Building blocks for careers: RMIT student interns with LEGO

Building blocks for careers: RMIT student interns with LEGO

Nick Johnson, a fourth-year Bachelor of Industrial Design honours student, recently travelled to Denmark to undertake an internship with one of the world’s most revered brands.

Secured through the School of Design’s internships program, the opportunity was a five-month position at LEGO’s innovation house office in Billund, Denmark. 

“The internship itself was fantastic. I honestly had the time of my life,” Johnson said. 

“Being alongside 18 other like-minded interns from around the world allowed me to mingle and create some incredible memories and friendships that will hopefully continue for many years.” 

“After coming from a retail job that I held for over 10 years, I could not believe that I was getting paid to do work that I genuinely loved.” 

“My team were incredibly supportive, and LEGO paired all of us interns with a personal mentor from our Intellectual Property teams (NINJAGO, Star Wars, 4+ etc) along with an additional people lead that were always open to making sure we were happy in our position and ensuring we were not struggling away from home.” 

Nick Johnson wearing a graduation mortar board and holding a scroll with a blue background and Lego blocks Nick Johnson secured his internship at LEGO's innovation house through the School of Design's internships program

Johnson said it was special to work for an organisation with a high brand recognition, particularly amongst his peers. 

“It's not often you tell people you had an internship with ‘so and so’ and they know the workplace,” he said. 

“I was able to tell friends and family about the opportunity and it was exciting to see their eyes light up.” 

Johnson said he was surprised at how relaxed the working environment was, having expected it to be more formal and structured. 

“After getting through all the trainings and formalities, it just felt like any other product design class,” said Johnson. 

“Everyone was just working on their task and using one another for feedback and help.” 

Working with the LEGO Ninjago team as a model designer, Johnson said every day was fun and his professional skills developed throughout his time in Denmark. 

“Being a model designer, I spent most days playing with LEGO bricks and conceptualising new models and designs based on a brief I was given.”  

Johnson said he was able to showcase his work at LEGO’s internal company portfolio presentation during his internship.  

“The model I worked on went through many prototypes and variations before being shown,” he said. 

“I also had the opportunity to work in element design at the same time. I was able to assist the team in digitally sculpting and making new elements for future models, whether that be for mini figures or models.” 

Many students travel overseas for the first time during their tertiary education years, but while Johnson had travel experience, this was his first time living overseas and out of home. 

“I found it quite exciting. We [Johnson his 3 fellow intern housemates] all still stay in contact with one another,” he said. 

“Living in a place where you cannot speak the native tongue was a little tough at times, but in many cases, most people in Denmark have incredibly good English. With Billund being such a small town, it required us to get public transport to be able to explore more of the country.” 

“The biggest thing I found about myself whilst living over there in Denmark, was that I was forced to come out of my shell.” 

“I am quite reserved and keep to myself when I'm here in Australia, however being over there pushed me to become more vibrant and open to meeting new people. The experience helped me build confidence.” 

Johnson’s professional development won’t stop with this internship either. He’s secured a position with Moose Toys, which is one of the biggest toy designers in Australia. 

“It’s always been a dream of mine to have a career in the toy industry,” he said. 

“Since high school, I have been tailoring my study and curriculum to build skills towards toy design and action figures.” 

“I feel like I will always be around toys in some form, and one day I would love to go back to Denmark and rejoin the LEGO group. The workplace and the community around it are incredible.” 

“I would also love to work on wrestling figures professionally someday. I have spent so much time customising and building a following for my work in that space, it would be cool to get the chance to innovate and create new figures.” 


Story by: Finn Devlin


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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.