What if a career with us could unlock your full potential?
A career at Billerud may take many different forms. Anna Karlsson’s journey started with a master’s degree project in 2010 in Gävle, and she now works as Section Manager Quality & Environment at Gruvön. We are now curious to know what her path to this post looked like and what made this journey possible.
After her degree project and a temporary job in Frövi, Anna started working in another industry before she decided to come back to Billerud as an operations engineer at the pulp mill in Gävle in 2014.
“There, I was given challenges and the opportunity to develop and also had my first acting head of section position when my boss was on parental leave. In operations, I was given a fantastic platform to stand on – in terms of everything from technology to how different departments of the organisation interact, but also troubleshooting and root cause analysis. Early in my career, as Acting Head of Section, I also learned about budgeting, business planning and a more holistic approach to the business that still helps me today.”
In her role as an operations engineer, Anna had the opportunity to broaden her knowledge by taking up a similar position at the board mill. This provided her with a clearer picture of quality, the end product and the importance of considering the end customer even in the earlier stages of production. After a few years in the role, the family moved to Värmland in 2018 and Anna was given the chance to work as a quality engineer ahead of the start-up of KM7. She then stepped into the role of Head of the Quality and Environment Section, where she is today.
What has made your journey within the Group possible?
“The simple answer is that I’ve been given the opportunity. I’ve gone from being passionate about engineering to, in recent years, landing the role of manager and leader. The combination of people and technology is by far the most enjoyable part of the positions I hold and have held.”
Anna highlights the importance of testing her wings early in her career and that she has had courageous managers who have put potential before experience. She has always had a good dialogue with her managers, and they have shown her that there is a development plan.
“Succession planning has also been very important. The fact that I’ve had people in the organisation who have listened to what I want and that together, we’ve been able to come up with a plan. I was very eager in the first few years of my career, and that dialogue was important in terms of staying in my initial roles and learning the basics.”
What tips would you give to others who want to try out different roles within Billerud?
The most important factor that Anna mentions is having the courage to be open with your boss about what you want. And then, of course, being brave enough to take on the challenges that are offered, even if you need to gradually grow into them. Anna, who has moved between different mills herself, sees the importance of being flexible.
“Everyone has different circumstances depending on their situation and where they want to go in their professional life, but if you want to develop and be challenged, there are so many opportunities to be found outside your own section or department, or outside the mill itself. As long as you’re surrounded by good people and supportive managers, you can take most of what is thrown at you, whether it concerns breadth or depth or even moving up in the ranks for that matter.”
What do you enjoy most about working at Billerud?
A major reason why Anna chose to do her degree project here and then return after trying out another employer is the company’s drive and faith in the future. Working in an environment in which the company invests in its production units and staff is very stimulating. You are driven to always do things a little better and, both as an engineer and a leader, this is very exciting and motivational.
Are you also interested in a career at Billerud? You can find all our open vacancies here.