Sustainability, networking, and growth: A glimpse of Schneider Electric’s Graduate Program

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It’s been a year since I joined Schneider Electric through the Nordic Graduate Program. The 2022 graduate program consisted of 20 graduates from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. We all had different prior experiences and educational backgrounds, from various engineering disciplines to economics! The program lasted for 10 months, during which we could learn up close about Schneider Electric, from the R&D process and manufacturing to distribution and sales. We also had the excellent opportunity to network with colleagues across the Nordics and Europe.

Where it all began

At the beginning of September, I had my first days in the office in Oslo, where I met my fellow Norwegian graduates, my new team, and colleagues. From there, we headed to our 4-week onboarding in Stockholm to meet the rest of the graduates and our mentors.

We all stayed in a hotel between the Schneider office in Stockholm and the city center, where we would take the bus to the office in the morning and have plenty of time to spend together in the afternoons. Everything from exploring Stockholm, yoga sessions, working out, relaxing in the sauna, nail polish nights, jogging groups, dinners, bar hopping, and of course, the Swedish university tradition – bicycle party (cykelfest).

I learnt the possibilities are endless at Schneider!

On the first days in Stockholm, we got to know each other better through icebreakers, went to dinner, escape room, and bowling, and had some excellent weeks learning about Schneider. There were many intense days, and we had sessions with many experienced speakers on topics including economics, company strategy, sustainability, e-commerce, marketing, sales, and Schneider Electric values! We also got an insight into the different roles and opportunities within the company; in such a big and complex organization. I realized the possibilities are endless as we learned about the different business units within Schneider. We visited customers, distributors, and partners to see how the products and software perform in action.

Our Stockholm onboarding was really something to remember; we left with great memories and learnings of what Schneider Electric is and what we want to achieve on a Nordic, European, and global scale. After 4 weeks, we were ready to head to our countries to start in our new positions. Through the graduate program, you get assigned a role from the first day while getting a deep dive into how the business works. When we returned to the Oslo office, we got an introduction to how the company works on the Norwegian scale, i.e. what challenges and opportunities lie in our market. We also got assigned mentors and buddies to ease our transition to work life! 

Day-to-day job in Oslo

I have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s in material sciences and construction engineering. However, I needed to gain experience with electrical engineering and its components. In my first role as inside sales for KNX automation, I got trained on how the electrical systems worked and communicated; at the same time, I got to do some project tendering. It was great to have the opportunity to learn about the setups and software. In January, I was offered a role as a junior offer manager in the industrial automation segment, which was relevant to my field of study. Since then, I’ve gained a more profound knowledge of the automation industry in Norway; I’ve been in close contact with the sales team to learn about the trends in the market, visiting customers, attending conferences, and our factory and R&D center in Carros, France.

Not only did I learn about the industrial automation sector, but I also had time to pursue topics about sustainability and AI. One of the most vital reasons for me wanting to join Schneider Electric was because of the strong message and position on sustainability, and this really shows not only in the products that we offer but also in the engagement of your colleagues.  AI is a hot topic nowadays, especially as I wrote my master’s thesis on AI. In Schneider, dedicated teams are working on AI solutions while sharing this knowledge and inviting speakers to teach about the capabilities in a business context. There are a lot of learning resources and engaged people on these topics, so seeing how this is applied in a business context is really exciting. 

Trip to Grenoble

In May, all the graduates were set for another trip together, this time to the heart of Schneider Electric – Grenoble. We had the chance to experience our facilities in France, including our offices, R&D centers, and production sites, for a week. The most impressive part was probably visiting office IntenCity, the world’s most sustainable building utilizing Schneider Electric products and software to monitor and distribute energy efficiently. At the R&D centers, we must observe how we conduct tests and certifications before a product is released. We also got an insight into the thought process of how software is designed and tested. We gained a better understanding of our products’ quality and sustainability aspects. This can be translated back to the roles in our home countries.

It was also great to see all the other graduates again. Despite being in different countries, we talked on teams regularly, doing a digital learning week and a skiing trip! So, in France, it was no exception. After work, we would enjoy what Grenoble had to offer: hiking, good food, and great wine!  

The Nordic Graduate Program has served as an excellent networking platform. I’ve made friends with my fellow graduates and have good contacts within Nordics. We had the opportunity to learn about Schneider from many different perspectives. From our colleagues, whether a manager, sales, HR, mechanic, or developer. Finally, learn about all the other products and services we provide and what it means to work at Schneider Electric. Technology and digitization play a vital role in sustainability.

What’s next? 

Since joining Schneider Electric, I’ve realized how much our daily lives revolve around electricity. In every switch, whether in a building or machinery equipment and in all types of industries, we need a component that we (most likely) have in our product portfolio. However, we cannot only sell products to make the world go around. We need to know how to make the most out of our energy resources! That’s why I’m happy that Schneider also focuses on providing services and software to extend a product’s life & save energy. Other essential keywords we focus on are refurbishment, sustainable materials, and packaging.  

For now, I’m happy working within the industrial automation sector. There is still a lot to learn and many customers to visit. What’s most exciting for me is to be able to work closely with the industry. To be able to see the different solutions and technologies they use. However, the opportunities at Schneider are vast and diverse! It makes it an ideal place for anyone seeking a broader scope in their career.  

In conclusion, the Nordic Graduate Program at Schneider Electric has been a fun and educational journey. From embarking on diverse learning experiences across different countries to being mentored by seasoned professionals. I have grown personally and professionally. This program’s emphasis on sustainability, customer-centricity, and cutting-edge technology has been enlightening. It has deepened my understanding of our vital role in shaping a more sustainable future.

Are you interested in joining our graduate program at Schneider Electric like Tina? Check out our website for more information and for available positions to take your career journey to the next level.

About the author

Author Profile

Tina Dinh, Junior Offer Manager

Tina is a Junior Offer Manager in Oslo. She aspires to someday share all her technical learnings with those in nations who do not have access to this wealth of information. She also dreams of being a part of the digitization journeys in South America and Africa. In her spare time, Tina enjoys swimming, hiking, and reading!

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