Land use planner
Erik Lunke is a land use planner with Rambøll Norge.
Erik Bjørnson Lunke believes it is important to contact potential employers while working on the master’s thesis.
How did you get your current job?
I contacted Rambøll while I was a student to ask if I could have a summer job with them. They took me on, and a year later I was spending time at Rambøll's offices working on my master’s thesis. Towards the end of my master’s degree, I was offered a permanent job.
Why do you think they chose you for the job?
I think the main reasons were that I contacted them directly, and that I was interested. The interview panel was very curious about human geographers’ expertise and work. Most of my colleagues are qualified planners or architects, and my employer was interested in employing someone with a different professional background.
What are your main duties?
I mainly work with plans for land use – everything from small detailed zoning plans to larger, multidisciplinary transport and urban development projects. I also work a lot with studies and analyses, particularly in relation to housing and population development and GIS analyses that form the basis for plans for land use. We carry out work for municipalities, government agencies and private developers, and we occasionally take part in planning and idea competitions.
Working as a consultant at a large firm such as Rambøll gives me the opportunity to gain very broad experience, and become involved in many different projects. In addition, there is a large degree of freedom to influence my working day and the kind of projects I work with.
What are you working on just now?
Right now I'm planning a new railway, InterCity, through Moss. It’s a large project that has been ongoing for some time, and we will be finalizing the development plan in the days ahead. In this project I am working on the urban development of the surrounding area at the new station, an environmental impact assessment, the production of planning documents, and processes that entail input from the public.
In addition, I am in the process of producing updated population projections for a municipality in Eastern Norway.
How do you apply your qualifications from the Department of Sociology and Human Geography in your work?
The knowledge I gained on GIS and quantitative methods has been very useful, both in relation to the subjects I took and the thesis work. It is also important to be able to write well in this job, which was something I had plenty of practice in during my studies. Another important aspect is that the theory from the urbanization subjects has been useful in my work on urban and area development.
What is your top tip for students who want to be attractive in the job market?
Show commitment and contact potential employers. In my experience, many people are interested in knowing more about what human geographers do.
You may want to ask potential employers if they have any suggestions for topics for your master’s thesis. This can give you inspiration and help you gain a foothold in the job market.
However, the main thing of course is to choose a topic you are interested in, so that you stay motivated in your work.