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Johanna is living her dream

11 May 2021

Johanna Sunneland's work as Global Application Manager at Alfa Laval is one big combo of everything she likes – the sea, technology and the dream of working in an international environment.  And it was the Lighthouse trainee programme that took her there.

Johanna Sunneland first has a bit of a difficulty answering the question of what has been the most fun during her year as Lightouse trainee. She applied for the program for so many reasons - to get tested in several areas of work in shipping, to better technical understanding, to get out into an international environment and of course, to get an opportunity to create a professional network quickly.

- The most fun is actually that all those goals have been met, but it was quite cool to be able to sail across the Atlantic with a PCTC ship. It was also fun to see the shipyards in China, especially considering that I worked on a small shipyard before the trainee program.

The shipyard was Stockholm's Reparationsvarv on Beckholmen, where she worked with project management for repair projects. She started in June 2018, immediately after the dissertation that gave her a master's degree from KTH in Marina system. That it eventually became Marina system and a move up to Stockholm from Trollhättan was no big surprise.

- I have liked sailing since I was little and have also always had an interest in technology. I first took my candidate an then chose marine systems for the master. I'm very happy about that. It was a great education and the environment was very international - the majority of the students came from other countries, says Johanna Sunneland.

In the autumn of 2019, she started the Lighthouse trainee programme with Wallenius Marine as her first job placement. It was there that she had to cross the Atlantic on the route Gothenburg - Halifax, Canada with M / V Figaro. Due to tough weather, the trip took almost two weeks.

- I was a little seasick at first, but soon got better. It was interesting to see the daily work and life on board.
- After that, I flew with Wallenius to Shanghai and got to take part in a risk assessment, a Hazid, for an LNG system. Then I continued myself to Shanghanguan and the docking of Wallenius' first HERO ship Titus. Then I visited the shipyard in Tianjin where the remaining ships in the HERO series were built.

In January 2020, she began her second work period, now at Kongsberg Maritime's hydrodynamic research center in Kristinehamn.

- I first commuted weekly from Stockholm, but then the corona pandemic came in March and the rest of the time I worked from home. But it went well, most of the work was done in front of a computer.

The third placement she started in May 2020 at Alfa Laval has, to say the least, been special. Not only because she has had to work from home all the time - she is also still with the company. After the trainee period, she was hired and now works as Global Application Manager at the company.

- It's not for nothing that I'm where I am now. I have long wanted to become more specialized and sustainability and development, which we work a lot with in my team, has always been close to my heart. I like to work in the position between market and development.

So what does she do in five years?

- We'll see, but Alfa Laval is very big so I can very well imagine that I am still, either in my team or somewhere else in the company. It would have been fun to work with ship design at some point, but it is probably quite far in the future.

And Lighthouse trainee programme - is it something she wants to recommend others to go?

- Yes absolutely! Being able to spend a period with several different types of companies in the industry is very educational. At each new workplace, I received a crash course in the company's operations, values, business plan and place in the industry, while I got to know the workplace, colleagues and work methods. It worked even though half my trainee period was overshadowed by the pandemic.

Related content: Lighthouse Traineeprogram

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