This is Sebastian writing from Kiev. I wrote about my assignment in Kiev in another post a couple of months ago, so I am not going to repeat that. Instead, I thought that I would try to sum up my experience throughout this trainee program.

My experience during this 15-month period has been amazing. I started off at AS Faktor in Stockholm, where I worked in a business development role. Then, I develop a go-to-market strategy for fast food buns at Unibake’s headquarter in Copenhagen. Third, I got shadow the energy department’s CEO for three months while also working on a market analysis project for Lantmännen Reppe. Finally, I am not in Kiev working on a business continuity plan for Lantmännen Cerealia.

Me at Cerealia Ukraine’s annual picnic

Coming in to the program, I was not sure about exactly what types of tasks I wanted to work with. My degree was in marketing, but that I quiet a large area. Getting the chance to work on four large assignments, with some sub-assignments, in four different organizations has really helped me understand what is important to me. For me, that has turned out to be combining long term strategic projects with day-to-day tasks while constantly working with people.

The program also has made me reflect a lot on leadership. I have had the chance to work with a lot of leaders throughout the program, and it has become clear to me that leaders manage their employees very differently. Some leaders believe in collaborative environments while other believe in personal responsibility. Some want constant progress updates while other just was a finished result. What has been great about this program is that I have been around enough leaders to understand what kind of leadership works for me and what kind of leader I want to be. I think gaining a deeper understanding of that will help me tremendously in my future career.

I think constantly being thrown into a new unfamiliar situations in the beginning of my career has been very helpful to my future development. I am not sure if it happens to everybody, but when I enter unfamiliar territories I start to analyze my surroundings and questions why things are the way they are. When you get to do that over and over again, you realize that there are no right or wrong ways to do things. When I came into the company I had the mindset that I had to understand how things are done at Lantmännen; how do leaders act? how are processes carried out?

What has turned out to be my most important realization is that there is no right way because everybody has different ways of doing things. I just have to find my way. I definitely have not found my way yet, but I think the program was the perfect first step to get there.