I grew up in Boston on the American East coast and studied chemical engineering, but my real passion has always been for the automotive industry. So pretty soon after I graduated, I started working for Volvo Group in Hagerstown.
As chemical engineer, it was exciting to find that everyone in the company was on the same page when it comes to fuel economy and emissions. Moving to Sweden was actually one of my goals when I started working with Volvo Group. I became friends with Swedes already in middle school, and that affected my choice.
Volvo is so closely connected with the image of Sweden, so well known, that it’s almost like Sweden as a brand. When it came to the move itself, the company helped us with everything.
Volvo encourages its employees to move around; in that sense, it’s a truly global company. I’ve had assignments in Brazil, I have colleagues from around the world, and many senior managers have worked in at least two or three countries.
This leads to positive consequences, such as better understanding of cultural differences and how customers in different segments might work. It’s an important part of the know-how, as well as fostering understanding.
A truly global company is not just an expression, it's a culture.
If you are someone like me, who wants to get stuff done – this is the place to be. From day one, I tried to let people know that I am here to work! I like to be involved. I am interested. So the approach is “reach out” and you will get tons of work, but it’s also up to you.
The organization into smaller groups is really good for this. Your work is always noticed and you are allowed to make decisions on your own. This is promoted through the culture. And, by the way, that culture was the same in Hagerstown.
A good day at work is when I feel like I am making a positive change – for Volvo Group, for the environment, and for society. If I can improve the process, that’s a good day. There’s always room for improvement.