Hi Måns, you are an alumnus from the Business and Economics Programme at Luleå University of Technology and recently took up the role of CEO at Storuman Energi. Want to tell us a little about your work and what has taken you there?
I got a job at Storuman Energi 2016, just after I got my degree in economy. My first job in the company was as a Trainee Controller. From there, I worked my way up to controller and then CFO. In early 2019, a recruitment process was started to find a new CEO of Storuman Energi. I was then appointed Vice President and assigned to lead the company during the recruitment process. But I also made sure to throw my hat in the ring and seek the position of CEO. After a long process I got the job and on June 1, 2019, I took over as CEO of Storuman Energi.
The electricity trading market is very competitive and it is therefore important to be attentive to customers' needs and wishes, as well as what is happening in the market in general. My duties as CEO therefore largely consist of using the information I have available to design strategies to lead the company in the right direction. I work very close to the entire workforce to ensure that every individual gets a chance to develop and shine within their role. Being able to get the best out of the personnel is the key to success.
The main reason I went to where I am today would be my willingness to learn new things. I have always taken advantage of the knowledge that talented and experienced people possess. Whether they work as a programmer, customer service staff or as a CEO. There are people in all sorts of places and positions that you can learn a lot from. You have to take advantage of that, and knowledge is often free. People who are knowledgeable and experienced are usually happy to share their knowledge if you just ask.
What do you think was crucial to getting the job done?
What made me decide to get a job as a Trainee controller at Storuman Energi from the beginning was so much due to my education as a business economist. But when it comes to my new position as CEO, there are significantly more factors that were crucial. It is more about personal qualities, leadership ability and even the ability to think strategically.
One of the advantages I had was that since day one at Storuman Energi I had the opportunity to work quite close to the board. This meant that when it was time to recruit a new CEO I had already been shown what I was going for. The Board already had a good idea of my knowledge, my thinking and my ability to lead the company.
Have you benefited from your education in the work you have today?
I have benefited tremendously from my education. My job as CEO covers a lot, from strategy and management to marketing and financial statements. You can learn all of this in the economics education, you get a good foundation to stand on.
What was the best thing about studying at LTU?
Community. The majority of my classmates had, just like me, moved from their hometown to study elsewhere. Then you have to make new contacts and find new friends. Before you know it, you have built a friendship circle of fantastic people and made friends for life. It also does not hurt that you build a large contact network that you can then benefit from in working life.
Do you have any career tips for students going into working life?
The idea I got during my studies at LTU was that most people wanted to move and apply for jobs in the big cities. Competition in big cities is stiff in many industries. This makes it more difficult to make a career as many companies require multi-year work experience for managerial positions and other qualified services. At the same time, the small towns are looking for trained workers with light and lantern. One should not be afraid to go to a smaller place where, as a recent graduate, one can compete for more senior services. In this way, one can gain experience and knowledge that would have been difficult to obtain otherwise. You can always go back to the bigger cities a few years later if you so wish and then have a stronger resume than their peers in industry.
How do you see the future, what are your plans?
The energy industry is very exciting right now and is developing extremely fast. New renewable energy solutions are constantly being developed. Sales of electric cars and solar cell installations have completely exploded in just a year or two. This is a trip I want to join. The plan is therefore to continue to drive Storuman Energi into the future.