Set for the future

It is now 14 months since Saab Graduate Leadership Program 17/18 took off and the final graduate team week is about to take place. It has been a fantastic experience and an important stepping stone for me as an individual. The learning curve was far more exponential than I would have ever imagined when I first stepped inside the Saab universe last summer. I would like to take the opportunity to bring you on a brief recap of my year as a graduate and show what a position within the program can include. Are you ready?

To introduce myself, my name is Viktor Lundström and I started my journey as a graduate within the sourcing department in Gothenburg. The first few months could be characterized as getting to know the company, its structures and more importantly my new colleagues. I was set out to do tasks that involved understanding the ways of working at my home department combined with meeting people from areas which collaborated the most with the sourcing department. This gave a good overview of the organization and I immediately felt very privileged as the focus was for me to learn as much as possible.

When I had a core understanding of my home department, I was sent out to do rotations in order to get an even broader understanding of the company. This is what I believe really differentiates a graduate position from regular employment since you are able to see the organizations at other locations that may or may not be connected to your home department. I started off by getting the opportunity to go to the heart of business area Kockums in Karlskrona, Sweden where the awesome submarines are produced. It was great to see a totally different business area within Saab and it gave me perspective on how wide the company’s competence is, as well as how many opportunities exist moving forward in terms of synergies and knowledge sharing.

During the spring, I continued my journey by doing rotations in other functions while at home in Gothenburg. I had the opportunity to work with project management, supply chain, as well as joining the finance team to better understand the business aspect. During this time, I found that what truly drives my curiosity is to get insight into numbers that in turn can give a guideline for how well the business operates. That learning was something that I brought with me, but I will elaborate on that more in the end of this blog.

My last rotation, my rotation abroad, was conducted at our US headquarters in Syracuse, NY. For two months, I worked once again with different areas, but with a core focus on sourcing. The rotation gave me great experience of not only how a business in the US operates, but also the differences in our business culture. The US-Sweden cooperation is also interesting and important to understand due to the current market conditions, as Saab has been growing more in the US market lately which brings both great opportunities and challenges.

So what about the learning I found at the finance function? Well, after my time in the US I took the opportunity to work with the finance department full time. At the time of writing this, I am now working within the finance function of business unit Airborne doing what I like the most, analyzing the numbers and trying to give input to the operations.

I recommend you to apply next time you see an opening to the Saab Graduate Leadership Program.