”I didn’t think the step to managerial level would happen so soon”
At the age of 27 Josefin Olsson became Head of Traffic Control at Sweco Rail's southern region. The management role combines the two tasks she likess the most, coaching and technical problem solving.
Josefin Olsson is head of Sweco’s signal technicians who work on increasing capacity and safety on our railways.
What is your role at Sweco?
– I’m head for one of our three Traffic Control groups for our southern region. We plan, study, and survey the railway’s security system. In simple terms, this is for the logical systems that ensure two trains never meet while on the same track. As a manager, it is my job to inspire, and coach the members of my group. In addition, I am in charge of developing our operations, which means I am responsible for tenders, resource management, and customer relations.
What does a normal project look like for you?
– The main purpose of our projects is primarily to increase railway capacity, that is to say, creating space for more trains. Most recently, we worked on introducing ERTMS, a new European security standard, to Sweden. It will mean that we can run the same trains all the way from Stockholm to Naples, which currently is impossible, as different European countries use different security systems. The system also creates space for more trains as it enables the exact, real-time localisation of trains in transit.
You were only 27 when you became the unit manager, isn’t that unusually young?
– Maybe so. I have always been interested in a management position, but since I worked in planning I had rather thought I would become a technical manager. I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to step into a managerial role so early in my career, but when I received the offer, I couldn’t say no.
How do you like your position as manager?
– My regular workday is completely different as a manager from when I was in planning, primarily because it carries with it a lot more personal contact with other people. Previously I might spend half a day alone in front of my computer. But I really like the change, especially since I also work with planning in my new role.
– I get the best of both worlds, I get to see my co-workers grow and develop and I get to really dig in on technical problem solving.
What else makes you feel at home at Sweco?
– Among other things, Sweco is geographically flexible, leading to an easier balance between work and private life. A couple of years ago I moved with my partner from Malmö to Stockholm, while still working for Sweco. Basically I just picked up my computer, sat down in the Stockholm office and kept on working as before. When we moved back a while later, it was just as easy — we have several offices and therefore also have a well-developed system for distance work.
What advice would you give to those entering working life?
Don’t feel you are expected to know everything right after you graduate. You’re expected to be eager to learn and get involved as well as you can. Absorb as much from the experience as you can. If you ask why something is done in a certain way, don’t settle for ”because”.
Sweco offers qualified consultancy services within technology, environment and architecture. With 9,000 employees the company group is one of the largest operators in Europe. Every year Sweco carries out 30,000 assignments in 80 countries across the world, from both the private and public sectors.
Number of employees: 9,000 employees in twelve countries.
Employee backgrounds: Engineers, graduate engineers, architects, and scientists.
As an employer: It is something extra to work at a growing company that is also industry leader in several areas. But this is the culture that characterises Sweco. Development is security for us. While the company is quite sound, we are also in constant motion. And, of course, it is the assignments we carry out for our customers that is the common denominator. Sweco consists of learning individuals who take responsibility for their assignments.
We also all share a commitment to help contribute to the greater good.
Recruitment: Sweco is expanding both in Sweden and internationally.
Read more: www.sweco.se