Just over two years ago, I started my journey as a trainee on the SSAB Technical Development Program. The program is designed for newly graduated engineers with a genuine interest in technology who want to work in the steel industry. The program lasts about 18 months and is dividedinto 4 or 5 modules, each consisting of a main project in one of the departments, with various side activities such as customer visits and study visits within the company. When each project is complete, you switch to the next module in a new department (or even a new location!) and start a new cycle.

My first project was at the Knowledge Service Center forming group (now calledKSC Specialists) in Borlänge, central Sweden, where aside from a fascinating punching project, I had the opportunity to live in a completely new town and experience a new environment. For a southern Swede like me who had hardly ever been north of Stockholm, there was much to see and learn.

In my next module, I took a turn in the production department at Oxelösund, where we were creating an entirely new product. It was fascinating, rewarding and simply awesome to follow a steel plate from rolling to sale on the market. In connection with this project, I was also able to work on the late and night shifts, and now, a year later, to follow the results, as the plate has just been welded into a loading platform in Norway.

Me and Mats Fried, former welder at KSC lab, a few weeks before he retired. My first mentor, who taught me so much about practical welding and the fact that you can unscrew the widget which reduces the water flow in the changing room showers.

My journey continued with new challenges in the Knowledge Service Center's then welding group, the Central Welding Shop in Oxelösund and finally in Product Development. We had an enjoyable sendoff in Borlänge with lots of Pokémon Go - now dubbed "Pokémon Gone". Since October I have been working at SSAB SHAPE in project management and technical support for our organization. Every day I am aware of the great benefits I received from the program, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go on it. The new knowledge and interesting people I met along the way are something I will take with me into the future.

Just the unique opportunity to see the production at the various locations over a longer period of time and to learn about the different challenges and goals which the departments are engaged with, really helps to complete my picture of the cogwheels and machinery which keep the company running. This has given me a certain humility about the challenges we face in our day-to-day work, and the importance of maintaining good cooperation.

In the best of all worlds, everyone should be able to go on a trainee program and get the same overview of the company as I did, and, more than anything, meet the fantastic people who work for and make SSAB what it is.

Tanja Halsteen
Technical Project Manager
SSAB Shape