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20 Jan 2021

From an internship to a dream come true

Oliver Falkenberg’s internship at VikingGenetics led to a full-time job, and a home in the countryside for him and his young family.

I would like to live here," Oliver Falkenberg thought when he first arrived at the VikingGenetics bull station in Denmark. He was 16 at the time and part of the EGU programme, special for young people to further develop their skills. Now at 22, he says his dream has come true.

“My girlfriend is from the city of Randers, so this is new to her,” ­Oliver Falkenberg remarks. “But she likes it. There is lots of space.” Oliver lives now a few miles from the Dalsgaard farm, owned by VikingGenetics, with his girlfriend and baby son.

 

The right spirit

The young barn worker first arrived at VikingGenetics six years ago. A shy 16-year-old boy who spent two weeks at the bull station as part of his EGU programme at a local production school. “I used to stall at school. I didn’t get any diplomas or certificates,” he says.

However, at the barn, he spent hours polishing and caring for the ­tractors and agricultural machinery. The barn staff and the Human Resources (HR) department were impressed by his passion and offered him a two-year internship.

“We needed someone with an interest in engineering and ­machinery. Oliver had the right spirit and wanted to learn,” says Pia Maach-Møller, Chief HR Officer, VikingGenetics.

Hands-on internship

During his two-year internship, Oliver Falkenberg was certified in handling machinery, welding, feeding and animal welfare. He enjoyed the work and started dreaming about living at the barn. By the time his internship ended, he had been offered a full-time position as a barn worker. Last year, he was asked if he and his young family wanted to move into the VikingGenetics farm Dalsgaard.

“If I had had to take a literary education, I would have dropped out. But because the internship was hands-on, I’ve learned to take on responsibilities.”

 

Keep evolving

After completing his customised educational programme, Oliver Falkenberg is qualified to work at other farms. But he is happy where he is. Now, he would like to learn to handle the larger bulls in addition to the machinery.

“The best part about my job is the teamwork with my colleagues. We have a lot of fun together at the barn.” VikingGenetics continues to employ new interns from the EGU programme along with flex workers, agricultural trainees and PhD ­students. “We want to honour our social responsibility and keep evolving. Bringing in a variety of employee profiles is a rewarding way do this,” says Pia Maach-Møller.

United Nations Goal #8 - a decent ­place to work

 VikingGenetics is taking action to meet the ­Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched by the United Nations. The SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

There are 17 goals that address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

The story of Oliver reflects how we at ­VikingGenetics are accomplishing goal #8 related to a decent place to work.