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From Høvik to Shanghai: “My first two years of working life”

This is what it's like to be part of Norway's most attractive trainee programme

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The dream of becoming a ship engineer started in the Oslo fjord, with boating on hot summer days. As a Global Technical Trainee in DNV GL, Eivind Bækkedal from Lørenskog has worked with ships in Germany, China and Korea.

He is today a ship engineer at DNV GL, with special focus on hull. The 26-year-old from Lørenskog was given the opportunity to specialize through a global trainee program at the classification society.

“My manager and I prepared a trip that made me experience a lot of what I wanted to work with later. I spent six months in each country and made good friends,” says Eivind.

Worked on several of the world’s largest shipyards

After six months at the headquarters at Høvik, the first stop on Eivind’s roundtrip was Korea. 

“I lived on an island outside of Busan called Geoje, working as a surveyor for DNV GL at two of the world's largest yards, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering,” he says. 

There all types of ships and offshore installations are built. 

“The job involved inspecting ships under construction, ensuring that everything is done according to drawings approved by DNV GL, and that the performance of the work meets international standards. Of course, one should be useful where one is, but mostly one is there to learn,” says Eivind. 

Next destination was Shanghai. 

“In China, I inspected ships in operation. Every ship must undergo annual inspection to confirm whether it is suitable for further trading,” says Eivind.

Teambuilding and practical experience

In addition to valuable practical experience, the stay offered football, good colleagues and teambuilding. 

“I felt very welcome, and had a lot of job projects and social events in each place,” says Eivind. 

He finally spent six months in Hamburg, Germany.

Several roads in – and around

However, there are more entryways into DNV GL than the global technical trainee program. One possibility is to become a national trainee, performing the same type of tasks, but in typical Norwegian shipbuilding sites like Ålesund, Sandefjord or Ulsteinvik. Or you can apply for a regular job. 

“Those who are employed without being trainees receive a few months of training where they can participate in different projects. They will also get a good follow-up by managers in the company,” says Eivind. 

Following the trainee period, Eivind has been employed by DNV GL, with responsibility for shipbuilding. 

“Today, the job is to check that new ships, or rebuilds of old ships, comply with DNV GL’s rules. It’s definitely an advantage to have been at the shipyards and in the operational phase to understand what issues our local surveyors meet in contact with customers,” he says. 

He thinks it is natural that the trainee program in DNV GL has been attractive to many graduates. “I discovered a wealth of opportunities in one and the same company. There are many possible specializations and assignments, and no problem changing your position in the company if you want to explore new disciplines,” says Eivind. 

He encourages others to apply for similar programs. 

“In addition to a comprehensive journey, you get an insight into all the possibilities that exist out there, and you get a better idea of what you want to work with,” concludes the ship engineer.

DNV GL Careers
Eivind Bækkedal, global Technical Trainee in DNV GL