When Nikita Tagner got a foot in the door at Scania through the Scania Student Intro programme, he was determined to make the most of the opportunity. Even while doing his initial summer job, he had meetings with managers: a strategy that proved successful.
While Nikita was doing his masters in aerospace engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, he noticed an advert for the Scania Student Intro (SSI) programme. It was the promise of a summer job at Scania that convinced him to apply.
When students join the SSI programme, the aim is for them to gain an insight into Scania and to establish valuable contacts. Besides being guaranteed summer jobs, participants are given a mentor, and are free to attend seminars and engage in other activities.
Nikita’s summer job was with a group working on electrification.
“I got to work on things that were somewhat removed from what I’d been doing on the course, but I thought that was educational,” he says.
But what Nikita accomplished, besides carrying out his work tasks, was equally important in terms of preparing him for his future career: he booked meetings with various managers to ask them if he could do his thesis in their department.
“Later on, in the autumn, my SSI supervisor called me to say that one of those I’d spoken to during the summer wanted me to join their department to work on my thesis there. I was so happy and extremely psyched up about the whole thing!”
And so Nikita returned to Scania. Once more, he determined to embrace the opportunity, booking in meetings yet again – but this time, to find out whether there might be a suitable job opening for him once he’d graduated.
Was it easy to contact people at Scania?
“Yes, it certainly was. I had lots of good meetings with people; the managers really took the time, and would ask me what kind of work I’d like to do.
Even though he had been keen to launch straight into working life after graduating, Nikita became curious about the Scania Engineer Program (SEP).
SEP is an introduction scheme for fresh engineering graduates which provides a comprehensive introduction to Scania’s business and corporate culture. The focus is on practical work and participants gain permanent employment at Scania. Those selected are based in a specific department but have the opportunity to try working in different parts of the company.
“Trainee programmes are normally aimed at people who want to become managers,” says Nikita. But SEP is for specialists: for nerds who really like to dig into a particular subject. And that’s what I wanted to do.”
Nikita was offered a place on the programme, and decided to accept – which he is now very happy about.
“I acquired a wide network of contacts through SEP. I still meet up with others who were on the programme with me; sometimes we have lunch together, for example. Having such a big network of contacts at the company from the very start is extremely useful. If I need to get hold of someone outside my department, for example, I can just ask one of the former ‘SEP-ers’ to help.”
Now that he has completed the programme, Nikita is working as a development engineer in the department where he did his SEP placement. His group build test environments for truck and bus electric power systems.
Do you feel that you have ended up in the right place?
“Yes. Scania trusts its engineers. We have the freedom to take our own decisions and that’s very liberating. It’s very important – both in terms of the work environment and my development.”