What’s it like working with young talent? We asked Anh Nguyen and Ardian Widjaja who run our Global Electrolux Talent Program (GET) to tell all.
Ardian and Anh – you both joined Electrolux this year to build GET. Tell us about your own journeys that led you to Electrolux.
Ardian: I was part of (non-profit youth organization) AIESEC where the Electrolux brand is so strong. Everyone wants to work here. I started at the global AIESEC office in the Netherlands and then went back to my home country of Indonesia where I took a role at Unilever in marketing, before finding my passion in HR. Then a contact from AIESEC got in touch and asked if I wanted to join Electrolux to rebrand the internship program. I applied and ended up here two months after I first saw the job ad.
Anh: Actually, Ardian reached out to me about the opportunity. The job description matched my previous experience in HR, recruitment and learning development. I was looking for more information on the program and saw an article on LinkedIn from Sara Sörgardt, Vice President Talent Management at Electrolux, about how the program grows young talent and it truly inspired me to join.
What are your roles within GET and how do you work together?
Anh: We are both Program Coordinators, but we divide it by organizational areas.
Ardian: In terms of the role itself, we understand the future talent needs of the business and we oversee the recruitment process, but our work doesn’t stop there. We work together with people leaders to develop the interns, guiding them along the whole program journey.
Tell us more about how you nurture the talent?
Ardian: The objective is to train interns to become high potential talent for a permanent junior position. As one example, we have learning calls where interns can share their experiences with other fellow interns around the globe. We also invite people leaders to the calls so the interns can get to know Electrolux better. The most exciting part is our summit at our HQ in Stockholm, Sweden in April then we will visit a factory in November so the intern gets 360 learning about Electrolux.
Anh: We also want to ensure the interns can grow personally and professionally with us and they have the opportunity to develop not only technical skills needed for the position but also soft skills. Unlike other internship programs, we offer a 12-14 month experience, which is paid.
So how many interns end up in full-time employment after joining as an intern?
Ardian: We are still a new program but based on our historical data of internship at Electrolux, we recruit 65 to 75 percent to a full-time junior position. Some have gone on to be people leaders at Electrolux.
What’s the best thing for you about working at Electrolux?
Ardian: Firstly, the commitment to sustainability. Also, I would say the way we value young talent. You would think we need someone with experience but no, it’s about nurturing someone who might not yet have the skills and experience.
Anh: Yes,Electrolux really appreciates young talent. I am the youngest member in my team, but my opinions are listened to. There’s nothing better as a young talent to have your opinions heard.
How many interns do we currently have at Electrolux and across how many markets?
Ardian: Currently we have 70 interns with us and by February 2022 we aim to have 120 plus interns across the globe. We announce new roles three times a year in February, June and October and offer opportunities in seven markets – Sweden, Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungray, Romania and Brazil. We started with four locations so the hope is we will continue to expand further.
How does it feel to help other young people along their career journey?
Ardian: GET is very close to my personal mission to create a soft-skill education school for unfortunate kids. I’m from Indonesia and I’m not from a fortunate family. But a teacher in junior high recognized my potential and helped me on my path. I never imagined I would be here – or even working in the capital of Indonesia! I want to give the same opportunity for other people to understand their potential and help them be more confident in their daily life. Working for GET, knowing what I do every day helps contribute to another person’s journey – that’s the most fulfilling role I can have.
Anh: It feels really inspiring. I’m so passionate about HR and growing young talent. I contribute to that every day by making this experience positive for the interns. And I see all my colleagues are passionate about this program too and that inspires me a lot.
You both moved from overseas to take on your roles in Stockholm. As many of our interns have the opportunity to work abroad, tell us about your own experiences with this.
Anh: Living abroad is challenging but such a rewarding experience. I still remember how I struggled at the beginning – everything from the language to the weather is different to my hometown in Vietnam. But it really opened my eyes to new things, and I can see how in the past two years I’ve developed as a person.
Ardian: Electrolux made me feel at home and we want that for the interns. Where I come from, we see the Western world as more superior than our own and I wondered how I would feel. But then I arrived and everyone was ‘arms-wide-open’, understanding and approachable. Although you are new, you are welcome.
If you move to Stockholm HQ for example, you have 50 or more interns in the same city. You have a family here. There’s a Whatsapp group here to share experiences, troubles, work, personal issues and then if you feel alone people will ask you to hang out, have lunch together. When I walk across the office, I can point out so many people from GET. It’s a privilege to be part of this community.
Interested in joining GET?
If you are looking for a global internship opportunity and want to be a part of the GET community, click here for more information and upcoming opportunities.
More about Ardian:
Favorite hobby: Traveling
Tell us one thing on your bucket list: To go on acampervan trip across New Zealand
More about Anh:
Favorite hobby: Traveling
Tell us one thing on your bucket list: To travel around the world. I have visited around 20 countries so far and I hope to add more to my list.