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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From Fika to Electrification


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What do Swedish coffee breaks, internet of things, chainsaws, lithium batteries, and robots all have in common?……….me. I have interacted extensively with all of these things and many more through my time as a Global Trainee with Husqvarna Group.

I joined Husqvarna Group after finishing my electrical engineering bachelors at Georgia Tech in the summer of 2016. My trainee journey began at the R&D test department of the North American headquarters based in Charlotte, NC. It was a wonderful way to get hands on exposure to the products and begin building, what was to become, a very extensive network of useful connections.

Product training in the forest of Huskvarna –   Battery Chainsaw

Come September I traded in my steel toed boots for a pair of tight jeans and a parka, then boarded my first flight for Stockholm, Sweden.

In Stockholm, I joined up with the other trainees for a week of introduction to the global organization. Here is where I had my first experience with the Swedish tradition of Fika: a coffee break with colleagues and friends that’s often accompanied by a nice pastry (to really understand just check out the Fika song https://youtu.be/oRIeytEXGhQ).

Breast Cancer Awareness in the Stockholm Office

I jumped right into my next rotation with the Stockholm based Technology Office. In the technology office, I worked extensively with the Battery Box project. An exercise in IoT, sharing economies, and strategic corporate partnerships. It was an exciting experience to stretch our thinking around how we interact with our customers.

After a few months, I headed south to the thriving metropolis of Huskvarna, the namesake and largest Swedish site of our Group. In Huskvarna I worked initially with the Pro Battery test team. I got to work extensively with our line of professional lithium powered hand tools and their related products. This gave me a terrific opportunity to familiarize myself with the lithium batteries systems that are rapidly changing the face of the industry. While in Huskvarna I also had the privilege of working with the Automower development team. The Automowers are easily the most electrically complex products in our portfolio and many will argue that they are the future of several segments of the industry. Here I was given the opportunity to help map the development process for the hardware team and in doing so became quite familiar with all the onboard systems.

Before I knew it 9 months had passed and it was time for me to head back to my home base in Charlotte. I ventured out from my technical background to spend 6 months working with our purchasing team. It is always important to work outside of your comfort zone sometimes and I found that I very much enjoyed the face time I got with our current and potential suppliers. I have gained a new appreciation for what they do and I am very glad I had the chance to experience a new perspective.

Trainee Project Management Training in Ulm, Germany

As I am wrapping up my time in Charlotte and preparing for my next and final international rotation in Germany, I look back on the last year and a half. My time in Sweden was a fantastic cultural experience. My world view has been expanded and I made friends and connections that will follow me for a lifetime. What stands out most clearly is just how valuable that cultural experience is, especially in this international work place. I am so grateful for all the technical knowledge that I’ve learned in my time so far. It is obvious that the future of this industry is intertwined with technology such as lithium power and IoT, and it is imperative that we facilitate development in those areas. However, what I value the most from my time as a trainee and what I believe will take me the furthest, are the relationships I have developed along the way.

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