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Karriere, Min arbeidsdag

Captured their dream jobs while still at school

Are you tempted to get a permanent job already before you finish your studies? Then you should read on.

Each year AF hires several students for permanent positions for graduates, and common to many of them is that they have previously had a summer job with the company.

“ We meet a lot of bright students on college visits and career days who we remember when they apply for summer jobs. Many have also secured a job through participating in the competition for the AF-kollektivet. It’s important to keep in mind that even if you don’t reach the very top in the competition, there are many other opportunities in the AF Gruppen, and it is always positive to make yourself known to the company. Therefore, important meeting points such as career days, company presentations and the AF-kollektivet offer excellent opportunities to join networks and establish good relationships within AF Gruppen, says Recruitment Manager Annette Strøno

Ragna, Martin and Jonas are among those who have been able to include valuable practical experience on their CVs and captured their dream jobs during their study time. Here they share their top tips for getting a foot inside the door.

Martin and NTNU Trondheim won the final in the AF collective 2020

Martin Geiran, Energy Engineer at AF Energy

Martin is a graduate Chartered Engineer from NTNU where he has studied Product Development and Production. Among other things, he has written a master's thesis on energy storage in the form of heat, for use in cooking in places without access to a power grid. Martin secured both a summer job and a place in the AF-kollektivet, and obtained a permanent job after his studies.

Why did you apply for a summer job at AF?
“I applied for a job in AF because they have a lot of large projects, and the muscles to make a difference to how the construction industry looks today.

What do you think of your summer job?
“I thought the summer job was very exciting! We were given some guidelines at the start of the summer, but were given a free rein as to how we did the work, and learned a lot about both how AF works today, but also the possibilities that lie ahead. And this also made me sure that AF was a place where I would like to have a permanent job.

Why should other students apply for summer jobs?
“ Students should apply for summer jobs, because it’s a fantastic opportunity to get a foot inside the door of one of Norway's coolest companies.

Do you have any tips on how to secure a permanent job afterwards?

“Having a summer job in AF is definitely an advantage when it comes to getting a permanent job after you’ve finished your studies. Don't be scared to show off and ask for help when you're first here, you're going to get lots of valuable insights and people are going to take notice of who you are.

Ragna Gjerstad, Energy Engineer at AF Energy

Ragna has a Master’s of Technology in Energy and Process Engineering from NTNU. Among other things, she has written a master's thesis on energy efficiency improvement of the buildings on the NTNU Gløshaugen campus. Ragna got a summer job at AF Energi, and was permanently employed the following year.

Why did you apply for a summer job at AF?
“ The reason I applied for a summer job in AF was that I had got a very good impression of the work culture and the kind of projects that AF Energi is working on after seeing them at company presentations at university. To be quite honest I got really interested after I saw the summer job advertisement,but didn't think I’d have any chance of getting the job, since it's a very attractive workplace and I wasn't a straight A student. But I figured I had nothing to lose, and sent in an application. I remember that I was a little bit scatterbrained during the phone call I had with the man who called from AF a few weeks later and thought that “that’s the end of that... I wasn't professional enough!” But, do you know what? I had agreed to stay in Oslo for the summer and was offered a summer job! I was really happy to have made it through the eye of the needle.

What do you think of your summer job?
“I thought the summer job was really exciting and fun! I worked in a team with two others and we were thus able to combine our knowledge from different fields of study, at the same time as being given good advice during the project. The assignment was relevant for each of our fields of study, so we were able to teach each other a bit of everything during the summer. We also got to visit a couple of energy centres — seeing large energy systems in practice gave us a great deal of relevant information before our last year of study. A heat pump on paper is something quite different from one that is used in practice. All in all, it was a terrific summer and I really looked forward to going to work every day!

Why should other students apply for summer jobs?
“Firstly, it's a great experience to be able to work with other students from different fields of study and universities — you learn lots from working towards a common goal for eight weeks. Secondly, it's a very nice foretaste of what working life means — I found out that this was an industry I liked very much and that I could happily imagine continuing to work in. It’s not a bad idea to get to know a company well and then later get a job offer a few months out in your last academic year. It was very agreeable to have a permanent job in place so early on!

Do you have any tips on how to secure a permanent job afterwards?

  • To secure a permanent job in the company after your summer job, it's probably about being on the ball: send an email a few weeks after the summer thanking them for a good summer, and showing an interest in working there after you’ve finished your studies. It’s a good idea to remind them a few times, and make sure that they don’t forget you! They've already invested a lot in you, so you're worth keeping — just remind them of that!

  • If you want a job in another company, start the job application process already in the autumn — a lot of positions are advertised then! When you find a job you think you will thrive in then show that you want this job; do some research and find out what you like about the company, what you can contribute, and why you and the company are right for each other (working life is a symbiosis!). A thoroughly prepared application also shows that you’re making an effort to secure the job — here you can seek help from unions such as Tekna or NITO.

  • A general tip to students who are going to apply for a summer job is to not be afraid to apply even if it is a large firm with many applicants. It's not about having straight A grades and all the positions of trust you hold during your studies; it's about having a positive attitude and curiosity about new challenges, being willing to step outside your comfort zone, giving something of yourself and being a good team member. Here, too, you need to do research and find out how you and the company fit together. Be honest about who you are and believe that you are good enough to cope with the challenges you will be faced with!


Jonas Guriby Dahl, Project Engineer in AF Byggfornyelse

Jonas is a graduate construction engineer at OsloMet, and was winner of the first final in the AF-kollektivet. He secured a summer job on the Bispevika project, and became a permanent employee the following year.

Why did you apply for a summer job at AF?
“I applied for a summer job in AF because it is one of the largest and most sought-after contractors in Norway. They have a wide range of projects and units that you can work in. You get a whole lot of experience and an insight into the construction industry that is highly sought after for students.

What do you think of your summer job?
“The summer job was incredibly exciting and was exactly what I needed to decide where I wanted to work after finishing my studies. I got an insight into an exciting industry and a lot of hands-on experience that you don't get to see in school. Being able to experience in practice what you learn in school is worth a lot. I also got to know a lot of nice people who I now work with today.

Why should other students apply for summer jobs?
A summer job is a perfect way of getting a foot in the door at AF. The projects they're doing are exciting and none are exactly the same. That way you’ll learn a lot of new things that you can’t learn in school. You get the feeling that; “oh yes, that's how it works!”. It’s also a golden opportunity to show yourself by saying yes and being energetic, as well as curious. Even though the job is during the summer holiday, I don't regret for a second the time I spent in my summer job. It will pay off later that you invested some of your holiday weeks in what might be your future workplace.

Do you have any tips on how to get a permanent job afterwards?

  • Follow up on all the contacts you make during your summer job, maybe they're the ones that get you the job.
  • Don't hesitate to contact people you know in AF.
  • Be curious and take on board everything you learn and experience in your summer job.
  • Jobs are posted early, so be prepared with an updated CV and write an honest application. After all, these are people you work with in this industry.
    The application needs to be able present a picture of why they need exactly you.
  • Practical experience is important for getting a job, so if you’ve had a summer job you should use this in your application.