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Reflection from Nicoleta Madalina Popescu, trainee at Stena Metall Group Diversity and Competence Program

Reflection from Nicoleta Madalina Popescu, trainee at Stena Metall Group Diversity and Competence Program

My name is Nicoleta Madalina Popescu. I come from Romania. I'm married and have a wonderful boy who is 4 years old. I have a bachelor's degree in sociology-psychology and a master's in economics, as well as another master's degree in the management of natural resources. I have over 5 years experience working in industry as an environmental adviser and as an internal auditor of management systems (quality control, the environment and working environments). In September last year, I was selected for the Mitt Liv’s Chans (Chance of My Life) program and, from that point on, I began the journey to my dream job.

 In November, I received information about a program that deals with Diversity & Competence at Stena Metall. When I read about it, I felt that it was a wonderful opportunity for me. It's what I need to gain knowledge in this area, and to develop personally and professionally.

As a participant in the Stena Metall program, I will write a blog that describes my journey through the trainee program. I will be working with safety and internal auditing at Stena Recycling AB in order to build, together with my colleagues, a safety conscious working culture and responsible relationships.

My first day at Stena Metall was very impressive. The Group managers came to welcome us and wish us success. It was wonderful. It shows that Stena has an awareness of its social responsibilities. It sends a message to other companies about how they can make a difference in society. Our experience (I have some colleagues who are also trainees in the program) began with an intensive three-day introduction to Stena Metall's business, history, culture, principles, beliefs and values. Stena’s web-based introduction program lasts for three months. 

All the Group’s principles are important and positive but I especially like those related to communication, committed employees and taking care of ourselves and each other. Good communication and respect for others is really important in the workplace. Employees need to be properly informed. They must listen and understand each other, in order to make the right decisions and follow the best course of action. They should also respect each other and communicate effectively.

I have always thought of the people I work with like a second family. We spend a lot of time together, which is why we have to be committed to our work, take responsibility for developing our skills and collaborate effectively with both colleagues and customers.

"Look after yourself and those around you" should be the maxim for employees in any company.

After watching a film, where employees and management from different Stena companies related their experiences, I can say that I felt happy and valued. I feel lucky to be a part of this program and part of this family.

In work and in life, when we feel respected and safe, we naturally want to improve and offer support and care to others.

At Stena Metall, I have found an attractive workplace where colleagues are kind and helpful. The boss isn’t just a manager, he or she is a leader, encouraging employees and showing confidence in them.

After beginning on February 1, I already have a full agenda, including training on safety and auditing. I took part in a safety-training program, in Stockholm, with other trainees and my manager, who was responsible for the course. We met employees from other branches throughout Sweden and shared our thoughts about what workplace safety means and where improvements can be made within the company. Safety culture, communication and taking care of each other were important topics for everyone on the course.

Every day offers new challenges. My colleagues and I share so much information, thoughts and experiences. I especially share these with my buddy - each trainee has a working partner that can answer questions and explain new situations. She is so energetic and full of ideas. No day is the same. We go around the facility, share thoughts and ideas, talk about travel and plan future assignments. Our boss is fantastic. She’s charismatic, smart and a natural leader.

It is often difficult to integrate into a different society, but it’s a challenge and part of the charm of living in another country. It’s a learning experience that helps you grow as an individual.

When we moved to Sweden, my husband and I were sure that we’d quickly get good jobs because of our education and experience. However, this was not the case. Despite the difficulties, I was never going to give up. I kept thinking about how to develop my skills and succeed here.

Language skills and social networks are important factors and contribute to a sense of wellbeing. We have to focus on learning Swedish. It’s the key to a good job and a good life here in Sweden. All my colleagues and managers recommend that we focus on our Swedish language courses, which are vital to carrying out our work here.

This experience is making me me stronger. I’ve learned to always fight for what you want.

The blog is translated from Swedish. Click here to read the original version.


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