Obstacles & Leadership – Global Traineeprogramme


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Hello; Hejsan; Olá; Hallo; привет; Nín hǎo.

My name is Dennis Nordmark, soon to be 26y old, Swedish and a Global Management Trainee at SKF.

As you, the reader, probably already know at this point, we get to do and experience some really cool things. For example, now during my second, 6 month rotation out of three, I am the project manager (PM)for an implementation project for the factory that we have in Brazil.

Being young, “green”, ambitious and a first time project manager comes with it challenges! Especially in a new culture and with a language I do not speak, at least from the very start. Mistakes are absolutely inevitable so the only thing is to learn from them, QUICKLY. If I were to give my “two cents” to other project managers, especially new PM’s (based on my experience), it’s about STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT! Make sure you have a frequent and open communication with them so that all deliverables and expectations are aligned. It might sound like a simple thing to do, but it is easy to step on a landmine.

Not only experiencing a new work culture and project management, I’ve also experienced a national crisis! Some of you might remember when the price of crude oil went up; this escalated things very fast here in Brazil as all of the truck-drivers went on strike! You might think, “that’s not so bad”… Well for a country who relies on 99% of all their transports to be by truck, then it is pretty bad. I remember the morning of the strike when I was going to work and the line to the gas station was hundreds of meters long! I didn’t know about the strike at the time, so I sat straight up in the car seat with serious goosebumps thinking “Is this like the 1973 Oil Crisis? or is there a new war somewhere?”… Silly right? haha! This went on for about a week and a half; over 1billion chickens died due to starvation (no fodder), Military Hercules airplanes had to rush medicine to hospitals, no gas, food was getting low in the supermarkets, industries stopped due to lack of shop supply like grease & oil and much more.  This was really new and fascinating to me because it would’ve never occured in Sweden, not to this magnitude. What a great experience!

Enough of this…

There is something more interesting that makes me really “tick” at work, more than anything else. This is also the biggest reason why I applied for this position and program.

So.. what is it?

  • Leadership

Discretionary advise: These are my own thoughts and you will dip your toes inside my head.

Leadership really gets me going and lights my fire. Leadership is something complicated yet very simple and logical; often a genuine interest to help and better the counterpart(s). As leadership is my number one interest in the work environment and not being a people-manager, I continuously ask myself: “How can I practice personal leadership and be the best leader for myself, and my peers, to help drive this project/daily work forward? And in return SKF”.

Number one, is to hold myself accountable to what I think, say and promise. Even though it is difficult to always act the way you preach, it is important to do your best to walk the talk accordingly to what your leadership philosophy is and recognize when you do not. Be true to yourself.

Number two, lead by example. Set a high standard for others to follow, don’t fall into an already set standard, try to improve it. Don’t be afraid to do the REALLY boring things, it pays off.  Leading by example can also be in the very smallest of details; if you see a puddle of water that someone spilled in the hallway, go and grab a piece of paper and wipe it up. Some may say that this is also called discipline. If we can be disciplined in the small things like wiping up the a puddle of water from the floor, EVEN though there are cleaners working, this will reflect upon your behavior and set a tone to others. There is a great video about this same principal, but it is regarding making your own bed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6OoCaGsz94

Tough principles to live by, but we can at least start at one end of the rope.

Number three; believe in yourself, always! But be humble and empathetic. Listen to others as they often have some form of expertise.

 

Thank you for reading and best of luck, 

Dennis Nordmark

Global Management Trainee – AB SKF

Project Manager – Controlling & Business Support – Automotive & Aerospace

“Winners Win”

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Nur die Harten kommen in den Garten (Only the strongest survive)


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Me at SKF Group Headquarters in Gothenburg

Hola a todos!

First rotation

I’m Emilio from Gothenburg, Sweden. I started at SKF end of August in the global marketing team. There I did my first project, the project involved digital marketing and digital campaigns. It was super fun, I got to meet so much inspiring colleagues and other people during the various courses I did.

Me and Lisa looking for the perfect spot to do the promo shooting

Second rotation

I’m currently on my second rotation in Schweinfurt, Germany, working on a very interesting mountain bike project. I am responsible of all the social media strategy in this mountain bike project. The project is about providing our mountain bike customers with better products, this project will therefore have an impact on mountain bikers all over the world.

 

Me, Alessandra and Rasmus (also global trainees) sightseeing in the beautiful city of Würzburg

Germany as a country is very beautiful and all the people are super nice. Two things that strike me is that Germany is more analog than I thought. Most of the places don’t accept card and you pay everything with cash (restaurants, stores, taxi etc.). Another thing is the internet connection in the country, is super slow, I’m very surprised. When it comes to the German work culture the German colleagues are way more prepared during each meeting than we Swedes are, also they like quick and efficient decisions (not waiting for a consensus like we Swedes tend to do). Time is of essence for Germans, they don’t want you to be late nor to waste their time with a poorly executed meeting or PowerPoint presentation.

 

Sunset in Buenos Aires

Third rotation

For my third and last rotation, SKF is sending me to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m super excited to see what Latin America can give me both professionally but also personally. In one way, you could say that I will experience how my life could have been if I was born and raised there instead of Sweden.

 

Un saludo desde Alemania,

Emilio

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One company, endless possibilities


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8 Months and counting, Experience from SKF Sweden, Finland, Indonesia and Brazil
Olá para everyone! My name is Benjamin and I’m composing this small update from our factory located near the rainforest in Brazil. As a Global Trainee in SKF my new challenge is distributed across Latin America where I’m learning how we are handling our customer interaction and how to identify their needs, my next stop is SKF Chile!

A fish out of the water, from robotic to software
Working at the software centre in Gothenburg, Sweden was for sure an exciting and challenging first rotation. As a mechanical engineer previously researching robotics, my jar was empty, but to be challenged in a true agile environment suited me well. I had the opportunity take a Product Owner Certificate which helped me to assist the development of the agile framework. To receive such working experience and have the possibilities to challenge the status quo in such a big global company is very exciting!

A responsibility for the future
Managing the SKF Remote Presence had for sure been the most challenging and developing part of my journey, and still is. I’m fortunate enough to be working with state of the art technologies within digital communication, augmented and virtual reality. This technologies is used to enhance the internal and external communication. Example: the reduction of cost/time related to travel, and the increase of the operation up-time by solving disturbances faster. I consider this to be of key importance for a more efficient and sustainable future.

Over and out,
Benjamin von Schmuck

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SKF Global Trainee- Wave 2


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Hej Hej TraineeBloggen!

My name is Allan Methven and I am one of the new Global Trainees at SKF! let me tell you a bit about myself and my experiences so far.

UK Global Trainees- Allan & Henry

About Me:

I am from a small town on the west coast of Scotland (If you are fortunate enough to meet me, you may have some issues understanding my accent as most people do). I studied Engineering with Management at Edinburgh Napier University while also working as an Assistant Engineer for a privately owned company within Water Sector.

Once I had completed my studies I had the opportunity to join a Graduate Programme with a large manufacturing company within Aerospace Industry. After a year on the programme and having held two 6 month supervisory roles, I was preparing to move to Wales for my final year.

One morning I just happened to be scrolling through LinkedIn and I came across the job advert for the position of a Global Trainee at SKF. While working for an engineering company I had come across SKF on several occasions as we purchased SKF bearings and also Condition Monitoring products. I had also been on training courses held by SKF in the past. Taking all of this into consideration it was a no-brainer applying for the job.

Lets fast forward a few months…

Gothenburg:

I accepted the offer to join SKF in September and within two weeks I was in Gothenburg with ten other Global Trainees from around the world meeting Alrik Danielson the SKF CEO.  I don’t think you could have asked for a better start to a new job!

                    Global Trainee’s with Alrik Danielson- SKF CEO

I  spent one month with the other global trainees in Gothenburg where we met all members of the group management team while also taking part in Factory tours to understand the manufacturing process. To me, the introduction month was a perfect way to get to know each other while also allowing us to find out more about the future of SKF. This would also be the start to me building my global network within SKF!

Where am I know?

I was hired by SKF to work within the Innovation & Business Development unit. A lot of people only know SKF for their bearings but we are a lot more than just bearings. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to tell the condition of your machine before it fails? Well, we can, using Condition Monitoring.  I am currently working at the Hardware and Software Development Centre here in Livingston where we design the Condition Monitoring products that allow us to do this. This has been a really interesting rotation as it has allowed me to understand the product development process for these products.

In addition to learning about the product development process, I have also been working on a project that is looking at we can further support the Sales & Service teams throughout SKF. This has allowed me to understand what information the Sales teams require to be able to sell these products to the market and also what support our Service Engineers require in the field. This project has allowed me to grow my global network as I am regularly speaking to Sales Directors and Business Development Managers from all around the world!

What’s Next?

At the end of March, I will head to Finland to work within the Industrial Market Sales team for five months. This will allow me to understand how the Sales teams operate in other countries. My final rotation will be to working at the Precision Bearing Factory in Italy where I will get an deep insight to how the precision bearings are manufactured!

Final word:

I hope you all the best in your careers and if you are ever in Scotland give me a shout and I will be happy to give you a tour!

Cheers,

Allan

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SKF – What a time to be a global trainee!


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Hi everyone, and a special warm greeting to all of you aspiring future trainees out there! Welcome to another blogpost and “peek” into SKFs Global Trainee Programme.
My name is Rasmus and I am one of the trainees currently in the midst of this exciting journey. If you still have not checked out what my fellow trainee-colleagues have written here, I highly recommend you to check that out too.
I graduated from business school last spring and in late August I was one of 11 lucky to start the programme. Now six months have past since and wow- how time has flown! It feels like yesterday we gathered – from all over the world – at the global headquarters in Gothenburg for our trainee introduction month. After that, we all went back to our home country employer to begin the first of three rotations and I haven’t met many of my fellow trainees since October. Therefore, I’m looking very much forward to seeing them again in March as we gather before our second rotation.

Global trainee colleagues – from the left: Li (China), Rasmus (Sweden) and Matteo (Italy).

 

So, what have I been up to since then? Well, my home department within SKF is Group Central Finance & Business Transformation so intuitively that’s where I could have been over these first months. However, during my first rotation, I have been given the opportunity to tag along with one of the sales organizations – Industrial Sales Sweden. This has been a fantastic opportunity to see and learn about SKFs value propositions ‘in action’ and also how SKF, together with customers, work to make Swedish heavy industry more competitive in the age of globalization.

So, since October, I am spending most of my time in the Solution Factory here in Gothenburg – which is the base for the Swedish sales unit as well as some other functions, and a very nice place to work and meet colleagues from different areas

 

Enjoying a nice coffee-break outside SKF Solution Factory in Gothenburg during my first week.

With the Swedish sales unit, I have gotten the chance to work on multiple projects. Since I have a background in finance, I have been able to help develop different kind of performance measurement reports – but also things completely out of my comfort zone – like working with and assisting our brilliant application engineers. I have also gotten the opportunity to visit customers, factories and other SKF locations in Sweden.
Two months ago, I went with the Swedish management team to Katrineholm to visit our foundry there and in just about two weeks I will go on a combined trip to Lulea/Kiruna to meet with colleagues and customers way up in the Swedish north. What an amazing time this is to be a global trainee and to get the opportunity to meet and learn from so many people. No day is like the other!

Me (far left, big smile) and the Industrial Sales Sweden Management team in Katrineholm getting a guided tour of the foundry

As a global trainee, I also have the chance to represent our programme at various occassions where we meet with students and aspiring future trainees. These meetings have been both fun and rewarding experiences  – it is very enjoyable to talk about something that you really like with people who are genuinely interested and want to know more.

In November, I went to the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH) and talked to students about SKF and our trainee programme. Without a background in engineering I must admit I was a little nervous, but it turned out I had no reason to be. The students were very interested in what I had to say and gave me a warm receiving, just like I had been told by my fellow trainee colleagues who went to other student fairs over the last couple months.

Speaking at KTH, Stockholm

Next up for me is Germany. I will be moving there at the end of March for my second rotation over the spring/summer. Although I have truly enjoyed my first six months here in Sweden, it will be very exciting to go “out in the world” and see what a Swedish, world-leading technology company looks like in a different cultural setting. During this time, I will get the chance to work up close and learn from multiple functions in the organization, including logistics, renewable energy and taper roller bearing strategy.
I’ll say it again – what a great time to be a global trainee!
/Rasmus

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What I’ve been up to, SKF Global Trainee Programme


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Hi Traineebloggen, it’s me Carl, previously just a reader, now a writer.

A little more than a year ago I was a reader of Traineebloggen, but then as a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. I had just started to feel a mixture of anxiety and excitement about the future, what do I want to do, with whom and where? And who would want me to do something, somewhere with someone?

Traineebloggen gave me answer to what I want to do (become a trainee), and SKF gave me the possibility to discover new somewheres and someones, so I’ll try to help you guys out, by sharing.

I started as a Global Trainee in Application Engineering, in August of 2017 together with my ten trainee colleagues from across the globe. Would love to tell you more of our intro-month, but Saien and Henry has already got that covered (click here for Henry’s & here for Saien’s posts).

From the intro month: Off work challenge, escape room with Saien, Li, Allan and Dennis.

Clarification of tasks and short description of what I’ve been up to.

Application Engineering: Working very close with the customer to optimize the bearings arrangements. Could be in different phases, either in development phases with Original Equipment Manufacturers, improving current arrangements or root causing failures and prevent them from occurring again. This means that it’s both a strong customer and technical focus. The teams the customer meets consist of Sales, Customer Service and Application Engineering, to be able to cover their needs.

Customer visits: After a couple of years buried in literature, it was really exciting to get out in the real world, at our customers. Sounds pretty cheesy, but working in the engine bay of a towing vessel together with two 37 litres diesel engines was a blast. We conducted service on the drive-train, which included physical inspection of bearings, housing, lubrication and mounting of seals. The service job gave me valuable insight in both the technology and customer relations.

Project: In Sweden, we are set to increase the competitiveness of Swedish industry. Meaning that we need to be in the forefront when it comes to technology, organizational efficiency and being able to deliver the solutions our customers expect. To facilitate for this, several improvement projects are ongoing, and mine is focused on how to increase the value to the customer by having a closer collaboration, and how to set up the business for such a collaboration.

Education: Hybrid bearings in Steyr, Austria. SKF’s site in Steyr develop and manufacture bearings with ceramic rolling elements and coated steel bearings for electric insulation. As an engineer, this is really exciting, since the properties of such bearing are vastly improved in some areas compared to all steel bearings. These bearings are lighter, can run faster, with less lubrication, in more contaminated environments without the risk of being damaged from electrical currents. Meaning that these bearings are the “pièce de résistance”, located in some of the toughest places, such as F1 gearboxes and aerospace applications.

A demanding application and a long collaboration, SKF and Ferrari.

What happens next: In April I’m moving to Brazil for five months, to get to know another part of our global organization. I’m really excited about the journey, since I’m convinced I can contribute to their daily operations and challenges, and also to grow and learn as a global citizen. Hopefully, next time you hear from me, I have more to tell you about this experience.

For you: If you also want to spend 18 months: challenge, learn and develop, both yourself and SKF, apply “here” (for applicants based in Sweden).

SKF Wave 2 Trainees

 

If you have any questions, feel free to use the comment section.

Take care!

/Carl

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First Rotation in the SKF Global Trainee Programme


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Hej Hej TraineeBloggen!

About Me

My name is Henry, and I am one of the new trainees to start at SKF. I am passionate about travelling, meeting new people, and I love trying to learn new languages (no success in being fluent yet though!). Up until 2011, I was living in the Middle Eastern country Qatar but came back to the UK to study at the University of Greenwich. Whilst at uni, I managed to achieve a FdA in Transport, Logistics Operations and Administration, my BA (Hons) in Project Management and finally, In 2016, I had graduated from Greenwich with a Masters degree in Engineering Management, and was hungry for my next adventure!

Graduation Day!

 

Que SKF…

Back in July, when a recruiter phoned me and gave me an “employee description” that a Swedish ball bearing manufacturer wanted, which included words such as “entrepreneurial mindset” “cross cultural experience” and “globetrotter” (no joke), I was baffled at how such an opportunity existed. Spiking my curiosity and excitement, I went along to the assessment day and wound up in the best job I have ever had!

Quite literally on my first day, I was sent to Heathrow Airport to join in on a 2-day business trip up in Scotland to get an understanding of the service industry that SKF has up there and meet one of our clients that we were working on a project with. Not a week later I was on a road trip to Wales with an Industrial Market Manager to join in with training for other customers at several different sites. when I got back it was only one more week before I was sent to Gothenburg, Sweden for the trainee induction month.

Gothenburg harbour at sunset

Wave 1 and 2

It was in Sweden that I have met some of the best people I have worked alongside. We spent a month understanding the ins and outs of SKF, what projects are being worked on, where the company envisions itself to be in the future, and where we, the trainees, could help. We were sent on factory tours and learnt about innovations that SKF are currently working on and were sent to foundries to see how the raw product was made. It wasn’t all work though, as when we had finished for the day, we all met up and had dinner, explored the city, joined in in escape rooms and got well acquainted with O’Leary’s!

Wave 1 and 2 Outside of the SKF HQ in Gothenburg

What the Future Holds

At the moment, everyone has gone back to their home unit, or have been sent on their first rotation… But that doesn’t mean the fun has stopped! I am currently operating in the Industrial Market (IM) Sales division in the UK, working on identifying current and emerging markets in the UK where SKF could use its world class products and in which industries to use them in, all the while still being sent out and exploring SKF around the world. In 3 months time, I will be back at Gothenburg with my friends, and then onto Belgium where I will be working in a world class logistics team.

SKF European Distribution Centre (EDC) in Belgium. This will be my second rotation placement!

Summary

This 18 month programme is everything innovators, team members, workaholics (with a social life) and of course, “globetrotters” could ever ask for. This is also why I love my job.

 

I hope if you read this and were interested in this post you leave your questions below, because I would be more than happy to answer them for you and let you about what it is like in the life of an SKF Global Trainee.

 

I look forward to updating you with more adventures in the future!

 

Henry

 

 

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After the Wave II Introduction month


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Hello Everyone

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Saién Rugdeo ( Sai the Guy as I was frequently referred to during the past month). I have a background in mechanical engineering with experience in renewable energy for automotive vehicles. I am from South Africa, and I am fortunate enough to be a part of this amazing experience, alongside 10 other talented individuals for the Second wave of the SKF Global Trainee Programme. I am really excited to be the first of the Wave II trainees to post about our experiences.
During the month of September, all 11 of us gathered and met for the first time. We all had no idea what we were in store for exactly, but we soon realized how fortunate we were to be in this position, being exposed to the inner workings of an industry leader with such a global footprint. We met with members of Group Management as well as representatives from the various units with SKF, and we were encouraged to ask the challenging questions. We also ran into those cool kids from Wave I !

 

SKF Wave 2 Trainees

The best part of the introduction month was the opportunity to tackle tasks and problems with the other trainees who are not from the same background or have the same set of skills as I do. I noticed something amazing that would happen all the time, a “Mastermind Effect” . The diverse teams would come up with such creative solutions and ideas that would have never been possible if we all had the same skill set. It is something quite scalable, and I encourage everyone to approach tasks with this mindset. Collaborate!

I am currently back in my home unit of Application Engineering, in SKF South Africa. My 5 month rotation here will see me working with the engineers on different tasks, however I was assigned with 1 main task. As you may know, SKF takes its impact on the environment very seriously. SKF has 15 LEED (Leading in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings around the world, which proves its commitment towards Environmental Care. My main task during my 5 month rotation is to propose ways improve the energy efficiency and waste management of our current premises in Johannesburg, South Africa. I look forward to this challenge as well as the journey ahead of me over the next 18 months.

Please feel free to ask me any questions or give feedback and thoughts.
Until Next Time
-Sai

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Impressions from the first rotation and start of an adventure


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Hello Again,

It’s hard to believe that it have  been almost 6 months since last time I wrote here, time really flies. I’ve experienced a lot during this time. I spent two months in Germany in order to learn our supply chain planning processes hands on, two months in the factory supply chain organization in Gothenburg to work with the SAP implementation and finally two months in our global supply chain organization. A lot of new learnings and I get to meet a lot of great people.

After the months spent within our supply chain organization it was time for gathering weeks in the headquarter with a lot of trainings and presentations, we did also spend a couple of days with our new trainees.

 

All SKF trainees gathered in Gothenburg

I will spend the coming six months in Pune, India. Working within our purchasing organization, I am sure that this will be a great adventure and a learn full experience for me.

The SKF area in Pune is really beautiful with lot of trees.

Until next time!
BR, Sasan.

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Feelings about second rotation


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Hello all,

 

We’re getting deeper and deeper in this amazing adventure, and I get more and more excited to face the adventure that I have in front of me, 5 months in India.

 

Today I want to talk about emotions, expectations, thoughts and future opportunities to learn from people and places…

 

First of all I cannot wait to meet my companions for the second time in Gothenburg, I think we have a lot of things to tell each other, a lot of projects to show, a lot of ideas to share and also a lot of fun to have together! After the two weeks gathering each one will start his/her adventure, and mine will be in the bearing manufacturing plant in Pune, India. I cannot wait to start this experience, it will be amazing to work in a new culture and I will bring with me the wish to open myself to these people and their culture. I don’t want to forget the openness of my mind because when different culture and different mindsets with such a big distance meet there are opportunities for incredible source of improvements, ideas and of learnings.

 

I also will bring with me the wish to travel, to discover new wonderful places, but also to embrace the Indian culture and get a deep understanding of it. My thought is that curiosity is a prerequisite for learning, because through curiosity you can learn and understand things but also challenge things that others only see and accept. Challenging the status quo is one of my biggest drives.

 

Despite all this I will keep my country, family and friends close to my heart. In every new adventure it’s important to maintain your roots and keep in mind who you are. The best achievement would be to integrate yourself in new cultures without completely changing your mindset but adapting yourself to it. That would be great and I’m sure that the Indian culture will help develop myself.

 

After six months I could say that this experience has enriched me not only from the professional side (in which I am surprised of the number of things I’ve learnt) but also on the personal side. That’s the main reason I recommend this working opportunity to all the young people who want to discover the world and learn something new every day.

 

I want to thank all of my colleagues who help me develop and SKF for such a great experience.

 

Can’t wait to tell you more about my stay in India as well as our next training modules in Sweden.

 

Ciao & All the best

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