Being a Global Trainee at Husqvarna Group


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Hi readers!

It is time to give you an update of my trainee journey so far. Let me tell you what has happened since my last post in February.

Doing E-Commerce in the UK

Straight after my time in the E-Commerce team at GARDENA in Germany, I went to the UK for my second assignment, working for the Flymo sales team. Besides our core brands Husqvarna & GARDENA, our Group also has strong additional brands as Flymo in its portfolio. Flymo, which is mainly active in the UK, has not only invented the first ever hover mower, it is also arguably UK’s best-known lawn care brand!

During my stay there, I mainly worked on the set-up & launch of a direct-to-consumer business for the UK market. I was involved in all relevant functions from Supply Chain & Logistics to Sales, Marketing and even Customer Service, which was overall a great opportunity. Besides working on the project, I supported the marketing team in some promo and trade show events and even helped out as a photo model! If you live in the UK & want to buy fantastic Flymo products just go to www.flymo.com .

In a nutshell, I had a great time in the UK. I was part of a fantastic team and together we successfully launched a new Consumer Website.

Top Management Meeting in Stockholm

This year in May I had, as one of us Global Trainees, the privilege to participate in this year’s Top Management Meeting in Stockholm, where the whole Group Management was gathering for some days.

Yes, you’ve read it right. Being as a Global Trainee on a Top Management Meeting. You can imagine, how inspiring that event was for me. I met all the Executives from the divisions, got to know our strategy for the upcoming years and even had fruitful conversations with our CEO. I am very grateful to have had that opportunity.

Testing Zero-Turns in the US

After my assignment abroad in the UK, all trainees gathered for a training week at our US offices in Charlotte, North Carolina. There we met the whole management team, got introduced to our US operations and visited also our factory in Orangeburg. We even made time for testing thoroughly the Zero-Turn lawnmowers, which is one of the most popular lawncare products in the US. All in all it was very interesting to see how different the US market is in some respects to the European.

Posing with a zero-turn lawnmower

After the training I went back to Germany, starting my third assignment in the Digital Marketing team of the GARDENA division. The team is leading globally our digital marketing initiatives and engages with our customers in the online environment. I’ll keep you updated on that!

If you are interested in the Global Trainee Program and consider joining Husqvarna Group, check out http://trainee.husqvarnagroup.socialmediabranding.se/. We are already looking for a new generation of pioneers, starting in September 2020!

All the best

Stefan

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The trainee program from a personal perspective


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Ni Hao!

Last time I wrote a post, I sat in my brick house in a small picturesque town in northern England. Today, I’m writing to you from a skyscraper in one of the world’s biggest cities, Shanghai. Contrasts!

Me at The Great Wall of China

I want to continue where I left you the last time, what the trainee program means to me, foremost, from a personal point of view. My home manager encouraged me to write down some key insights from my time at Husqvarna Group, and I would like to share two of them with you!

Cultural commonalities

It is very popular to talk about cultural differences. The importance to be able to adapt to different cultures. Maybe I’m naive and young, but from my perspective, I think it is more about what is common. I have had the privilege to work with people from all around the world. New Zeeland, Brazil, Spain, Morocco, the UK, China, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, okay you get it… And I would say it’s not the differences that have caught my attention, but our commonalities! Of course, there are some differences in experiences and also different environments, but on an individual level, not too much of a difference. After all, we are all humans, and this insight I will carry with me for my whole life. 

Expanding my comfort zone

Another key insight is how important it is to constantly step outside of my comfort zone to develop. When I moved to the UK, I felt like I was really stepping outside of my comfort zone. Moving to a new country where I knew nobody… But, compared to moving to China, that was easy peasy… Here, the most simple things are an adventure in itself. For example ordering food in a local restaurant. First, you need to find a reasonable place while trying not to get hit by a scooter, they are EVERYWHERE… Phuu. When that is done, you need to explain, with your body language, that you want to have a look at the menu. When you have the menu in your hand, it is time for the translation app to work. Often, the app is working quite good, but you never really know what you have ordered. Then the last step; to pay. You just give them your credit card or some cash? Nope. Now you have to explain, with your body language, that you don’t use Ali pay or WeChat pay, but that you want to pay with cash. The first times, when I went out to get some food, I was actually a bit nervous, I stepped outside of my comfort zone for the smallest thing, to buy food. After a couple of times, you get used to it, and now it’s a part of my everyday life. You just have to put yourself out there. So China, bring on the next challenge.    

Shanghai Tower

What’s next?

The program is not over yet, I have roughly eight months left! Next on the agenda is a trip to our Japanese site just outside Tokyo, and then I will finish up my rotation here in China before Christmas. My last rotation will be in the robotic sales team in the US, fun! There, I will be working with commercial sales to customers like universities and golf courses. I’m moving away from sourcing to the other side of the business, I think that will be a really good experience.

…And don’t forget to apply for the brand new Pioneer Program, the Global Trainee Program 2.0! http://trainee.husqvarnagroup.socialmediabranding.se/

Regards,

Caroline

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Husqvarna Group Around the World: My Latest Year in Review


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Hi again blog-readers!

It’s been a year since I last wrote a blog post and in Husqvarna Group’s Global Trainee Program, a lot can happen in 365 days.

Assignment 1: Finishing up in Stockholm

My first assignment working in Stockholm as the Global Social Media Coordinator culminated in me participating in the Husqvarna Forest & Garden division’s two biggest product launches of 2019 – a pair of 50cc chainsaws, and a game-changing robotic lawnmower. We showcased the new chainsaws in the wintery forests of Huskvarna, while the latter product was introduced at the Mobile World Congress in sunny Barcelona. My task was to document these events in photo and video and distributing the content to all my social media colleagues throughout the globe. As I’d worked with the social media communication plans for both of these campaigns, it was a perfect way to end the assignment.

At the MWC in Barcelona

Trainee week in Germany

Between assignments, the trainees meet up for a week for presentations, factory tours, trainings and more. Trainee week #2 took us to Ulm, Germany, where the headquarters of the Gardena-division is located, and where the brand was born. Fun fact about Ulm: despite being quite a small city, it is home to the tallest church in the world – the Ulmer Münster! Also, Einstein was born there. 

Ulmer Münster

Assignment 2: Digital marketing in Paris

Assignment number two brought me to Paris, where I would spend six months working with the regional marketing team, focusing on digital marketing for the French market. This included creating Facebook campaigns for several different products and optimizing the French website – optimizing content and continuously improving the user experience. The highlight of the assignment, was that I was given the task to create, plan and run my very own campaign! To formulate an idea of my own, plan it out, execute and then measure the outcome was a huge learning experience, and lots of fun!

The Eiffel Tower celebrates 130 years

Assignment 3: APAC Regional Marketing in Kuala Lumpur

Fast forward to today – I’ve now been in Kuala Lumpur for roughly three weeks, doing my best to understand the vastly diverse and different market that is Asia-Pacific. My core project here will be to plan the Husqvarna Forest & Garden Division’s participation as main sponsor of the Asia Pacific Tree Climbing Championships, where this region’s best tree-climbing arborists will compete. I’ll also be supporting different ongoing marketing activities within the APAC markets, such as India, Japan and China. At the time of writing, I’ve just returned from a week of meetings in India, where our sales company was started about three years ago. At 330 years old, Husqvarna Group is still new in some parts of the world. Exciting times lay ahead, for Husqvarna Group and for me!

The Petronas Towers

Thanks for reading

/Oscar

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Business Development and Personal Development at Husqvarna Global Trainee Program


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Hi/Hej/Hoi readers!

I am Henrik Wallander, and I am the Global Trainee in Business Development for the Husqvarna Division. Connecting to something that my fellow trainee Raphael mentioned in an earlier post of working in a different country than you were born: I am originally from Sweden, but I am based in the Netherlands, just outside of Amsterdam, as Husqvarna Group offered me the opportunity to make my home base Dutch, instead of Swedish.
During my masters studies in Innovation and Industrial Management at the School of Business, Economics, and Law at the University of Gothenburg, I realized that what suited me best would be a dynamic career, requiring me to own dedicated projects with the associated responsibilities and somewhat fight for the possibility to support and drive change and improvement in an organization. That last part might seem discouraging or negative, but it is actually the opposite. I want to be challenged, and when I have the support from my manager and team to positively affect the organization I work for in a meaningful way, I thrive.

For my first six-month assignment, I got the responsibility to drive a project investigating online sales opportunities, with a lot of helpful support from my team, my assignment manager, and my home manager. With the golden support internally, I was given the chance to progress professionally and personally with more responsibilities and trust than I could have ever hoped for going into this position. For the various stakeholders, the assignment was successful and created valuable insights which I can only be proud to have been a part of.

I am currently on my second assignment within the Global Trainee Program, working on another Business Development project in Global Sales and People & Organization. What is extremely exciting about this project is that it is nowhere limited to a single country or region, it’s focused on global employee development, which is a topic I have not worked with extensively before.

Evidential for the delegated responsibilities for this assignment, I can highlight that I am currently finishing this blog post from my hotel room in Olathe, Kansas. I am here for a week-long business trip to gather and share experiences with our colleagues in the Construction Division in the US. To explore and collaborate on what they have done related to the project, input that I can bring back to Europe and share with our division, fostering and strengthening global collaboration.

Outside the Husqvarna Construction Products Headquarters in Olathe, Kansas.

Working at Husqvarna Group has led me to take on more responsibility than expected and capitalize on professional development opportunities, all thanks to remarkably supportive and engaging coworkers and managers. However, one should always remember that in order to achieve what one wants, continued effort and dedication is needed to reach one’s goals. Bring it on!

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What can I do as a Global Trainee at Husqvarna Group? A lot!


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When I write this I have been part of Husqvarna Group’s Global Trainee program for a little over seven months. Before I joined the Group I studied MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management and BSc in Design and Product Development at Linköping University, Sweden.

What made me apply? When growing up I have always been exposed to Husqvarna branded products. My dad owns an Automower (robotic lawnmower) since many years back and he praises it much more than he ever did when I cut the lawn as a kid. I think this speaks to how Husqvarna make customers love their products and services, and this was something I felt I wanted to be a part of.

Once I joined I started to realize that the great products and services we offer are actually the result of a more important resource, the people. All the colleagues I get to meet are supportive and as a trainee, you really get a unique insight into the whole of Husqvarna Group’s business.

A key behavior here is to take ownership and ask yourself: What can I do? For me so far, I have had the opportunity to do the following:

  • Run a handheld battery development project as a project manager.
  • Contribute to our process development by interviewing and looking at how to work with resource management.
  • Spend time in R&D labs taking apart (and trying to put together) every product.
  • Training modules in Stockholm (Sweden) and Ulm (Germany) with all Trainees.
  • Work at Husqvarna’s Automower production site in Aycliffe (UK), where I am at the moment.
  • And so much more!

With that, I leave you this time with a picture of the latest and greatest Husqvarna Automower 435X with an all-wheel-drive!

Thanks, dad, for not praising my lawn cutting abilities. Until next time!

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Rain, red brick houses and fitted carpets, guess where I am…?


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…In northern England, more precisely in a small town called Darlington. My name is Caroline Lilja,  I’m a Global Trainee within Sourcing, and I moved here a week ago to start my second rotation in the UK Sourcing team. Very exciting!

The last few weeks have been a lot about meeting new people and traveling. I have been in Germany for our second Training Module and as mentioned, I just moved to the UK for my second rotation.

Training Module in Germany

As you might know, between each rotation, we have a training week in one of Husqvarna Group’s main sites. This time we got to visit Ulm, Gardena’s headquarter. The module typically consists of a lot of interesting presentations from different areas within the company performed by senior managers, former trainees and other amazing colleagues. The week in Ulm also offered some practical exercises like Lego simulation, project management training and, last but not least, nice food and great company! The top two things during the week was according to me, the LEGO simulation and the cooking event. The LEGO simulation is a fun activity about continues improvements and we as a group did really well! It’s so much fun to work with bright and driven people! We also got the opportunity to challenge our ability to cooperate when we, one night, attended a cooking class. We were supposed to cook a three-course dinner for 15 people… But honestly speaking, I think the real chef cooked all the food and we just messed around in the kitchen ;).

Happy team after the LEGO simulation!
Dinner with my boys!
Cooking event in Ulm!

Second rotation in the UK

After the week in Ulm, I did a quick touch down in Sweden to finish up some work and then I went straight to the UK for my second rotation. In the UK we make, according to me, our coolest product. The robotic lawnmower! And wow! The UK office have really welcomed me and from day 1, I’ve felt like I’m a part of the team. Of course, it is a bit overwhelming to move to a new country, leaving the safe ground in Sweden to explore something new. But that really triggers me, and I think it’s good to step outside your comfort zone from time to time to experience new sides of yourself. Sometimes you just have to throw yourself into the unknown and see what happens. To wrap up my first week in the UK, I went out for a typical British pub crawl with my fantastic colleagues from the office, see picture below.

Pub crawl in Durham

Professional skills and personal development

For me the trainee program is not just a great opportunity to develop my professional skills, I also get the possibility to travel around the world to learn from different cultures and to meet great new friends! This program gives me an opportunity to grow as a person and to step outside my comfort zone. Husqvarna Group is a company that understands how important it is for people to grow, not just professionally but as an individual. I’m so glad that I got this amazing opportunity.

Until next time, take care :)!

Regards,

Caroline

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Passionate Gardeners everywhere!


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Hi, readers!

Now it’s my turn to write about the Husqvarna Group’s Global Trainee Program. My name is Stefan Kessler and I am the Global Trainee in sales. I joined Husqvarna Group after finishing my masters in Industrial Engineering and Management at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Nuremberg-Erlangen, Germany.

My first assignment in GARDENA’s online business team

The Global Trainee Program consists of four 6-month assignments in different teams, divisions and even countries, giving each of us the opportunity to experience the diversity of the Group. During my first assignment I have been a member of the online business & new channel sales team of the GARDENA division in Ulm, Germany. As one of three divisions within the Husqvarna Group, GARDENA is focusing on the needs of passionate gardeners by offering a wide range of gardening products like watering systems, garden tools, robotics or pumps.

The team is maintaining & developing our relationships with our e-commerce customers in Germany. Furthermore it is constantly identifying new sales opportunities beyond the traditional sales channels, like food retailing or loyalty programs. Therefore, I was able to gain valuable insights into the daily work of an account manager and got a good understanding of our brand and its awareness in the markets. My personal highlights during my first assignment were following:

  •  Customer visit at one of our large e-commerce accounts in Germany   
  • A successful new customer acquisition 
  • Being involved in the development of a new sales strategy for the German market

Moreover I had the opportunity to participate in a sales conference for all sales & district managers of the German, Austrian and Swiss market. During that week new products for the garden season were presented and product testing & workshops took place. Besides the attractive agenda, the event was for me a chance to become familiar with the sales organization of GARDENA and the people behind it.

Training Modules between assignments

What’s really remarkable for the Global Trainee Program are the training modules between our assignments. During the two years we are going to visit all major sites of the Group in Sweden, Germany, the US and China. Besides the fact that you meet your trainee colleagues, the training modules give you the chance to broaden and deepen your perspectives and understanding of the Group.

Testing the chainsaws during our first training module in Huskvarna

We started with the first module in Sweden visiting the head office in Stockholm, the home base in Huskvarna and the Construction division in Jonsered. What I really enjoyed was the warm welcome and openness of the colleagues (from factory workers to vice presidents), sharing their experience with us.

Therefore I am really looking forward to my trainee journey and my development within the group. My next assignment will lead me to a country, where hover mowers are really popular. To give a hint: It’s the motherland of football & gardening. 😉

Stay tuned

Until next time!

Stefan

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Ready when you are!


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Ciao Ragazzi, my name is Giuseppe and I graduated within International Logistics and Supply Management in Sweden (MSc, in Jönköping). After finishing my studies I started my exciting journey as a Global Trainee for the Husqvarna Group.

Since then I got to know amazing people while working within international project groups and along different departments. Allow me to quickly recap the last 10 months:

I started my international rotation in Ulm (Germany), where I was working for the Logistics department. While working in Ulm I was responsible to reduce the logistics costs by improving the stock levels and establishing a new delivery concept together with a card board supplier. In addition to that, I also got the opportunity to undertake a pre-study for an automated warehouse solution for our spare parts logistics warehouse in Laichingen. Both tasks were characterized by the fact that I could not really apply theories and knowledge I acquired throughout my studies. Thus, it made the tasks extremely interesting since I had to think outside the box and move out of my comfort zone.

Meanwhile, I have already past 4 months of my second rotation. I am now based in Aycliffe, UK, where I am working within Supply Chain Management and Sales. My learning curve throughout the last couple of months was amazing. I got assigned with the role as a Project Manager and I am currently setting up a new customer, thereby coordinating logistical, sales, financial & IT related topics. I actually never expected to get a similar amount of responsibility assigned, before I started this program. Hence, I am really happy that I got this chance to prove myself in an competitive global environment.

Aside from the work, one of the best things about being a Global Trainee for Husqvarna Group, is the opportunity to meet new people from different cultures. I have made many new friends in the past couple of months, and have also had the pleasure of exploring the variety of nature that the cities of the UK have to offer.

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

In diesem Sinne, see you soon & arrivederci!

Giuseppe Anello

Global Trainee Logistics & Operations

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Exciting times ahead!


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The year of 2016 was the year when I graduated as Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, it was also the year when I was hired as a global trainee at Husqvarna Group. I started my two year program the fall of 2016. So far it have been an exciting time, with a lot of new impressions, which I will tell you about in this short blog post.

Each global trainee has its own focus area, with a specified development plan guiding four assignment rotations for the coming two years. Me, as global trainee within manufacturing started my first assignment at Manufacturing Engineering at the Husqvarna site in Huskvarna.

My first two weeks at Husqvarna started with an introduction to the manufacturing site, which is a very interesting one; as it contains the whole value chain. The process starts with a piece of metal and ends with a final product ready to be delivered to a dealer. During these two weeks; me and a fellow trainee got to spend time understanding the everyday work of the different functions within manufacturing. Most interesting was the days we got to assembly products on the assembly line, it gave me understanding of the product and the challenging work for my colleagues.

Me during product testing at the first training module.

The first assignment was kicked off with a training module and introduction to the Husqvarna division with start in and end at Husqvarna Headquarters in Stockholm. During this training module I got to meet all the other global trainees for the first time, and we had a great time as we learned about the products and the business of Husqvarna.

Huskvarna site is currently going through an industrial revolution where we are moving towards industry 4.0. As my first assignment I got to participate in this exciting journey as project manager of a pre-study. The pre-study included movement from manual assembly towards a semi-automated assembly for one of our fast growing product categories. The finalization of the pre-study meant a presentation for the management team, and now the project is moving towards the next step.

I will soon change assignment and thereby perspective. I will move to the product department for the product category which I worked with within manufacturing. It will be interesting to experience both the delivery and receiving end of the development process, and I’m certain that I have an exciting time ahead of me.

Best regards;

Olof Gustafsson

Global trainee Manufacturing, Husqvarna Division

Husqvarna Group

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