Cuz it’s always better when we’re together


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Hi,

Around 3 months ago I started my professional worklife. The very same day 25 others did the same thing. We became the Scania Graduate Trainees 2016/2017.

I’ll save the introduction weeks for yet another blog post because these have been very well described in blog posts by my colleagues. If you’re thinking about applying for the next year’s program – application opens in week 51 (hint hint) – and are curious about what you are to experience during the recruting process and the first weeks at the program, do yourself a favor and read the entries by Simon Ingebrand & Alexandra Wilbs!

What I feel has not been as well covered though is the aspect of starting your career as part of a trainee group. In my last entry I mentioned that this gives you a network from day one, and it seems this is a special kind of connection. My mentor (trainee 2014) has told me they still have lunch every week and see each other outside of work. Also representatives from our exboard (many of them former trainees!) shared stories about how they had been in the trainee program together and how these connections had been valuable throughout their careers within the company. And I think this should not be under estimated. Scania is a rather large company which holds an incredible amount of knowledge and information, and when writing our Master’s thesis, I experienced that knowing whom to ask heavily reduces the time spent looking for it!

Well, apart from the strategic side of it, having a bunch of new friends experiencing the same sort of things (being new at a department, feeling frustrated or happy about anything, loving or hating their projects etcetera) is a great support. We can laugh it of, support each other with contacts and advice and find out how others handle the situations. It is also a way to get inspiration and to sort out your thoughts about where and when to spend your rotations, since we are spread out over a large number of functions at Scania.

The introduction contributed in creating a sense of us being a group, especially while we had workshop practices at the production units in Södertälje. But the group also consists of social and including people coming up with ideas of how to spend evenings and weekends. So far, we have for example had a couple of after works, wine- & cheese tasting, afternoon tea, dinners and a lecture. And this weekend, a bunch of us went on a field trip visiting Herman (this year’s trainee at Ferruform) in Luleå! Ferruform Scania AB is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scania producing e.g. driven rear axles and side beams for just-in-time deliveries to the assembly plants in Södertälje, Zwolle and Angers. We got a guided tour at their production site and reflected upon how much was similar to what we have seen in Södertälje, but also how much more organized and new those sites feel. Of course we also took the opportunity to spend the weekend exploring the city. A new adventure awaits already this week though; on Thursday we’ll leave for Sälen! 🙂

Here comes some photos for you to get to know my trainee group.
The quality is not the best, but the company is!

Having sushi after work.

Having sushi after work.

Studying for truck driving license.

Studying for truck driving license.

Wine tasting.

Wine tasting.

Dinner and dance.

Dinner and dance.

Hanging out in a Scania truck.

Hanging out in a Scania truck.

Early mornings... time for assembly work.

Early mornings… time for assembly work.

Visiting Ferruform.

Visiting Ferruform.

 

All the best,

// Therese

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Trainee = the company’s tourist


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Being a trainee means that you automatically build a big contact network when working in different departments and functions in the company. Besides your ordinary work tasks, you should also take the opportunity to meet with people you wouldn’t meet otherwise. Or go on study visits and learn how they work elsewhere in the company, and with what. In many ways, what you do is to devote yourself to tourism. It might take a while getting used to it. But I can assure you that when you do, you will learn so much more! It gives you an holistic view of the business that most other people probably don’t get. At least not in the same way, and probably not as easy.

Tourism in this way could make you a link between different functions within the company. It is not uncommon that you have some kind of knowledge which is of great importance to others. For example, I booked a lunch meeting with a manager at a completely different function in the company, just because I want to understand more. I presented some topics that I wanted to learn more about at that meeting. And guess what, my point of view of what I wanted to talk about turned out to be exactly what they are in need of in their organization right now. Win-win! It feels great to not only learn from others, but also being able to teach others something!

If you ask a previous trainee what he or she had wanted to do differently if they got the opportunity to be a trainee once more, many of them will say that they had wanted to use the time to network more, smarter, or more efficient. This is a hot tip for you, whoever you are. Use your time to network. Book meetings, go out there, talk to people. And if time is of short supply, book a lunch meeting, everyone’s got to eat right? You never know what they can teach you, or what you can teach them for that matter! In many ways, being a trainee is like being a tourist. So, use your time to see as much of “the world” as possible.

 

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