Björn Johansson

Job title: Marketing and Sales, Aeronautics

Location: Linköping, Sweden

Education:  M.Sc. in Accountancy and a B.B.A. in Corporate Financial Management


Short personal summary

Björn is employed by Marketing and Sales for Gripen, in the Business Area Aeronautics, in Linköping. He has recently moved back to Sweden after six years of studies in the USA, at the University of Akron. At Akron, Björn earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A) in Corporate Financial Management, with a minor in International Business, while competing for the University’s Track and Field team. He then pursued to graduate from the same university with his Master of Science in Accountancy. One thing that Björn loves to do is to listen to podcasts, and he argues that it is one of the best and most interesting ways to learn about new things; a big majority of his podcasts cover topics such as economics, politics, and psychology. Even if Björn no longer competes competitively in Track and Field he still enjoys working out and engaging in a range of different athletic activities. 


Why did you apply to the graduate programme?

The main reason why I applied to the programme (other than Saab’s high status amongst companies in Sweden and that Gripen is arguably one of the coolest products one could ever work with) was that I wanted to capitalize on the international experience that I had gained during my six years in the States. Considering how international Saab is, I figured that Saab would be a perfect company to work for in that sense. The “leadership” part of the graduate program was also enticing to me because of the previous leadership exposure that I have had throughout my sporting career, which is something that I also believed would be appealing in my professional career.


How do you think Saab’s graduate programme differs from other companies’ trainee programmes?

Without knowing that much about other graduate programmes, I would still argue that few other trainee programmes gives the graduate the flexibility to form the programme him or herself to the same extent as Saab does. The degree of flexibility is of course somewhat dependent on what manager you have, but if you can argue your case as to why you think it would be good for both you and your department to do x, y, z, then you will most likely get to do that. For example, I wanted to visit our office in Brussels to see how Saab works with EU-and other politically related questions because I thought it would be good insight to have as a future sales person for Gripen. That request was positively granted by my manager. Another example is that as I’m writing this I’m actually doing a rotation at Kockums, the Business Area in Saab that builds advanced naval systems such as submarines. Other than the fact that it is beyond cool to walk onboard a submarine, visiting Kockums has many other practical uses for me and my home department, like learning how they work with everything related to marketing and sales for example. 


Do you have any tips for someone who is interested in applying to the graduate programme?

If you make it to the next step, make sure to read up on the company, such as its product portfolio. Showing that you have knowledge about the company will separate yourself from many of the other applicants (you will be surprised by how many that don’t prepare for the interview). Lastly, if you end up being the chosen one, do not turn this job down. I promise, this programme and this company is something out of the ordinary.


To whom would you recommend the programme?

Saab puts big emphasis on the leadership part of this programme, because the goal is to create future leaders within Saab. This program will therefore be challenging, especially in that sense that you will have to do things that are way outside of your comfort zone, which will stretch far beyond your time as a graduate. This is the perfect path for one’s personal development and will be great for your future career, but it will be most rewarding to those who actually commit 100 percent and fully embrace this programme.

What has been the most memorable experience so far?

There have been so many memorable experiences so far, but if I had to choose one it has to be during my rotation with Flight Test, when I got to go to Aero India and see how we work airshows from the flight operational perspective. In other words, I got to dress up as a technician and be a part of the team working on our fighter jets during the airshow. I can tell you that I had the best seat possible to the show as the fighter jets were taking off only meters away from where I was standing.


Can we contact you if we have additional questions?

You can contact me on LinkedIn: