I have now started my summer job at Scania in Södertälje. This is one of the main features of the Scania Student Intro program (SSI) and I have been placed in a group who develops bus chassis.
After this first week my head is so full of impressions that I hardly know where to start when writing this blog post. I think I better start writing more frequently hereafter because every single day so far has offered enough material for a blog post all by itself.
I admit that I felt a bit uneasy the weeks before starting my summer job because of the unknown experiences that lay ahead. I am a person who generally likes to be in control but this time was one of those occasions in life when I could neither foresee nor affect the coming events. I tried to remind myself that new things like this almost always turn out just fine, and sure enough, it turns out to be very true this time as well.
Here in Södertälje I will be staying in a furnished one bedroom and bath which I rent directly from Scania. It used to be an office building which they remade into an apartment building for visiting employees. The room has everything I need, including a small kitchen, so I am all set for the summer.
We are a group off SSI-students who lives in this apartment building and already during the first evening I felt what a good support this will be. Together we shared our hopes and anxieties about the times ahead. I think it is comforting to know I have some friends to share the ups and downs of this summer adventure.
The first day of the summer job went great. I will be working with the group who develops bus chassis. They work in a comfortable, rather small open office landscape where I have been given my own desk. I have been assigned an instructor who is really sweet and who helps me getting started and she also shows me around. She is patient and very helpful as she readily answers my many questions.
One thing that dawned on me after this first day is how incredibly detailed and complex the organization is that makes the production possible. It is nothing less than amazing how the efforts of thousands of development engineers and production personnel in the end result in a functioning truck or bus. I say it feels really cool to be a part of it.
A really special happening that took place during this first week was when the chairman of the entire Volkswagen Group, Martin Winterkorn and the CEO of Scania, Martin Lundstedt held a big meeting where all of Scania’s employees in Södertälje were invited – some eight thousand people that is! The reason behind this meeting was the recent events which led to Volkswagen acquiring all of the Scania shares. The management now wanted to address the employees directly, sharing their positive view of the future and to reassure everyone that both production and R & D would remain here in Södertälje.
In order for everyone to be able to attend the gathering, which took place right outside the headquarter, they stopped the production lines for two hours. As I understand it, this is unheard of before. So this was quite a historic event and of course became the big talk of the week.
When summarizing the events of my first week I conclude that this part of the SSI-program is so much more than just a regular summer job. It is more like a summer apprenticeship where I get to learn so much about Scania and what it is like working here. So far I have loved every minute of it and not a single day has yet gone by without me thinking to myself that this is the best summer job ever.