Stainless Pro 2010: Felix
Country of origin:
What was your motivation and qualifications for applying for the Stainless Pro Programme?
I studied Civil Engineering - Industrial Engineering and Management (M.Sc.) at Karlstad University and after having met with Outokumpu employees at the student fair HotSpot 2009 at Karlstad University and being told about the program it seemed like a natural next step for me. Having studied in the USA for a total of two years at university level I wanted to continue to grow my international experience by working on a global level and the international opportunities offered by the Stainless Pro program are great. It seemed as a great way to further develop myself both professionally and personally, offering a great start to my professional career. Another thing that appealed to me about the program was the possibility of working within different functions during the program, thereby giving me a great understanding of the Stainless Steel business in general and Outokumpu specifically.
What kind of assignments have you had during the programme?
I started the program at my home base in Avesta, where Outokumpu’s second largest production site is located. During the four first months I worked in Supply Chain Management (SCM) in Avesta. When working at a production site the SCM organization is closely linked to production and part of my job here was making a detailed analysis of our usage of cooling scrap in the AOD Converter. This resulted in proposals and recommendations on how to work in a more cost efficient way, findings that were later used in the operations. While this project was ongoing I also joined an investment project in Degerfors where we are producing quarto plate. In Degerfors I took part in the strategy work of the project, working parallel with my assignments in Avesta.
My first international placement was at Outokumpu’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland, working in the Procurement function. During this placement I ran a project related to inventory within the different procurement categories and how to find the optimal inventory levels. I was also involved in the more daily work within the function, helping out with analysis and being part of the startup-process of new procurement categories. At this point I am currently in Willich, Germany, at one of our main Stock and Processing (S&P) units where I am part of the Supply Chain Management development team working on assignments closely related to our managing of inventories. I am also involved in replenishment and processing related issues. These assignments all involve a lot of contact with Outokumpu employees at other units, both mills and other S&P units, allowing me to grow my network even larger. This unit being a Sales company / Service center gives me the opportunity to experience the company from a more downstream point of view, learning how we operate closer to the customer, something I believe will be very useful when returning to work at the mill in Avesta.
What do you enjoy the most in your job?
One of the things I enjoy the most is the opportunity to meet and be in contact with a lot of co-workers at our different units around the world. Being able to meet all these people and hear their point of view on Outokumpu and our surroundings is a great learning experience. Another thing, and perhaps what I enjoy the most, is the international opportunities the program provides. Traveling and experiencing different countries and cultures is something I have always enjoyed and being able to do this within my work is great. I think it is hard to get this kind of experience and learning unless being part of a program like this.
What kind of development opportunities does Outokumpu offer you in future?
First of all I have to say the program itself is a great development opportunity. Doing the placements, building my network within the organization, working on different assignments in different functions; all of it combines into a great, developing experience and help me build a solid professional base, providing me with great opportunities for the future. At this point I still have about 10 months left in the program and discussions regarding my future position within Outokumpu after the program will start within the next couple of months. I am looking forward to those discussions and believe that Outokumpu will find me a position suited for my skills, knowledge and capabilities.
Anything else you would like to tell a possible future colleague about working at Outokumpu and being a Stainless Pro?
I think this program is a great way to start your career and it offers exceptional opportunities. Based on what I have experienced so far you will work with things that really matter and learn a lot during the two years you spend being a Stainless Pro. The program has fulfilled my expectations of what a graduate program should be; it is fun and a great learning experience but also a great challenge that demands a lot on your part as an employee where shouldering responsibility is part of your daily work. I think that if you are ready to accept this challenge your will have a great time working for Outokumpu.