Five questions for alumnus Daniel Andrés Prieto

Daniel Andrés Prieto studied the Master’s Programme in Energy Smart Innovation in the Built Environment, and now works as a Construction Engineer at Northvolt in Skellefteå, Sweden. Here are his answers to a few questions about his current job and the learnings from his master’s studies.

A man wearing a beanie, muffler and a jacket smiles at the camera. In the background is a mountain, with houses and lampposts beneath it. Photo.

Colombia-born Daniel Andrés Prieto works at Northvolt – a Swedish battery developer and manufacturer, specialising in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles.

How did you end up in your current position?

“Initially, I attempted to join the company Northvolt as an intern during my first year at Halmstad University, but it slipped through my grasp. However, fortune smiled upon me six months after graduation. I landed my first interview at Northvolt, followed by a second two weeks later. An 8.30 interview occurred a week after that, only to be interrupted by a two-week vacation in December. Thankfully, the process resumed in January, granting me the fourth and last interview and ultimately fulfilling one of my career goals. It has been a long and challenging journey.”

How is a regular day at work?

“My work is an exhilarating dance between office and site. I navigate the challenges of the weather while visiting the factory. Imagine erecting a colossal 45,000 square metres building in northern Sweden, an international hub where believers from across the globe unite. The atmosphere is both chill and enriching. As for my tasks, I oversee construction activities, aid management in different ways, from contractor scheduling to offering engineering guidance. It is a thrilling journey and I never stop learning.”

What was it like to study at your programme?

“I studied the Master’s Programme in Energy Smart Innovation in the Built Environment. My master’s education in Halmstad brought quite a lot of fun. It has broadened my engineering expertise in a challenging environment and introduced me to people from around the world. Becoming close with mentors has been invaluable. To top it all off, it was this programme, this university, and this city by the West Coast where I fell in love with Sweden – a country I now never want to leave. This newfound connection has sparked a desire to continue both my professional and personal journey in this beautiful land.”

“Countless courses opened my eyes to new perspectives from what I was used to. The cherry on top for me, the SEEP programme, equipped me with essential tools.”

Daniel Andrés Prieto, alumnus

In what ways do you use your knowledge and experience from Halmstad University in your current position?

“Working in a Swedish company amidst an international setting presents unique opportunities but also challenges and my experiences in Halmstad have helped me a lot. Coming from Colombia, a land graced by the equator, building practices differ vastly from those in Europe. We bask in year-round pleasant weather, while Swedes prepare for seasons, keeping building cool in summer and cozy in winter. This shift in paradigm, nurtured during my education in Sweden, proved pivotal for my current role.”

“Countless courses opened my eyes to new perspectives from what I was used to. The cherry on top for me, the SEEP programme, equipped me with essential tools. Networking and social skills blossomed, as curiousity became my compass. Understanding people, finding solutions, and intuitively grasping the companies’ needs emerged as invaluable traits on this thrilling journey.”

Give your top three pieces of advice to make the most of your Master studies!

“Let me unveil three pieces of advice to unlock your extraordinary journey studying in Sweden. First, cultivate a vibrant network of friends. Embrace the power of connections, delving into diverse cultures beyond your own. Each person holds invaluable life lessons and professional insights, enriching your tapestry.”

“Second, immerse yourself in the melodic world of Swedish. While some may claim English suffices, the true magic unfolds when you master the local language. It is the key to seamlessly navigate the wonders of life and work in Sweden.”

“Lastly, be excellent! Absorb every experience like a sponge, giving generously and embracing the extraordinary. From breathtaking trips to thought-provoking conversations, seize every opportunity. Your time in this extraordinary country is a chapter to be cherished, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those you encounter. Carpe diem and create a lasting legacy!”

Quick facts

  • Name: Daniel Andrés Prieto.
  • From: Colombia.
  • Professional background: Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Worked five years in Colombia before studying in Sweden.
  • Current position and company: Construction Engineer at Northvolt.