In everyday life, they probably would never have met. Nor would they have been able to experience how productive and inspiring cooperation is when people from different cultural backgrounds pursue the same goal.
Carolina Moraes from Brazil, Gustav Nacke from Sweden, and Jan Rößing from Germany have been working together as trainees at TRATON's Group Product Management in Södertälje since the end of November 2022. Until the end of February 2023, they will work together to develop a concept for how the individual brands of the TRATON GROUP can collect and identify the wishes and needs of their customers in a cross-company interface; these suggestions can then be used in product development.
"It's a great experience to be actively involved in the future of TRATON as a trainee," says Carolina. She adds, "The assignment in Södertälje shows how natural it is for TRATON to promote its junior employees. We take responsibility for the group and the brands - and also learn to appreciate different ways of working."
Carolina Moraes has been working for Volkswagen Truck & Bus (Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus) in Brazil for 3,5 years. Their management team selected her to gain experience in cross-brand, international cooperation at TRATON as a trainee in Sweden. What is extraordinary for her? "The cold and the snow," says Carolina. "And that the managers sit right next to the employees and trainees in the canteen, all the managers are super approachable at all times."
An open, intergenerational, and collegial approach that Gustav is familiar with. He grew up with the Swedish way of seeking solutions over a cozy coffee break. "When kicking off a project, colleagues often get together for a fika, a coffee break, as a first touch point. Here, there is an open discussion about the best solution and how everything can be implemented. This very well describes the Swedish work culture where your colleagues are also your friends," says Gustav, who lives in Stockholm and works at Scania. Since November 2022, he has been taking the train to Södertälje every day to develop new ideas with his fellow trainees in product management. So, what does he appreciate about the current trainee program? "It's the view beyond the domestic horizon and meeting people with different cultural backgrounds. I believe only as a diverse team can we tackle the challenges of the future together."
“We are a team and get to know each other's strengths and cultural backgrounds.”Jan Rößing
An aspect that is also very important for Jan from Germany. "Before I worked with Carolina and Gustav in our trainee program, I knew little about Scania's development process and almost nothing about VW Truck & Bus' and Navistar's - that has now completely changed," says Jan, who started his TRATON career at MAN in Munich, where he worked in the product strategy and battery development departments, among other things. His fellow trainees appreciate Jan for his openness and direct approach to addressing what he thinks is good or not. This ensures a creative exchange of ideas, leading to good collaboration and satisfying solutions. It also involves dealing with mistakes and blunders, "Because we can only learn from mistakes," says Jan.
In any case, the cooperation with his junior colleagues Carolina and Gustav works out excellently. "We are a team and get to know each other's strengths and cultural backgrounds. The new knowledge helps us find fresh and strong solutions, such as needs-based solutions to specific customer problems."
Incidentally, Carolina, Gustav, and Jan have discovered that the challenges in product development and product management are often very similar, if not identical, among the brands of the TRATON GROUP. A realization that is decisive for further projects, says the young professionals in unison.
And what else will be remembered? A great time with excursions to Stockholm and the wintry surroundings of Södertälje! The trainees also fondly remember their attempts to speak German in their free time. "There is still room for improvement here," says Jan with a grin. However, before the joint trainee program at TRATON ends, Carolina, Gustav, and Jan are aiming for one more goal - they want to see the Northern Lights. So they still have some time!