What Anders says about the Master's in Service Management, Supply Chain Management
Anders from Sweden
What did you do before you started studying the Master’s programme in Service Management?
"I had just finished my Bachelor's in Logistics Service Management, so I basically just kept on studying. Before that, after finishing the military service in Sweden, I worked in Malmö for a couple of years."
What was the best thing about the programme?
"That is a somewhat tricky question, as the answer has evolved over time. If I would have been asked directly after graduation, I would have most likely said the critical thinking, to critically gather and sort information, which I still think is one of the most important lessons.
The answer today, almost exactly five years after graduating from this specialisation, is the having developed a holistic view and being able to use a 'helicopter view'; the ability to better see and understand consequences at an earlier or later stage of the process or supply chain – the cause and the effect."
The combination of service and the logistical solution, meeting the needs of others and finding the best solution to a specific problem, is another valuable skill taught during the programme."
Where are you from and where do you live today?
"I was born and raised in Malmö in the very south of Sweden, where I live again now after having lived in Helsingborg for several years. Campus Helsingborg made me pack my bags and leave Malmö, which I did not regret for one second. It was the start of eight fantastic years, five of them spent at Campus Helsingborg. Little did I know what an adventure it would turn out to be and what a huge impact it would have on my life, not only in terms of knowledge but also when it comes to friendships. Many of my best friends today are from the time I spent at Campus Helsingborg."
What do you work with?
"Today I work at Saab’s business area Kockums. Saab is Sweden's leading defence company with a wide portfolio of defence solutions and Kockums is part of Saab’s naval offer where we develop and build submarines, surface ships and boats. My current title is Strategic Planning and Development Analyst.
At the moment my work consists of two roles. Firstly, as a Main Planner, I focus on the strategic approach to the company's project portfolio in terms of planning and resources. This role also consists of creating different scenarios and analysing and assessing different potential outcomes for the future, in order for us to be proactive and plan ahead.
There are many aspects to consider when planning for new potential orders, particularly when your customer is the government and the projects are large scale and sometimes stretched out over decades. Processes and planning are not only affected by specific rules and regulations for our industry – elections and changes in the political landscape can mean changes in our customers’, or potential customers’, demand.
My second role is Process Methods & Tools (PM&T) Driver for Planning, meaning that I am responsible for developing the planning process within our business area, which will be implemented and harmonised with other parts of Saab in our global management system. Saab has a wide portfolio of solutions and aims to streamline and constantly improve internal processes for higher quality and cost-efficiency."
What is the biggest challenge in your current position?
"I believe that I am my own biggest challenge. I am very eager to learn and evolve, and because of that I can sometimes be a bit impatient when learning. I have been with the company for about 1.5 years and it is easy to compare oneself to someone who has been at the company for many years. I try to get inspiration and learn from my colleagues instead of comparing myself to them, knowing that a craft takes time to learn. Making a submarine almost has the same complexity as making a space craft, meaning that extraordinary measures must be taken in every step from design to delivery."
How do you use the knowledge you gained during your studies in your working life?
"The critical thinking skills helped create self-confidence in my decision-making process. During the Master’s programme, you don't learn everything there is to know about the supply chain, but you are stimulated to ask more questions and create a better understanding of the challenges you are facing. The critical thinking helps me ask the 'right' question in order to find the answer rather than try to answer the question right.
In addition to the critical thinking, I always aim to paint a holistic/helicopter picture of every new challenge. One has to be careful not to sub-optimise parts of the process and become too narrow-minded and forget about the bigger picture. The service-minded thinking taught me to strive for user-friendly solutions, to keep things simple."
What advice would you give to new students?
"Take the chance to challenge yourself! It opens doors to careers that you did not even know about. I wanted to improve my English, but also further develop my knowledge in the field of logistics and supply chain management.
Lastly, it was amazing to study with people from different backgrounds, countries and religions. They were all super friendly and curious, not only when it comes to academic knowledge but also about Sweden, Swedish culture and 'fika'. I am glad I could share this experience with some of my classmates."