Intern insight - Irina and Xian Jun
Each year, J. Lauritzen participates in the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore Global Internship Award. This programme provides high-achieving students with internships within international maritime companies under MPA Singapore sponsorship.
This year's winners, Tan Xian Jun and Irina Cheong, shared their insight on working for J.Lauritzen after joining us for a 12-week internship, spending time in both the Copenhagen and Singapore office.
What did you learn – what value did you get from your time here at J.Lauritzen?
Irina: There is a good work ethic here. People take pride in their work. No matter how bad the market is, people try their best, every day.
Xian Jun: I have noticed that no matter which department we visited, we heard people saying “we don’t have to do it, but we do” – to ensure better quality and to help their colleagues and customers.
Irina: Here in JL you really treasure communication. You meet a lot, in meetings, across departments, Friday morning breakfast and Friday quickies. But you also see it online, you are really good at sharing with your colleagues in the JL offices abroad.
Xian Jun: Yes, that’s true. I think it helps the various offices to keep track and make sure that everyone across the world is on the same page.
What did you think about JL’s organisational culture?
Xian Jun: I like the open concept, there are virtually no walls. I think it enforces teamwork and allows for thoughts to be shared.
Irina: The organisational culture in JL, is one where learning is valued. Everyone here asks, “if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask”. It has given us the opportunity to learn and makes me think that people in JL have a genuine interest in your learning as a young employee or someone new in the job. It counts for all employees. There is room for questions and a willingness to teach.
Xian Jun: Yes, it seems like JL values a third-party opinion. You like new ideas and appreciate a fresh outlook and opinions from everybody.
What surprised you the most about JL?
Xian Jun: That there is no air-conditioning in the Copenhagen office! Hahahaha.
Irina: What surprised me is that people here are happy at work. You can tell that people are enjoying coming to work. They also have this atmosphere in the Singapore office. That would be a rare thing to find in other companies in Singapore, it is just different.
Xian Jun: I like how the outside-office life of employees is such a well-integrated part of office life. All the facilities you need, are available in the office. You are able to bike to work, shower before coming to work, you have dressing rooms, a great canteen, you can do CrossFit, yoga, swim – you could practically live here.
Irina: It also surprised me how much you trust us. You let us take charge and trust that we will do our work.
Xian Jun: Yes, that too makes you want to come to work.
What impression did you get about what it’s like to start a career at JL?
Irina: It would be fun to start a career here! The training here is well thought out and like that it is very efficient. You guys teach better than the school.
Xian Jun: It has also been an intense month here because JL really puts an effort into this program. The step into a professional career is softer if you have been with JL, as you have tried things and gotten valuable practical experience.
What’s the most memorable moment from your stay here in Copenhagen?
Xian Jun: One of the most memorable moments is the everyday bike ride to and from work because that has been a new experience for me.
Irina: In Singapore, I was always looking at the menu for the Copenhagen office on the intranet, so coming here and finally trying it – especially the weekly Thursday sweet treat – has been awesome.
Xian Jun: Yes, I really appreciated the lunch as well and it is much more effective having lunch served at the office, so people do not spend time walking to the city to have lunch.
I will also remember our evening cruise with Lilla Dan, it was really beautiful.
Irina: Yes, me too. For me it has also been to meet all these new and nice people here, everyone I meet is nice. Everyone we meet cares about how we are doing.
Xian Jun: Yes, it feels like we are very welcome!