"The students help us take the first step"

Elin Sandell and Per Strandberg from Westermo.

More and more companies, municipalities, regions and organisations recognise the benefits of involving students in their operations. Westermo is one of the companies that has had positive experiences in allowing MDU students to do their degree projects with them.

As a company or organisation, you can get help with an issue, but also provide a student with a learning opportunity, says Elin Sandell, HR Specialist and Recruiter at Westermo.

Students with up-to-date research-based knowledge come with new viewpoints. Often they contribute with a fresh perspective, solve problems, and develop the organisation. All students carry out an independent project at the end of their education called a degree project. The degree project can be based on a proposal from an employer but can also be a study based on the student's initiative.

Last year we had two students from the Robotics programme, who did their degree projects with us at Westermo. They conducted an initial implementation of an AI framework, in some of our products. We learned a lot about AI and tried different algorithms. This is not the exact application that we will sell to customers, but now our threshold has been lowered to use AI. We have the beginning of a toolbox and now we know that it works, says Per Strandberg, Project Manager at Westermo and former doctoral student at MDU. The academic supervisors liked the degree project so much that we jointly made two academic publications based on the work, Per Strandberg adds.

The students are used to taking the initiative, working independently and critically reviewing information.

They are often driven and talented. Their mission can be an assessment or further development. It can also be an idea or question that is not part of our daily work or development plans. At Westermo, we often view it as a pilot study - the students help us take the first step, says Elin Sandell.

More than just a degree project

At MDU, there are a variety of options available for you as an employer who would like to get to know or get in touch with students.

Interacting with students is both fun and rewarding. I think many are already familiar with the degree project, so I want to suggest that you can also be a client in shorter student projects, says Elin Sandell.

At MDU's campuses in both Eskilstuna and Västerås, exhibition space is available where employers can showcase their organisation and make contact with students. Here, employers have the opportunity to meet students, inform them about job vacancies, degree projects, placements and receive expressions of interest.

You can get in touch with students through the programme and course coordinators, or by being an exhibitor. It is usually okay also to contact the Student Union or programme associations, says Elin Sandell.

The job fair Högvarv, in collaboration with the Thesis and Degree Project Days event, is an arena with the possibility to allow several different interfaces between employers and students.

Högvarv is a great opportunity to chat with students in all years/grades. We can talk generally about our company and the industry we operate in, but also create opportunities for degree projects, summer jobs, and full-time positions after studies have been completed. It’s also very beneficial to hear how students think and what they are concerned about, says Elin Sandell.

Högvarv in collaboration with the Thesis and Degree Project days

  • 2024-10-15 10:00–15:00
  • 2024-10-17 10:00–15:00
15/10 MDU Eskilstuna, 17/10 MDU Västerås
Högvarv in collaboration with the Thesis and Degree Project days creates networking opportunities between companies and students at MDU!

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