Tom Åkerström, Executive Transformation & Operational Excellence Trainee, Stockholm, Sweden
How did you learn about the Tele2 Executive trainee program?
I had decided a trainee program was the right thing for me to start of my career with. Looking for interesting trainee programs, I first read about the Tele2 executive trainee program at Traineeguiden.se – where my interest for the program was quickly established.
What made you decide to apply for the trainee program?
With some previous experience in Telecom I knew it was a really exciting business to be part of, with constant development and change. When I found this opportunity and read about the experience of previous trainees it was an easy decision to make.
What made Tele2 stand out from other employers?
The inviting and future-focused culture. The very exciting fact of a company that stands out among slow-moving giants, fueled by an attitude to be fearless and flexible, not afraid to stand out from the rest. The opportunity to join a company where it is possible to do impact already from the start. Many things…
What did you do before you entered the trainee program?
I finished my master’s program in Industrial Engineering and Management at the Royal Institute of Technology, doing a master’s thesis about 5G ecosystems at Ericsson. I also spent one semester in Singapore, studying business and finance. Not surprising, I spent the summer travelling and preparing for this upcoming challenge.
What surprised you the most when you started?
Among many things the two most outstanding were how involved I got to be from the very beginning of the program and how exciting it would feel to be handed such great amount of responsibility.
How does your work at Tele2 challenge you?
I believe this is very different for all trainees, but for me, the need of always finding a new way to approach and handle challenges. As every day is different, there is no manual for my work. However, the very same fact is what makes it so exciting.
Describe a typical day at work?
As I just mentioned there is no typical work for me and hence no typical day. What I can say is that I usually come to work with a rather free schedule, but one or two hours into the day the reality is very different, as new challenges or things to do arise all the time. Either because they are handed to me or because I choose to address them myself. I never have to worry about having nothing to do, that is for sure.
How does Tele2 support your development?
The organization does a great work indirectly, as the people working here is the main support for my development. We have several education programs that are important for our work, but from the people perspective, everyone is very engaged. I have all the trainees, old and new, one mentor, and my executive Fredrik, but also everyone else in the surrounding, open to help and talk about everything, which really drives my development.
What are your hobbies or passions outside of work?
I really enjoy technology and innovations, but also sports and nature. I get no better feeling than the one from physical activity or exploring untouched nature, anything from fishing in the north of Sweden to climbing volcanoes in Indonesia. As most others I also enjoy travelling and spending time with friends, colleagues and family.
Best experience at Tele2 so far:
Experiencing how fast high-level decisions can be executed throughout an entire organization if I have to mention a single thing. However, it is still an ongoing experience of exciting challenges and amazing people.
What is your best career advice for students who are about to start their careers?
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with things you have not done before. The more you do the easier it will be to find your place and comfort. With that said, don’t be afraid to ask questions and look for guidance – it will speed up your progress and wont be strange or unfamiliar to anyone you approach.