Reflections at the end of the beginning

The past three months not only marked the start of an exciting journey as trainee within Lantmännen, they have also been the start of my professional life. Going from full-time studies to being a full-time employee has proven both challenging and most rewarding.

Back in school, my performance was measured and graded based on hurriedly scribbled answers on a written exam twice every semester. As a trainee within Lantmännen, my performance is evaluated in totally different ways. How I carry out my tasks and projects is the main focus, sometimes even overshadowing the importance of the result of my work. The way I interact, communicate and cooperate with my colleagues is crucial. The way I go about solving problems defines how capable I am. It feels both liberating and exhilarating. Finally it is not about focusing my energy to perform in the very narrow way of university, but rather to use a broad range of skills and my entire person to perform on the job.

Another key take away from these first three months is that it is all about the people. In this professional environment, everything you do is somehow related to other people. To achieve your project goal you have to get people on board, especially if what you want to achieve affects other people. My main project at this trainee placement has many different stakeholders, that all need to be satisfied with my solution. Thus, getting people on board has been my greatest challenge. Working with several very different individuals and maintaining important relationships, the lessons learnt about people in the kindergarten playground suddenly appear more important in my professional life than what I learnt at Stockholm School of Economics.

The past three months at Group Controlling have provided ample opportunity to work on several projects as well as to meet many colleagues within Lantmännen, which I value a lot. Starting my trainee journey at Group Controlling gave a great overview of the entire Lantmännen group and the various businesses operating within it. It has really been a great start to a Lantmännen career. Today is my last day at this first placement, and coincidentally this is also the day for the department’s annual Christmas dinner. I feel sad leaving all the amazing people I have gotten to know, but I am excited for my next adventure. I guess this is both the charm and dilemma of doing a trainee program!