It is with mixed emotions I tell you that my time as a trainee is soon coming to an end. It has been a fantastic journey for me, providing me with the opportunity to try and learn tons of new things and also to meet so many intelligent and nice people. Since this will be my last blogpost, I would like to take a moment and summarize the major things I have learned and experienced during my four assignments.
Testing a chainsaw in Kawagoe, Japan
Assignment 1: Commodity Manager Rubber & Gaskets – I was responsible for the day-to-day contact with around 20 suppliers, something that helped me develop my negotiation skills and business mindset. I also learned about problem solving and the importance of being able to take quick action.
Assignment 2: Project Sourcing Electric – I got to experience the early phases of a new project and learn how to collaborate and keep close contact with R&D. During this assignment I also started up a couple of benchmark projects which both gave me more technical insights, as well as a better understanding for how to find, assess and discuss with potential suppliers.
Assignment 3: Supplier Development Asia – in addition to giving me a better understanding of our Asian supplier base, this assignment actually also provided me with more knowledge about production since I got to visit many suppliers and learn about their processes and how to assess a plant. Moreover, since it took place in China and Japan I got to experience a lot of cultural differences and gained a better understanding for how to interact with people from different backgrounds in business situations. I also got to project lead the organization of Asia Supplier Day which was quite a challenge, especially considering the language barriers involved.
Trying out working at an assembly line in Xiamen, China
Assignment 4: Brands & Marketing Automower – this assignment (which I´m currently on) has given me a chance to see the other side of the business and to gain a better understanding for the end customer and our finished products. It has also taught me a lot about how to tailor a message depending on who the target group is. So even though I will go back to Sourcing in September, I feel confident that the knowledge I gain in marketing will benefit me in my future role as well.
Between these assignments we have of course also had training modules which has taken place in Sweden, Germany, USA and China. The training modules have taught me a great deal, not just about the Husqvarna Group business but also about soft skills such as personal accountability and presentation skills. So, looking back at what I just wrote, I realize now that this pretty much looks like a resume. Well, I guess you can say that when you can fill up a resume after a two year’s work experience, that’s a pretty good grade for the Husqvarna Group global trainee program.
I think that one of the best parts about the program is that I really have been able to work actively and take responsibility in each of these areas, not just walk side by side with someone else and watch them do it. I must admit that I was a bit worried in the beginning of my trainee time, everything seemed so difficult and hard to grasp. However, overcoming these challenges has made my confidence grow a lot and today I am very thankful for being challenged so strongly from the beginning.
I must also say that one thing I appreciate a lot about Husqvarna Group as a company is the culture. In almost all the areas and departments I have come in contact with, the culture has been very open and including and people are really allowed to be themselves. For me, it is exactly a down-to-earth and friendly culture like this that motivates me to perform my best. I think that if you try to form people to fit into a certain model, you won’t be able to take advantage of their own unique capabilities and skills. You might of course need to adapt your behavior (and appearance) to different business situations but that’s another thing in my opinion.
Visiting a dealer in Charlotte, USA
Finally, I cannot stress enough how lucky I have been with all the managers I have had the opportunity to work with during my four assignments. Staffan, Jonas, Paul, David, Tarun, Ingrid and last but not least Göran, have all been amazing managers and a very great support for me. And then there are of course a ton of other colleagues from many different countries who have made my trainee time at Husqvarna Group an unforgettable experience. Thanks to all of you who might be reading this!
Now I have a couple of months to go on my last rotation in Brands & Marketing and then I feel very motivated to start my permanent position, which will be within the Sourcing Electric team (back to assignment 2 again!), a very exciting and fast growing area indeed. Congratulations to all the new trainees starting this August, you are up for an exciting time!
Global Trainee Sourcing