Meet Sandra Hillergren
Sandra Hillergren from Skellefteå, 800 km north of Stockholm, is one of this year’s participants in the Global Industrial Internship Program. She is currently pursuing her master’s in Strategic Information Systems Management and is eager to learn more about Atlas Copco and to dive right into her project assignments in the assembly segment.
Education: Studying a master’s in Strategic Information Systems Management, Stockholm University, Sweden. Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management.
Country of placement: Sweden
Division during internship: General Industry Tools and Assembly Systems
Field of work: Marketing, Assembly segment
Interests: Passionate about Taekwondo! Represented the Swedish National Team for several years in the European and World Championships.
When asked about why she applied to the Industrial Internship, Sandra says that the first thing that caught her interest was the very international approach of both Atlas Copco as a company, as well as the nature of the Program. “I enjoy working with people from different countries and backgrounds, so I thought it would be a good fit for me. Another reason for applying was that I had no previous knowledge or experience of the industrial industry and wanted to learn more about it,” she explains.
Over the course of the internship Sandra is based in Sickla, Sweden in the General Industry Tools and Assembly Systems division, more specifically within the Assembly segment. “Since the internship is more virtual this year due to the Covid-19 situation I will alternate working from the office and from home,” she explains.
During the internship she is mainly focusing on two projects, one local and one global. “For my local project, I will assist in developing the Assembly Segment’s digital presence through some selected channels. I will also support in segment mapping, to better understand the market for future opportunities and growth. This connects to the global project, where my team and I will do a market share size estimation to get a better view of the division’s current and future position in the market,” Sandra says.
“One of my most interesting learning this far, is how innovative Atlas Copco is. My initial understanding of the industrial industry was very far from what I have learned during the last couple of weeks. I knew that Atlas Copco is a large company – but I have started to realize that it is way bigger and more involved in my everyday life than I could ever imagine when I walked through the headquarters glass doors on my first day a few weeks ago,” she concludes.
Checking-in during summer
Can you tell us about your tasks and experiences in the internship so far? What are the biggest challenges?
My daily tasks concern marketing in the General Industry division. Currently, my tasks involve industry mapping of each sub-segment within the division, as well as digital communication both on the Atlas Copco website as well as on our internal intranet pages.
My biggest, and most fun, challenge is for sure the dedicated global project. It involves solving a complex task by establishing a global approach to estimate the division’s market size.
Explain more about your dedicated project that has been assigned to you. What is your role in this?
Together with five other interns from the US, Czech Republic, and Russia my global project is to do a market size and market share estimation for the business segments in the General Industry division. We will start to estimate the market size for the sub-segment Assembly, which is also where I’m positioned. We are all working together as one team, however, due to the time differences we have decided to split some parts of the work into the US/the European team to ease scheduling of meetings with people around the world.
What are the project goals?
When delivering the project in August we hope to have established a feasible and sustainable approach to continuously estimate the market size and the Atlas Copco market share for the General Industry division. We hope to provide an approach that covers the markets globally, but at the same time provide local accuracy.
Who are you interacting with in Atlas Copco?
Most of my interaction at this point is with other interns, as we help one another both in our projects and across other projects, as well as with colleagues within the marketing divisions. It might sound like a small and limited number of people at first, but due to the size and complexity of the organization it involves several people from all over the world.
What have you learned about our culture and values so far?
During the first few months of the internship we have had a lot of discussions about the company’s culture and I must say that the culture of Atlas Copco amazes me. Everyone I have met is both genuinely nice and accommodating, while still working very hard. The Atlas Copco Book is well known by everyone and works as a guiding light for how the company strives for the culture to be created and maintained. The book consists of several chapters, where my favorite chapter is “There’s always a better way”, as it describes the dedication Atlas Copco has to keep evolving.
Checking-in after completed business project
How did the project turn out?
Great! I was part of the group that developed a framework for Atlas Copco’s market size and share estimation, and I’m very happy with the results. We had put a lot of hard work into our framework, with the ambition to develop a solid and sustainable way of conducting these activities, which plays an essential role in the strategic work. Together with the help of our sponsor, mentor, and users we managed to develop a framework which I hope will be implemented in the future.
How was the internship experience as a whole?
Without a doubt, I’m very satisfied with the internship. I have learned a lot; both about the industry, as well as how to manage and work in an international project. My everyday tasks have been fun yet challenging, and when I have needed help or input, there’s always been someone to support me, for example colleagues, my manager or our project sponsor.
One moment that I especially treasure, was when pitching an idea about certain part of our project to my manager. This part was the base for solving a major challenge that we faced at the time. It was the end of a long day at the office, and together we managed to work our way through it. The results ended up better than what we had hoped for. I won’t forget the look on my manager and in my colleagues’ eyes, a mix of excitement and relief, any time soon.
Why would you recommend others to apply to the program?
When applying to Atlas Copco, I didn’t know anything about the industry. It was a huge challenge to take on but during summer I’ve managed to learn a lot about the industry, and the work itself, which has truly been an eye-opener and confidence booster for me. The global internship program is also designed in a way to fast-track the participant to an understanding of Atlas Copco’s success, with workshops held by senior management and international project groups; this has helped us progress during the last few months.
What’s it like working here?
Three words to describe the company culture is friendly, international and performance. Everyone I have met during my internship has been super friendly and supportive, and I can always trust people around me. Also, the majority of the colleagues I have met so far have been from all over the world, and on a daily basis I have communicated with people based in several different countries. Besides, at my office spot in Stockholm I’m surrounded by colleagues from all over the world as well. Lastly, one thing that I like about the company culture is the high-performance spirit. People are competent in what they do, and even interns are expected to deliver good results. To be able to achieve our high goals, we work closely together and support each other when necessary.
Do you think this internship will help you in your future career?
The internship will absolutely help me in my future career! Independent if it means continuing at Atlas Copco, or at other companies. I have gained experience with project management, cross-cultural cooperation with colleagues, and an understanding of the industrial industry. Before applying to the internship, I would never have imagined working in the industry, but now I will pursue it. Also, I have only worked in small and medium sized companies prior to Atlas Copco, but the internship has given me the opportunity to experience a large, global company.
What are your main learnings and takeaways from the internship?
That I’m capable of a lot more than I think. All of my tasks have been quite challenging, and when I first got them, I wasn’t sure of how to approach them. But after putting in hard work (and receiving valuable support when needed) I managed to solve them all. Besides, I think I have delivered even better results than I would have hoped for in the beginning, so I’ve definitively gotten more confident to trust my abilities.
What was the funniest, strangest, or nicest experience during the internship?
For sure meeting all of my colleagues! I’ve met a few of them in the office when I’ve been on site, but many of the meetings have been online. In my opinion it has not mattered that much. Everybody has put in effort to create a nice meeting environment and even though it may seem lonely to start at a new work and then work from home (which a lot of us have been doing) during the first months, I feel like I’ve made a lot of new friends.
One of my favorite moments was when a few of the Swedish interns celebrated our global project deliveries. We presented our global project for the Vice Presidents in the Industrial Technique Business Area, and then decided to have a dinner together outside of work to discuss our experiences in our project groups and in our different local projects. Although we were all tired after an intense presentation day, I think everybody was truly satisfied with their deliveries and results.