This third trainee period I am stationed at the Lantmännen Agroetanol production facility in Norrköping. You might remember it as the place Pauline talked fondly about a few blog posts back. As Pauline explained, Agroetanol produces ethanol from grain. The purpose of my project here is to research the market potential for ethanol refined into bioplastics.
If my last project, working with social media at Lantmännen Unibake, was outside my comfort zone, this project is WAY beyond being even remotely close to my comfort zone. Having studied accounting and financial management, digging into the chemistry of ethanol and bioplastics is something I never pictured myself doing. This is one of the very neat things with this trainee program, to have the possibility of trying out something you would never otherwise have done.
For me it is also a completely new experience to work within a production facility. When entering the factory area (which I have to do in order to get to my office) I have to put on a helmet and a brightly colored reflective vest. I then walk across the production area and pass by several huge production columns that almost touch the sky. My colleagues are mainly engineers and oftentimes at lunch when they discuss the process of the production, they might as well have been speaking Chinese to my ears.
I enjoy being in a different environment from what I am used to though, and I like taking on a project where I have to learn about a completely new area. Trying new things is what makes one develop and grow with experience. Also, it is great fun!
On another note, last month my trainee colleague Kasper and I went to one of Lantmännen’s yearly district meetings here in Östergötland. We met with several of the owners in the region and got to see how representatives from the Lantmännen board and management team accounted for the year gone by. In this kind of cooperative organization I think it is important to meet with the owners (Swedish farmers) and get an understanding for the Lantmännen heritage. After all, the ultimate purpose of the organization is to work in the interest of its owners.
Until next time!