A great experience in Abu Dhabi

My initial plan for my international rotation as part of the Saab Graduate Leadership Programme was to spend 8 weeks in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, the rotation shortened due to the COVID-19 situation but I was still able to complete half of my planned rotation, which I am very thankful for!


Breakfast with a view

It was easy to settle in once I arrived in the country and I was thrilled to make the shift from the usually very dark and cold February in Sweden to the warm and sunny Abu Dhabi, which exceeded my highest expectations. It was my first time visiting the UAE and I found myself suddenly surrounded by skyscrapers and vast deserts. This was very different from my normal life and the surroundings I am used to back in Linkoping. However, it proved to be a good fit for me, especially since I enjoy spending time at the golf course during my time off. A big difference to the golf courses in Sweden was having the practice balls laid out in pyramids, which was a cool first-time experience for me.

Ball pyramids on the driving range 

The Saab employees in the UAE played a key role in helping me enjoy my stay, involving themselves in planning my trip and preparing for my assignments and making me feel welcomed from day one. This is something I have experienced right from the start working for Saab. It does not matter if you are in Sweden or abroad, you will always be surrounded by supportive colleagues that make it even more fun to go to work! A good lesson learned from this is the importance of involving people and asking for advice from others, already in the planning phase. This applies not only for the graduate program but also in many other situations as well, to make the most out of it.

As the Covid-19 situation got tenser, with more travel restrictions being imposed, more flights being canceled and airports closing down, my manager and I made the decision to shorten my stay and fly back home to Sweden. I initially felt sad that I had to leave early and that I could not finish my assignments in Abu Dhabi. However, as soon as I started to prepare for the travel back to Sweden, I knew it was the right decision and I am thankful that I can now be close to my family and relatives in these uncertain times. I had an amazing experience and I highly value this incredible aspect of the Saab Graduate Leadership Program, having the opportunity to go abroad, to see different parts and areas of our business, while meeting and working with colleagues globally and broadening your personal network within Saab. I hope that I will have the opportunity to go back one day.


All the best,

Johan