parties' needs and interests, the host institution and potential student. Programme Manager for MIT-Denmark, Madeline Smith, highlights a few experiences offered over the last two years: "Students have interned at larger companies in Denmark including Grundfos, Maersk and Novo Nordisk, down to smaller labs and startups, such as Aquaporin, GreenLab and SPACE10. We've also had students work on research projects at several Danish universities, and the opportunity exists for students to combine a university research experience with an internship at an affiliated startup, which creates a really valuable collaboration for everyone involved."
"By participating in MIT-Denmark, I have come to appreciate the strong commitment to sustainability, the trustworthiness, and the excellent work-life balance, which are all ubiquitous in Denmark." - MIT intern at Grundfos
Sustainability, innovation, balance
Besides Denmark being known for its 'hygge' lifestyle and happiness rankings, its sustainability brand is recognised worldwide. In 2020, Denmark ranked number one out of 180 countries, according to the Environmental Performance Index. Students globally are eager to work in Denmark, primarily within technology, sustainability or life sciences. Pursuing a career in a country that embraces innovative projects and values, and work-life balance is highly attractive. University students are keen to gain insights into Danish life while contributing skills as a researcher or intern.
"By participating in MIT-Denmark, I have come to appreciate the strong commitment to sustainability, the trustworthiness, and the excellent work-life balance, which are all ubiquitous in Denmark." MIT intern at Grundfos.
A win-win experience
With multiple industries in Denmark, internships vary considerably. I am impressed with the diverse opportunities available in our unique, maritime country. Danish companies and universities across sectors can foster international talent and fresh ideas while creating a relationship with MIT.
Imagine the possibilities. A Mechanical Engineering student interning for GreenLab, a Danish green industrial park startup in Jutland; a Biological Engineering student interning at LEO Pharma, to support a drug metabolism project; a Mechanical Engineering student with a concentration in Product Development, working on Product Design at 3Shape; a Physics and Mathematical Economics student interning at the Cosmic DAWN Center of the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen; or a Computation and Cognition student working as a data science intern with Mindpool, a startup responsible for implementing various natural language processing models.
Internships like MIT-Denmark offer a win-win experience. Whether you represent a company or are currently in university, this is a mutually beneficial collaboration. Looking for your own win-win?