From intern to employee

Morten Balle

"I clearly felt that the company takes it seriously when it employs interns. That an intern is regarded as an opportunity and a responsibility."

  • About Morten

    Position: Regional Manager, EMA, MAKEEN Energy France
    Education: Skilled Fitter, Export Technician
    Intern: 1993
    Employee: 1996, 2000 and 2018

How did you end up as an intern at MAKEEN Energy? What did you do before?

I was studying to become what’s called an export technician in Denmark. I had already taken an education as machine operator and worked as that, and so when I had to do an internship connected to my studies, I got in touch with MAKEEN Energy. After applying a bunch of different places, one of the HR people from MAKEEN Energy called me up and said that there was a position for someone just like me, because of my experience as a machine operator.

I was given way more tasks than other interns, more responsibility, and that was definitely part of why I liked the company so much that I ended up doing all my four compulsory internships throughout my studies at MAKEEN Energy.

What was your first experience with MAKEEN Energy like?

I remember my first day vividly. I had been hired by the production planner in the LPG-department, and he came to get me at the reception on my first day. We walked to a meeting room with my future colleagues, and the offices all had name plates like Pontus Wolke, Fernando Zambelli, P.K. Bose, Mustapha Echammeri and so on. I remember thinking “wow, this is really an international company”, with no Sørensen or Pedersen surnames in sight. And I really liked that first impression.

I clearly felt that the company takes it seriously when it employs interns. That an intern is regarded as an opportunity and a responsibility. I remember feeling that there were actual resources allocated to onboarding and to make sure that I was functioning in my role.

Describe your journey to where you are now

During the initial years of my affiliation, I was back and forth between school and internships at MAKEEN Energy four times. After I finished my studies, I was actually hired full-time in my former department, but then I got an offer from another company and they offered to station me in Spain, something that I had dreamt of for a long time – and so I decided to take that offer.

After 1,5 years, I returned to MAKEEN Energy. But I wouldn’t actually say that I left in the meantime – because I had kept close contact with my former co-workers. Suddenly things changed a bit in the company, and there was a need for a Spanish speaking employee – and so I re-joined the company and went back to Denmark.

I’ve always wanted to live in Barcelona, and I knew that when returning to Denmark. And so when I got the opportunity to move to Spain again while staying employed with MAKEEN Energy, I did so.

During the last twenty years I’ve lived in Barcelona and worked for MAKEEN Energy, but in periods also for other companies in the same industry. I’ve always had a lot of friendly contact with the company - when I’ve been in Denmark, I’ve actually often borrowed an office at the headquarter. In 2018 I re-joined MAKEEN Energy as a BU Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa region – perhaps this time I’ll stay for good!

What have you learned in your time with MAKEEN Energy so far?

I’ve learned incredibly much just from being around experienced salespeople. People who know every trick in the book and who have been nice enough to teach me their skills.

Coming from the background that I do, my time with MAKEEN Energy has made me realize that I’ve always liked sales and customer relations a lot. The amount of variation and responsibility that I get concerning these two things here at MAKEEN Energy - that is great.

And actually – just the mobility and flexibility making it possible for someone like me, coming from a technical background, to move over and work with sales and customer service, that’s something I really appreciate about MAKEEN Energy.

So, I guess that I’ve learned that if you’re truly motivated to do something, then that’s often just as good as formal qualifications.

Also, the ability to navigate in a global market with many different cultures – that’s something that working for MAKEEN Energy has given me as well.

What is the best thing about your job – and the most challenging?

The best part is that I truly get to design my own workflow and my days and how I manage my department. Of course, that’s a freedom under responsibility – I need to deliver – but I really cherish this freedom. And then I think it’s awesome to be able to work for a Danish company, live in Spain and have most of my working days in France!

The most challenging part is definitely that I am managing a group of great and dedicated people scattered over Denmark, Germany, Italy, Turkey, two locations in France and in Algeria – and that because of COVID-19 I haven’t had the same human contact to all of them for a while now as I’d like to.

What would you say to someone considering applying for an internship with MAKEEN Energy?

I’d warmly recommend doing so. Unless you know that you want to spend all of your time on one specific task, that is. If you’re open for movement and if you like the idea of possibly also moving out of your comfort zones and regular working areas, then this is a truly great place to do an internship.

Also, this company is rather unique in that it has its own supply chain. That’s something that makes it interesting to be here. And then it’s also interesting to learn how different this global company is behaving in the US or India or Northern Europe. We act differently deliberately, but it’s super interesting to learn about the how’s and why’s.