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!


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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!


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!





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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

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Impressions from the first rotation and start of an adventure


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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Amazing five months as a global trainee

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Hello everyone,

This month, it is my turn for the takeover as the fourth global trainee of SKF! I would like to introduce you myself briefly and share how my first four months in SKF went as a trainee.

My name is Ezgi and I am 23 years old. I also have an engineering background as the majority of our global trainee group but I am the only Industrial Engineer. I got my bachelors degree from Boğaziçi University which is located in Istanbul, Turkey. I am originally from Izmir which is a beautiful city in the west coast of Turkey but I moved to Istanbul to complete my degree. I am currently located at the headquarters of SKF Turkey in Istanbul. After spending a month in SKF Turkey, I went to Gothenburg for our introduction month. I really enjoyed the time I spent there, it was amazing to meet a lot of friendly people with different backgrounds and have trainings about different areas of SKF. You probably read about our fantastic introduction month before from my colleagues’ blog posts!

After the introduction month, I came back to my home country for my first rotation and I am now working on my first project. I am working close to the sales unit and learning a lot about the market. I haven’t worked in sales department during my previous experiences so it was new to me to go on customer visits when I first started so it is really good to me to see sales side also. As the next step, my second rotation will be in Prague. I have never been there before but I hear a lot of good things about the city and the organization in there so I am excited about that!

I am so happy and proud to be a part of the global trainee program and I believe SKF gave me the opportunity to challenge myself while having fun! I am sure my other trainee colleagues feel the same way. Right from the beginning, this program gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people from all around the world. I always believe that you have a lot to learn from different people and cultures so I can say that SKF is kind of a school to me. As I will move forward with my rotations, I have high hopes in the days ahead of me. I think that living and working in different countries are excellent opportunities for me in terms of my personal development and also for exchanging experiences and best practices.

Lastly, I want to share a selfy (I am on the top left) with you from our introduction month 🙂

If you have any questions to me, please comment and I will be happy to reply!

Have a good day!


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High-phase within SKF’s VSM unit

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Dear readers,


It is finally my time to post and detail some trainee experiences. My name is Henrik Sandén and I am a previous business student now taking part in SKF’S Global Trainee Program.
Currently, I am at the first trainee rotation, the first out of three, which is taking place at our headquarter in Gothenburg. You might have already seen the tall SKF building in Gamlestaden? The office view over the city is fantastic to say the least!

My placement is within the Automotive & Aerospace division and more specifically within what we call VSM, the Vehicle Service Market unit. This part of SKF serves the automotive industry (cars, trucks and busses) with bearing replacement parts. So for example if you need new bearings for your gearbox or wheelhouse, we should be your top of the mind.

Moreover, my first assignment circulates around strategic business development within VSM. So far it’s been very exciting! Although it’s only been about five months since the program start, I have already learned a massive amount of new things related to our corporate strategy and how to run a project.


Each rotation offers the opportunity to drive and complete your own project. Thus, a normal day often includes phone or email contact with my German or French colleagues, steering group presentation, participating in client meetings and mentor coaching sessions. Lately, I have also discovered our training facilities, so during lunch I try to squeeze in a gym session every then and then.

Otherwise, there is also a wide range of restaurants to explore in the area. My favorite is the one called backside serving Swedish husmanskost, there me and my trainee colleagues sometimes meet to catch up on each other’s work. In other words, the days are running by quickly, I feel enthusiastic and get to have a lot of fun!


During my next posting I will share my experiences from the second rotation, taking place in the Bavarian town Schweinfurt, Germany. Until then, take care and have a fantastic day!


Best regards,



(Office view picture from Gothenburg!)

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Into the bearing world

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Hello Everyone!


I am the third of SKF’s global trainees writing on this blog and I am responsible for the next monthly take over. First I will present myself a little bit, then I will share my experiences during these firsts three months.


My name is Marco, I am 24 and as the two colleagues you already know I have a Mechanical Engineering background (Internal combustion engines) at “Politecnico di Torino” and a Master in Six Sigma, Lean Production and TPM. I started this global project by participating in a wonderful introduction month we had in Gothenburg, then I returned to Italy in order to start my first project as a quality engineer trainee in Villar Perosa. The next step will be in Pune (India) and I will face some new challenges because it will probably be in the manufacturing field. Being challenged is one of the best motivational drivers to develop yourself and your career, so if I can leave you a hint it is to look for challenges everyday of your life!


Every day I feel honoured to be part of such an international organization and I really appreciate the opportunity to get a global network within SKF. Furthermore the global trainee program is also an excellent opportunity to get knowledge about different business units (that’s the reason why I’m being pushed to develop projects in different areas each rotation) and to develop your personal skills. Do not forget, on the human side, that such a program is a huge chance to discover the world, meet new cultures and develop yourself as a person.


Last but not least thanks to this experience I met a lot of new colleagues, and I feel very lucky to have the chance to strike up international friendship, and to share our experiences together!


Below are some pictures of the trainees!

A picture of the trainees with a bearing (myself to the left beside the bearing)


Me (on the top right of the picture) and the other trainees in Slottsviken during the introduction month.


Don’t hesitate to comment if you have any questions.


Have a nice week!





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Getting into the Railway Business

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Good morning,

My name is Laura-Marie and I am taking over the trainee blog from Sasan. Just like him I also have a Mechanical Engineering background (Thermodynamic and Energy Technology) and came to Sweden in 2015 to study a Master in “Sustainable Energy Systems” at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg.


About two months ago I started as a Global Trainee for SKF within the Industrial Unit Railway. During my 18 months journey I will be working within Product Engineering in our Chinese office in Shanghai, and with Machine Health in our British office in Livingston, close to Edinburgh.

I have heard a lot of positive things about both sites and I am looking forward to get to know them and my colleagues there better. But firstly I travelled to Nieuwegein in the Netherlands last week, to visit the Railway Test Centre, which is an essential part of validating our products for our customers´ projects.

Furthermore I have been doing an internship in the Nordic Railway Service Workshop, here in Gothenburg, to get an insight on the practical side of the Refurbishment business, including dismounting, examining, measuring and reassembling of the bearings.


During my first two months at SKF I got the feeling that this company is truly diverse. Most of my colleagues have been working in several positions in very different fields, like Sales, Testing, Finance etc. to grow personally and professionally. Being at the very beginning of my career this opens up a lot of possibilities for me inside the company, both locally and globally.

I am looking forward to the upcoming 16 months, packed with international projects, new challenges and great colleagues.


Please don’t hesitate to comment if you have any questions.

Have a nice week!





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After the Introduction Month

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Hello Again,

Now the introduction month is over and all of us are placed in our “home units”. The introduction month was a great experience, we met SKF group’s management team, visited two factories (whereof one foundry, which was super cool), had a lot of trainings about different subjects and got to participate in a business simulation at the IMP. The IMP is a program aimed at managers who are recognized as having a bright future with SKF. The program exposes the participants to the global picture of SKF and gives them the opportunity to create their own international network within SKF. The business simulation was the part of the introduction month that I appreciated the most. In the simulation teams act as companies competing for the same customers in a fierce marketplace. Each participant assumes a management role in Marketing and Sales, Development and Services, Planning and Delivery, Finance and Control. The goal? Earn short-term profit while creating long-term value.


                  The business simulation game that took place during the IMP.


I left Gothenburg for Schweinfurt the day after the introduction month was over. I will be here for 8 weeks in order to get a understanding for factory supply chain and all the processes involved. It will be fun and really interesting.

The next blog post will be written by Laura-Marie.

Have a nice week everybody!


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