Make the most of every period in life

I was standing in my hotel room in Syracuse US, where I had stayed for the last two months, swearing and trying to get all my stuff into my suitcase which must have shrunk, when it suddenly hit me: I am actually going home.

My name is Eva Brynedal and I work at Traffic Management Marketing and Sales as a participant in Saab Graduate Leadership Program 2016-2017. Traffic Management develops and sells products to keep air and maritime traffic safe and efficient. With a background in Industrial Engineering and Management focusing on Strategic Management Control from Linköping University, Traffic Management was a whole new world for me. Traffic Management at Saab is a widely spread organization with offices in nine different countries including Sweden and the USA. This diversity and intercultural part of the organization is something I find very interesting and therefore my longer abroad assignment, planned at Saab Sensis in Syracuse, NY, was something I had really looked forward to; to get to know the people there and see how they contribute to keeping people safe. Have I learned anything? Yes! And have I had fun? Yes indeed! Are Swedes and Americans just as alike as some people say? No way!

Me and my American friend Mike Chi, also a participant in Saab Graduate Leadership Programme, on a hiking tour in Ithaca, NY.

Sitting there on my suitcase, trying my best to close it, I not only looked back at my two months in the US, but also at all the nine months I had been at Saab for. I remembered my first day like it was yesterday; how all the lectures about our organization, product offers, etc. just did not make any sense, but as time passed I learned more and more, and there I was struggling with my suitcase nine months later with a feeling I actually knew the company quite well. I am so glad for this chance of being a participant in the Saab Graduate Leadership Program. To see so much of the company, meet lots of inspiring people and travel the world.
The best of it though, must be the other graduates I started the program with. We, eight Swedes, one American and one South Korean, have become very good friends and I like them all so much. We all have different backgrounds and are working at different departments within Saab. Still we all meet when we have team weeks in the programme. During the team weeks, we meet at a Saab site where we learn more about Saab and also participate in different courses/workshops to improve as future leaders.
The last two team weeks where actually held in the US where we visited three of the American sites, two in Syracuse, NY, and the Market Area North America site in Washington. Some of us also managed to take some days off spending time in NYC before the team weeks and stayed for the weekend in Washington. Altogether we got to spend a lot of time together and had just so much fun. When I finally managed to close my suitcase it struck me we only have one team week left in the programme and that this time will never come again, as a bit of melancholy streamed through my mind.

All participants in Saab Graduate Leadership Programme 2016-2017 together with Annika Liljeholm, one of the coordinators of the program, in Washington DC.

I remember I sat down there on the floor, a bit exhausted after my fight with the suitcase, starting to reason differently. The end of this programme is just an end of a chapter in a book called “My career”, and a beginning of something new. I guess each part of life just have its own charm and that you need to capture each and every part of it as well as you can. I should not feel sad for a part soon being over but instead remember it with joy and feel gratitude for being there and now and at the same time be excited for what is yet to come. And of course I and my fellow graduate-friends will stay in touch also after the program. Who knows if we will visit Washington or any other city where Saab has a site, again in the future? Or solve problems together as colleagues in a time to come? I think so. But that’s in the future.  Up next for me is coming home to Sweden, hug my boyfriend and then take on new assignments during the last months of this programme.

My suitcase, finally closed.


Love, Eva