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Paving the road from internship to job

Today, Marie Enemark Olsen (MA/MSc ´10) is Senior Manager, Human and Labour Rights at LEGO Group, and the road to this job started already during her internship.

2015.08.06 | Aarhus BSS

Marie Enemark Olsen knew which road she wanted to take, already during her Bachelor’s degree in European Studies and French at Aarhus BSS. Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR – had her interest:

“One of the subjects I studied was about the political consumer and about how we as consumers put up increasingly higher demands for products – not just demands about quality and function. That sparked my interest for the entire world of CSR,” says Marie.

Subsequently, she did a Master’s degree in International Studies at Aarhus University where the courses were a good mix of politics, international organization and globalization coupled with law and international business, according to her.

Targeted hunt for an internship

As the commencement day for her internship approached, she knew exactly where she wanted to end up. She was able to contact the previous CSR Manager at Grundfos through her network and she sent a motivated cover letter that specified what she wanted and how she would contribute. She got the job:

“I started as a full-time CSR Assistant for six months assisting minor CSR projects and being part of a team of four. I was offered a position as Student Aid after the internship whilst I did my Master Thesis and was able to use Grundfos as a case for my thesis,” says Marie and continues:

“It was perfect. When I graduated, I would have one year of relevant work experience and that is crucial. Your experience might only be as a student aid or intern but it is relevant experience none the less when an employer reviews your resume. I had recently graduated AND had experience,” says Marie.

Free hands for the thesis

During her internship, Marie was part of a greater strategic project. She continued the work as student aid and through this work she could see the difference her thesis could make. Since she was already a part of the organization, she had the liberty to do what she needed for the thesis.

”I had easy access to the management and key employees whom I could interview. I decided to change my thesis in order for the outcome would directly benefit my work at Grundfos. Not so much the thesis and its conclusions but the wisdom, goals and results I created and obtained. For example, I was allowed to travel to China to make interviews for my thesis because I could incorporate that knowledge into my work. In that sense, there was a fine line between which part was work and which part was study related. Naturally, I had to solve a lot of work tasks when I was at work and I could not write my thesis at work but some of the knowledge I obtained through work and through my thesis I was able to implement both places”, Marie says.

From Grundfos to LEGO

Marie’s ambitions and contribution to Grundfos through the internship and as a student aid paid off and after the thesis Marie was permanently employed for the first time:

“I had a clear mission to stay at Grundfos because I truly enjoyed it there and I was contributing. I was also a part of pushing Grundfos towards the Business Ethics agenda where I gathered knowledge important to Grundfos. Therefore, my thesis became secondary as I primarily focused on work. Naturally, my thesis was important. It was a great process that I spend a long time on but my focus was not to create the world’s best thesis – my focus was to find an entry to the business community, to contribute with something specific and launch my career”, Marie says and continues:

”I am truly happy that I at such an early stage of my education had a clear idea of what I wanted and what I didn’t want. I pursued it which definitely resulted in me being where I am today. If I was offered one of the other internships I had a look at, I would not have paved the way to my career”.

After four years at Grundfos, the time was right for Marie to take on new challenges. She applied at LEGO and works there today as Senior Manager, Human and Labour Rights, and is overall responsible for the strategic work with human rights at LEGO.

READ MORE ABOUT MARIE ENEMARK OLSEN  

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