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Therese Malakow
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Therese Malakow

Published: 4 October 2017

Programme: Systems Sciences

Hi Therese. You are an alumni from the program System Science at Luleå University of Technology? Do you want to tell me a little about what you are working with today and what took you there?

I am currently working as Head of R & D Services at Saab in Linköping. I started my career as a developer (I love programming!) But soon fell into project management because I have easy to keep things together, see the whole and ensure that you land a desirable result. During my time as project manager, I also discovered how fun it was to work with management and development of individuals, so I was looking for line manager at Saab. I was very sure not to ask questions for the service because I lacked experience but Saab showed forth and dared to bet on an inexperienced leader. I'm in the round throwing ten years younger than the youngest member of the management team so I have a lot of leadership experience to learn from, it always feels safe. On my side, I add some new approaches, which has a positive effect on the work of the management team. I usually say that all senior executives should have a "junior adviser" and maybe that's my role in the management team

You are on the list "Future Women Leader 2017", what do you think makes you a good leader?

I have enough pros and cons just like everyone else but one of my great interests is interplay and dynamism between people I think is an advantage. I think it has helped me meet people in their reality and be an "enabler" when it comes to creating the prerequisites for just developing them for their best self.

I'm also clear - never backs if I feel something strange or tense. Rather take the bull at the horns and talk to the one concerned. Many may feel "untidy" and nasty at first, but my experience is that the relationship usually comes out stronger on the other side.

What was the best thing about studying at Luleå University of Technology?

Flexibility even though I plucked from Hungary! All lectures were streamed and I always felt as much in place as my student companions in Luleå. It often happened that we did group work where some were distance students and some were physically in place, the gun worked. LTU always felt very familiar too, I like it. In addition, the university holds a good quality of teaching and teaching staff.

Do you have any career tips for students going to work?

Keep in mind that we all start somewhere. Believe in yourself but also have a humility for being newly graduated. Take the opportunity to learn from older colleagues and listen a lot at the beginning. Have big dreams but do not let yourself be bounded by an overly stretched path - follow the feel of your chest. Have some patience too, the grass is not always greener on the other side!

How do you look at the future, what are your plans?

I will live my life, full, everyday, for the rest of my life. Where that motto then takes me, we'll see!

And finally welcome up to the breakfast club in December. How does it feel like returning to Luleå and meeting the students who are plugging here today?

It feels great fun! I've got the theme "Life" and I hope I can inspire students to (almost) nothing impossible. Setting up does half the job and it often takes us to unnecessary places and insights. I'm frozen too, so I'll probably dig the winter socks!