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Sebastian Stabell

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“From the first week, I was comfortable to speak my mind”

Position: Media Graphic Apprentice, MAKEEN Energy headquarters, Denmark
Apprentice since: May 2019

How did you end up as an apprentice at MAKEEN Energy?

Before I started here, I was studying as a media graphic designer at Aarhus Tech (Denmark). The introductory course lasted 6 months, and then, as part of the programme, I had to find an apprenticeship.

I saw that MAKEEN Energy was looking for a graphic design intern for a period of 6 months, but I needed a more long-term apprentice position in order to continue my education. So, when I got here, we agreed on a 2-month trial period after which we would discuss if there was potential for more. It turned out to be a great fit, and I became a media graphic apprentice for a period of approx. 3 years.

What do you do in your apprenticeship?

My tasks are quite similar to those of the department’s Graphic Designer and my mentor, Heidi. I help edit the website, I make graphics for brochures, flyers and e-books and I create the overall structure of many publications. I am not stuck doing the same thing over and over, which I have tried in internships elsewhere. I enjoy the varied tasks a lot more.

What is it like to be an apprentice at MAKEEN Energy?

I really like that the workplace is so open, both in terms of the physical space and the mentality. In our department we all sit in the same open space and no-one is above the others. I can talk to anyone about anything. My tasks are great, and I am never short of things to do. On the contrary, there might even be enough tasks to occupy a second apprentice.

I always feel that I am taken seriously here. No-one excludes me from anything because I am an apprentice. I can suggest new ideas and offer my input just as much as anyone else. From the first week, I was comfortable enough to speak my mind because I instantly felt that it was allowed and even encouraged.

What have you learned in your time here so far?

Working with new apps and tools, such as Adobe® After Effects, and creating animations is a great learning experience. I have learned a lot about organising things visually and putting them in a system. But at the same time, I am becoming more creative and courageous about trying new stuff. As my mentor, Heidi, says: “Shake it up”. I can do that because we have a culture where it is OK to make mistakes. Also, it balances out when I can pinpoint an error in Heidi’s work from time to time (laughs).

What comes after your apprenticeship?

If I can’t stay here, which would be my ideal scenario, I could see myself enrolling in a more management-oriented education programme. That would allow me to eventually teach graphic design or manage an agency. Or maybe I will become a freelancer and be my own boss. There are enough possibilities, but it’s still too soon for me to have a clear vision for my career.

How will your apprenticeship help you in the future?

Even though I do not have contact with customers like I might have at, say, a graphic design agency, I still communicate directly with the people who need my help – my colleagues and superiors. They are my customers, so to speak. I have to find out what they need, what is the deadline, what is the best way to do it and so on. If I end up working at an agency someday, that experience will be very valuable.

And the tasks here don’t need to be handed to me by my mentor or manager. People also come directly to me if there is something they need done. That is a big confidence boost and teaches me to take charge of my work.

Funfact about Sebastian Stabell