Meet Nikolaj

“I think it’s great to work with something that’s so important for the rest of society – if we don’t do our work, things fall apart and that’s somehow cool to work with knowing that it is important.”

Maybe you’re on one of them. On one of the 3,262 trains that everyday uses the 3,476 km rails that brings Denmark together. It results in nothing less than 40,000 daily arrivals and departures from the stations. DSB transports over half a million people from A to B on a daily basis. To school, work, sports, friends, the airport, or the other way home.

In other words, every day the railway industry performs one of the most important tasks of society when people with 117 different backgrounds and purposes are transported to their destination./span>

This is something that influences the pride of Nikolaj Bobek Søndergaard’s work in Banedanmark. Rightly so. After he graduated the gymnasium, Nikolaj became an office assistant in the department of management support at Banedanmark. He is now employed as a student assistant, while he is studying electrotechnology at DTU simultaneously.

“I think it’s great to work with something that’s so important for the rest of society – if we don’t do our work, things fall apart and that’s somehow cool to work with knowing that it is important.”


Everyone is responsible for influencing society in a positive way.

Nikolaj is a principled and judicious youngster, whose attitude to the environmental aspect of his work is clear.

“Never have I ever considered working with something that was not environmentally friendly. Such is my position of principle and it means a lot to me to stick with because I believe it helps to form a framework for the future. For example, I don’t bother dealing with diesel or oil for the same reason. If I have to spend my life doing something, it should be for others to get better, and not to the detriment of getting worse. In this way, I think the railway is the future. The railroad and autonomous cars, but autonomous cars are just not as easy to relate to as the railroad.”

It is also worth noting that the Metro has been autonomous for 10 years by now. Cars will be autonomous in 10 years or more.

What does your workplace mean to you?

The environmentally conscious young man is not only conscious about the environment and society, but also the fact that there comes a result out of the work he is performing. “Professionally, it’s really great to get some work experience from a big company like I do with Banedanmark. I think it’s funny to experience if decisions have been taken from above or from a larger part of the company. In such cases, you really feel that you are part of something big.”

What motivates you to achieve your goals?

Talking about the result, Nikolaj (like everybody else) gets motivated to achieve his goals when he knows the importance of the final result.“I really like the feeling of being done with something. When something is completed and you can put a check mark on it. But equally, it motivates me that people can use the things that I’ve made for something. I think it’s really heavy to work with something where I know that what I’m doing anyway ends up in a file. It is important to me that things have a meaning because then I feel useful. Some of what really can give me a kick is if I’ve sat and drawn or made something and I then subsequently can see that my colleagues use the material I’ve made. In such cases, I really think that my work is epic.”


What do you dream about doing in the future?

To Nikolaj, it is essential to work with ‘state of the art ‘ in the future, whatever it implies. He explains that he dreams of working with major development projects and elaborates:

“I find the signal program very interesting and I imagine that I will work with something similar in the future. We are the first to do this and it is not tried before, why it also runs a little bad in between, but hopefully, it will be faster very soon – Better and more reliable. That is completely ‘ state of the art ‘ in my opinion. “


It is about getting the fields to match each other

Nikolaj explains that he feels incredibly free in regard to the wide variety of tasks he is getting at work, not only restricting him to work with electrotechnology. In general, he thinks it is very distinctive to the industry to focus on embracing many different tasks.

Nikolaj is currently working outside his educational comfort zone. He is working on creating educational material for an app that he has helped to develop and design. He says he thinks it’s cool to be a part of doing something different, which at the same time helps his colleagues.

“The app is called The Collector App and is designed to help my colleagues who go out on the tracks. To find access roads, paths, and bridges that are not drawn up anywhere. They can use the app to register roads and check if it’s safe to be out there. It’s a little more software than electro, but these two things are also closer to each other than most people think.”


Have you ever been in doubt?

“Of course, I have been in doubt at some point. Especially in the beginning, I was in doubt about whether it was right for me to work with the rail industry, but it has only become more exciting the longer I have been here at Banedanmark and it has also become much more relevant, as I also have learned more about my profession.”

You’re not working with insignificant responsibilities when you oversee rails that can reach from Copenhagen to Marrakech in North Africa if they just were rerouted (a bit). Basically, you have an enormous influence on a large part of the community, and therefore you become an important link for the inhabitants, almost wherever you work with the railway in the world.


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