Just imagine your day job made your children think you were the coolest person ever. Then imagine it was a chance to indulge your own passion too. Andreas Malling Jensen is one of our Senior Mechanical Engineering Managers. After eight years with us, he still finds working here to be the gift that keeps on giving.
“‘I make bricks’. It doesn’t sound like I’m the most exciting person in the world, does it? Well, it depends how you look at it - and who’s doing the looking. So… cute story alert:
“It’s bedtime story time and the one I’m telling my 3-year-old daughter is supposed to get her to go to sleep. I’ve already failed with ‘how to make the perfect meatballs’. It’s getting late; I’m getting desperate. Then, an idea hits me. I’ll make my story all about moulding machines and plastic melts. The supertechnical stuff I do at work. How could she possibly find that interesting? So, I start and, after 10 minutes, not a peep, not a sound. Just as I’m finishing my story - and doing a mental ‘fist bump’ at my genius parenting skills - a little voice pipes up ‘Wow, daddy, that’s amazing. I want to make LEGO® bricks when I grow up.’ Priceless.
“My focus is on creating the technical design of new LEGO elements. This has to balance making sure that my Design colleagues get what they need with manufacturability, quality, and product safety. Ultimately, it’s about making LEGO bricks that are cool to play with, work as they’re supposed to, and harm no one in the process.
“When you think about it, having to answer to stakeholders with potentially conflicting agendas could be an incredibly difficult position to be in. But finding the perfect compromise gives me an overwhelming sense of achievement. On the one hand, the element stays as awesome as the Designer intended. On the other, I can still safely say that we can produce it to meet our time, quality, and safety demands. The sweet spot of feasibility. It’s also a testament to our team ethic and 'Only the best is good enough' philosophy.
“Being part of something bigger, and making a worthwhile contribution to it, is awesome - whether that means my team or the ideals we pursue as a business. I’m also fortunate to have had the most awesome people managers. All of them have been amazing. They’ve helped me in my personal development journey; given me a lot of responsibility; and I’ve always felt trusted. There is so much more room for me to grow and always a project or a bigger task to participate in and to gain learnings from.
“The fact that we’re expected to be brave and curious is very important too. Having this mindset really pushes the envelope and makes us better at everything we do. We can deep-dive into our passions and improve ourselves in ways that will benefit the whole company. I’ve been setting the bar in my department for using software – simply because I’m a huge nerd around everything to do with Computer Aided Design. I‘ve used this to implement a new software tool for my engineering colleagues to use when they’re developing new elements. It’s something I am really proud of.
“Having two children, I obviously want to do whatever I can to ensure their future. Having a sustainability mindset is one. The other is helping to create products that really enable them to work with and explore their imaginations. I want to make them proud and when my 3-year-old daughter shouts “You made this!? It’s the best toy ever!” to me it’s so heart-warming. I really appreciate our ‘Best of Both’ policy too. This means I can work from home two days a week and spend precious extra time with my family. Flexible working also means I don’t have to check in at a specific time every day and it just makes work-life balance much better.