How is your typical workday?
I work as a business architect at Neas Energy within the area of commodities trading and risk management. I work with IT system development and process optimization.
What has your career path looked like up until now?
I started out in the mobile phone industry as a SW developer. Unfortunately, this was the period where a lot of the activities in Aalborg were stopped. I moved on to commodities trading and risk management where I have worked as system developer and architect.
How close is your current career to the ideas and dreams you had as a PhD fellow at AAU?
I must admit that I am quite far from my PhD field. I wanted to work with VoIP and speech communication. However, I am working on some nice project and that has always been my main target.
How have you made use of your PhD education, and which of your PhD competences have been most important to you?
I have had most use of the skill set around project planning, managing the process and completion. Also, I did an industrial PhD, where my work had to be evaluated within the scope of the hosting company. This is something I have had to do ever since.
What do you remember most from your PhD studies?
Being given the chance to work intensely on something I wanted.
What is your best memory from AAU?
Working with good colleagues on interesting problems. All from to discussing topics of common interest to finding solutions to very specific problems.
Is there a teacher/colleague from AAU you remember especially, and why?
I have a bunch of good memories and stories. They are all very fond to me.
Why did you decide to do a PhD, and would you have chosen differently if you were to do it today?
I wanted to see if I could do it and I am glad that I did. I have proven to myself that I can set a future goal, commit myself to the process and deliver.
What advice would you give to current PhD fellows at AAU that want a career outside academia?
Be sure to spend time on networking. I believe that a well maintained network will help you improve your career more than a nice CV. I was perhaps too focused on getting the project done.
What are your dreams for the future?
Keep working on interesting projects, and to me interesting projects is all about the goal and the people I work with. I want to make a difference, while we are having fun.
About Steffen Præstholm
Place of birth: Viborg
Current employment: business architect at Neas Energy
MA programme and university: Speech Communication AAU
Department at AAU: Communication Technology
Year of graduation: Master 2004, PhD 2008
Title of PhD dissertation: Methods to Maximize Voice over IP Play-Out Quality During Network Congestion