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The trainee programme provided "ten years of experience" in one year

26 January 2023

Anyone who studies naval architecture and does not apply to the Lighthouse trainee programme is making a mistake. That's Fabian Ebbesson opinion, who had three job offers to choose from after completing the programme.

“There were three nice and equal offers. Nothing was better or worse. The location had to be the deciding factor.”

Since autumn, Fabian Ebbesson has been working with strength calculations, stability calculations and other things that belong to a naval architect at Sigma Energy Marine in central Gothenburg, just a few kilometers from his home in Olskroken. Ten years ago, Ebbesson lived a completely different life. He worked as a sound and lighting technician, had his own company, traveled around the country and enjoyed it.

“But it's a tough business and I never said no to a job. I was never out of a job, but I always worried about my economy anyway because I never knew what the next month would look like. There were many long days and after a few years I realized that the colleagues in the business had a hard time making a relationship or a family life work.”

He thought about studying again. One evening he looked through Chalmers website and found the master's program in naval architecture.

“Wow! This is what I want to do, I thought, envisioning myself designing high-performance sailboats in the future. It was quite a romantic picture.”

He had had an interest in sailing since childhood when the summers were filled with sailing along the west coast, Norway and Denmark on his grandfather's sailboat. Now he had his own boat and sailed for a few weeks every summer. There was only one problem. He lacked authorization to apply.

“I read the technical base year and applied again. I didn't get in so I started studying mechanical engineering in Borås. In the second year, I entered Chalmers and eventually, in 2021, I graduated as a Naval architect.”

He discovered the Lighthouse trainee programme via a guest lecture. The variety, being able to test different tasks at four companies in the industry attracted. He applied, became one of three who were accepted and who began their trainee years in the fall of 2021. During 12 months, Fabian worked in turn at MacGregor, Saab Kockums, Stena Teknik and Berg Propulsion. He worked on various things such as strength calculations, development of working methods and market analyses. He also made some traveling.

“At Stena Teknik, for example, I participated in a docking survey in Liverpool for a few days. I also got to go to Vienna myself to attend model tests. I was there for a week representing the company to the classification society that was involved. Of course, it was fun to be given that responsibility.”

Has the trainee programme met his expectations? Definitely, Fabian answers without hesitation.

“If you study naval architecture and do not apply to the trainee program, you are making a mistake.”

What has been the best part of the programme?

“It's the variety, getting to try so many different things. In a normal job career, it takes at least ten years to gain experience from four different companies. The contact network is also important. It has created super opportunities for me and I have received several job offers, significantly more than the three that I finally chose between.”

Fabian Ebbesson's step into the maritime world has, as said earlier, meant big changes. Gone are the long working days and the hustle and bustle around the country. Even during the trainee year he was lucky. Only SAAB Kockums in Malmö was not within commuting distance.

“I rented an apartment there together with the trainee who was to come after me to SAAB Kockums. It was easier to rent for six months and split it than trying to find an apartment for a few months.”

And then there was that thing about making a relationship work. While training as a Naval architect at Chalmers, he met his current partner.

“She works at MacGregor. We try not to, but of course there is lot of work talk. It's nice to have someone to talk to who understands and "speaks the same language".”

The application for the trainee programme 2023/2024 is open from 15 December 2022 to 31 January 2023.

Read more about how to apply

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