Launch of Powel’s 2017 summer internship

As autumn creeps up on us, our thoughts turn not to Christmas, but to summer, as we announce details of our popular summer internship for next year. If you want to work with academic related issues whilst becoming familiar with Powel as a company and the industries we work with, this might just be the opportunity for you.

Powel works to create value for our customers through business-critical software. For us, the employees' skills, ideas and personality is invaluable. Each individual’s effort make a difference. We carry this philosophy with us when it comes to our summer internships, which gives students the chance to practise their skills through working on real and relevant projects within one of our business units.

Learning from the students

“The internship program is very important to Powel. Everyone in the management group is always very impressed by the students when they present their projects at the end of the summer,” says head of HR Kari-Anne Vik-Mo. “There is also a great interest amongst Powel employees around the projects, and many turn up on the final day to hear how the students have solved their tasks. The projects are always based around real issues that we face and often prove very valuable to Powel as we often incorporate their findings into our work.” 

In the summer of 2016, we had students from a wide variety of background working with us. They were second, third and fourth years students from areas of study ranging from nanotechnology, industrial design, cybernetics, energy and more. Most were Norwegian, but one student came all the way from Spain. Several students were also back for their second summer internship with us.

They all worked in small teams on highly relevant projects, and were mentored throughout by Powel employees. We spoke to some of them to hear their thoughts about their experience.

Challenging and rewarding

“I applied as a summer intern because I wanted some real life experience from a real company. I think it is a good way to prepare yourself for working life,” said Ingrid Fløgstad a fifth year service design student at AHO, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

Alongside two other students, one design and one industrial economy, she worked on a project for Powel Construction that focused on automation and digitalisation of processes around their sales and support services.

“For me it was a very good experience, I felt that we were taken very seriously and we were given the opportunity to present our findings for many different people in Powel. We also received very valuable feedback on our work,” she said. “In addition, I think it very was useful to practise presentation skills and collaborate with people from different educational backgrounds.

“I think the experience of working for a real company and being challenged with genuine issues have been very interesting and has taught me a lot that will be useful both in my further studies and also when I start working.”

Cybernetics meets design

One of the students who returned this summer for a second internship was Sondre Kongsgård, a third year cybernetics and robotics student at NTNU. He had such a great experience and learning outcome last year that he decided to come back for more.

This year he worked with the concept of gamification with two design students. The task given the group was to explore whether gamification can be used to evoke engagement and awareness amongst power consumers, and their end goal was to create a new generation of smart users.

Kongsgård says his biggest thing he took from the project was the hands-on process of working creatively.

“We had several concepts that we thought was good, but further research showed flaws and we had to scrap it and start over again several times,” he says. “This insight and the whole process of creation was one of the highlights for me working at Powel this summer.”

Kongsgård, who after six weeks of working on this project became something of an expert on smart meters, smart homes and smart appliances, thoroughly enjoyed the whole working process from start to finish.

“The best thing with this internship was all the working methods we used. We interviewed people on the street, used user surveys, and even arranged a children’s day here at the office. What I really appreciated was that these uncommon methods were encouraged by our mentors. It was particularly interesting to get the insight from the children” he finishes.

From Madrid to Trondheim

As Powel is an international company, much internal communication is done in English, including the internship presentations. Although we mostly attract Norwegian students to our internship, every year we also receive applications from international students. This year, Spanish Luis Quilez chose to spend his summer with us in Trondheim. 

 “I applied as a summer intern in Powel because I really wanted to do an internship outside Spain,” says Quilez, who is in his second year at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid,studying energy and engineering.

“The best thing about working here as a summer intern was the learning experience as a whole. I could not have imagined that I would learn so much in just six weeks,” he said. “For example, I learnt a lot about economy and markets, which is something not covered much in my course.”

The students all finish with a presentation to the management team. Luis says this is not something he is used to and he found it challenging. However, all the students went to great lengths to prepare and Luis says he had great help from the other people in his team.

“This was my first step into business and it was a very good learning experience for me,” he said. “Aside from the work-related learning, it was also very interesting to me to get to know Norwegian culture better.”

These were just some of the thoughts from a few of this year’s students. If you think a summer internship with Powel could be for you, apply now to join us in 2017. We encourage all motivated, innovative and solution-oriented students to apply, whatever course or year of study.

The internship will last for a total of six weeks with a break half-way through the programme and you will be working from Powel’s head office in Trondheim, Norway.

To find out more and to apply, please click here