The Management Trainees of 2019 are here!

On the 26th of August, 11 ambitious Nordic students from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland arrived at Visma’s HQ in Oslo to take part in this year’s Management Trainee program. Until November, each one of the 11 trainees will be working on their first project in Oslo, spread over different departments in the organization. In the following blog post you can finally get to know our amazing trainees and their first month at Visma better!

Amanda Lange, Norway

What is your academic background?
I studied Industrial Economics and Technology Management at NTNU, with specialization in Computer Science and Optimization.

What is your first project about?
My first project is with the Optimization Team in Visma. I’m working on developing a new feature for a product called Flyt Route Planner, which is concerned with optimizing the routes of home health care employees in municipalities in Norway. My project specifically is about giving suggestions to the customers on expanding time windows of patients’ tasks in order to make more efficient routes. To complete this project I am creating an algorithm, setting up infrastructure and designing a user interface.

What is the best thing about your working space?
The fussball table! I couldn’t play at all before I started here, and now I feel like a pro. It’s such a good way to loosen up your body and mind after sitting in front of the computer for a while. Honorable mentions: the cantina!! and the mini golf. And the people of course :))

What is the best thing you have done together as Management Trainees?
We have done so many fun things together, it’s hard to choose one. It was really fun going to sing karaoke together. Everybody just gave it their all, no matter if they knew the song and I ended up losing my voice completely.

Bjarte Espedokken, Norway

What is your academic background?
MSc in Industrial Economics and Technology Management from NTNU with specialization in Computer Science and Finance.

What is your first project about?
In my first project, I am helping the in-house legal team to work more efficiently. So far, I have improved the tools used for generating employment contracts, and keeping track of how all business unis in Visma handles personal data. Also, I have looked at how we present Visma’s privacy statement, and tried to make it easier to understand by including more headlines and icons. I will now start analysing if the team should take the initiative to develop some “legal features” to be included in some of Visma’s existing software systems.

What are you most looking forward to this year as Management Trainee?
Having the opportunity to meet and get to know people from the entire company, both in Norway and internationally.

What’s the biggest language misunderstanding you have encountered so far?
That the last letter in the Swedish alphabet is “ö” and not “å”. So, when a Swedish person says “from a til ö”, I have always wondered what happened to the “å”.

Axel Pers, Sweden

What is your academic background?
M.Sc.Eng. Industrial engineering and management at KTH, Stockholm, with a technical specialization in computer science. During my studies I spent two exchange semesters abroad, the first at the National University of Singapore, and the latter at the Technische Universität Wien.

What is your first project about?
In my first project here at Visma, I am doing a mapping of three departments that all work with Managed Services (MS). MS are a collection of crucial tasks that Visma offers to some of our customers on top of the software. For example, if a company wants to use one of our systems, but does not have the administrative personnel to do so, the people at MS can do the job for them. So, it is basically a sort ou outsourcing. The mapping will firstly result in an easy-to-understand presentation that people internally at Visma can use to understand the operations of these departments. Secondly, based on the mapping I am also identifying potential improvements within these departments. At the time of writing this blog post, the mapping of the departments is complete and I am now working with investigating a couple of strategic initiatives that I would like to implement in the departments.

What is the best thing about your working space?
That I am sitting next to the fussball table. Me and Jakob have played a couple of times, and I don’t think I have lost a single game yet.

What are you most looking forward to this year as Management Trainee?
To continue meeting as many people working here as possible. During my first project I have had the opportunity to get in contact with many Visma employees, and through them you learn a lot about what Visma is and about all the opportunities that exist in this organization.

What’s the biggest language misunderstanding you have encountered so far?
That all Norwegians keep insisting that “Kjempegreit” is not a real word. As far as I know it’s the only real Norwegian word.

Kejsi Gjordeni, Sweden

What is your academic background?
MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm with a technical specialization in Computer Science. I also had an exchange semester at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong.

What is your first project about?
My first project is at the Visma Enterprise Division where I am investigating the potential use of chatbots in the support process. Even though the general opinion regarding chatbots and their ability to answer customers’ questions might not be the most positive, the area is rapidly expanding and chatbots are a powerful tool when implemented successfully. My task is to deliver a unified strategy around chatbots and self-service in the Division and provide clear guidelines in order to help Business Units implement chatbots in their support processes. The project entails starting a number of pilots, so I get to be involved from the planning phase to actual implementation, which is a lot of fun.

What has surprised you the most since starting at Visma?
Despite having been at Visma for over a month as a Management Trainee, and also as a Summer Intern two years ago, I still get surprised by how welcoming and friendly all the employees are. If you need help or someone to exchange ideas with there is always someone available who will gladly help you.

What are you most looking forward to this year as Management Trainee?
During this year I am hoping to get the opportunity to learn as much as possible about Visma by meeting different employees and working in different countries. It is challenging but also very exciting and rewarding to be exposed to different cultures and languages.

Robin Åkerberg, Finland

What is your academic background?
I have a M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration from Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki), with Financial Economics as my major. During my studies I spent one semester abroad studying at EDHEC Business School in Nice, France

What is your first project about?
In my first project I’m preparing a data room for a due diligence of Visma aimed at external consultants and potential investors. The project involves making presentations, collecting data and gathering information, as well as communicating with different stakeholders.

What is the best thing you have done together as Management Trainees?
I am a huge fan of the outdoors and spending time in nature, so one of my favourite things that we did with a group of MTs was to hike Kolsåstoppen; it was such a nice and sunny day and we enjoyed small lunch at the top while enjoying the views over Oslo and the Oslo Fjord.

As a Finn it is in my blood to enjoy a nice sauna, so renting one of the sauna-boats opposite to the Oslo Opera House was another really nice activity that we have done together so far.

What are you most looking forward to this year as Management Trainee?
I had already been acquainted with Visma last year when I worked as a Summer Intern in the Helsinki office. Already then I was impressed with the forward-thinking culture of the company, and I enjoyed that employees are trusted and that they are given plenty of responsibility and opportunity to grow.

I think the Management Trainee program is a great way to gain a lot of valuable work-experience in a relatively short period of time and I look forward to challenging myself and learning what my strengths are and where there is room for improvement. I also hope to find areas of interest for the future and perhaps also getting to know what type of projects that don’t suit me.

I am very interested in the business case of sustainability issues and, given the opportunity, trying out a sustainability-related project would be very exciting.

Martin Vittring, Norway

What is your academic background?
MSc in Economics and Business Administration at NHH, Bergen, with a major in financial economics. BSc in Leadership, innovation and marketing at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø.

What is your first project about?
My first project is at Tripletex, where I’m analysing banking services in ERP systems. The project is two parted. First off, I’m analyzing the traditional banking services provided in the EPR systems as of today. Secondly, I’m investigating the potential consequences and opportunities created by current market and regulatory changes in the banking and ERP sector. In this part of the project, my main objective is to examine how the market for banking services in the ERP sector will develop in the coming years and outline strategic initiatives in this matter.

What is the best thing about your working space?
I think it’s time that the other trainees realize that the real fun is going on at the curling table on the 7th floor. We even have soda and ice cream as refreshments during the games.

What are you most looking forward to this year as Management Trainee?
I’m looking forward to all the different projects, and the possibility to work internationally. The MT-program gives me a unique opportunity to gain a lot of knowledge in a short period of time. I’m really looking forward to all the experiences in the coming year.

Stian Vale, Norway

What is your academic background?
I graduated from NTNU this spring (2019) with an MsC in Industrial Economics and Technology Management. I specialized in computer science and optimization. I spent my third year in San Diego at UCSD.

What is your first project about?
My first project is with Visma Consulting, where I work with synthetic data. This is a topic concerned with privacy protection, which is getting ever more important. With the arrival of GDPR, it is for example problematic to use production data in development and testing. This makes it challenging to get your hands on good testing data. Synthetic data behaves like the original data, having the same statistical properties, but contain no personally identifiable information. A machine learning algorithm transforms the original data to artificial data that cannot be associated with individuals. Visma Consulting has carried out a successful project with NAV on this, where they created a vivid test environment with synthetic people called “Mini-Norge”. Every day, events happen in “Mini-Norge”; some are born, some marry each other and some decide to divorce.

My task in this regard is to create a go-to-market strategy for Synthetic Data. The solution created for NAV is applicable to other companies, so we aim to commercialize it and make a product out of it. Having great interest in machine learning, it is really interesting to take part in the process of going from an algorithm to a product. There is really a lot more to it than a good codebase.

What is the best thing about your working space?
Whereas many of the other trainees work close to the fussball-table, we have a ping-pong table at Consulting. This is so much better, as I am completely useless at fussball. The other day we went to a ping-pong bar in Oslo with all the current MTs and some of the previous MTs. The ping-pong breaks at the office really came in handy here. 😉

What’s the biggest language misunderstanding you have encountered so far?
In Finland they believe that Norwegians call Tarzan buskefjant!

Christian Harder, Denmark

What is your academic background?
MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management at The Technical University of Denmark (DTU), with a specialization in Operations Research (mathematical optimization). Furthermore, I have been on exchange for 1 semester in San Diego, USA, and 1 semester in Brisbane, Australia.

What is your first project about?
My first project is in Visma Academy which is in charge of the courses concerning the Visma Software AS customers in Norway. My job is to examine how the market for courses will develop towards 2023 and develop a strategy on how the courses should be offered from Visma Academy. This includes different focus points, such as a market analysis of current trends, what are other Visma companies and competitors doing, and what our customers want.

What are you most looking forward to this year as Management Trainee?
I am really looking forward to be living in several different countries, work there and experience the culture. I have always enjoyed travelling to various countries for a longer period, meet new people and experience as much as possible of what the country has to offer. As a Management Trainee you can really be thrown into any kind of project and quickly have to adapt to stuff you know nothing about while working with completely new people, perhaps in a new country. So you touch a lot of different areas and positions but learn a lot while doing so, which is very appealing to me.

What’s the biggest language misunderstanding you have encountered so far?
Since I am the only one speaking danish in this years Management Trainee squad, there have been some (a lot) of misunderstandings so far. For almost 1 month, when I have described something as “fun”, everyone thought I was saying “show”. Everyone of the Management Trainees believed it was some kind of cool danish slang to describe notable events, weekends etc. The reason why is because the danish word for “fun” is “sjov”.

Emil Mårtensson, Sweden

What is your academic background?
I have a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management from KTH in Stockholm, with a technical specialization in Computer Science. During my studies I spent one semester at UT Austin in Texas, USA, and one semester at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

What is your first project about?
I am organizing Visma’s participation in the European Cyber Security Month (ECSM). ECSM is an event to raise the awareness on cyber and information security among citizens in Europe. Since this project impacts everyone at Visma, I’ve been very fortunate to meet people from almost every department in the organization and knowing that my efforts will reach around 10000 people is still awe inspiring. My project even has its own press-release: https://www.visma.com/press-releases/ecsm-campaign/.

What is the best thing about your working space?
Although my floor is barren from any fussball table or table tennis, when I leave my desk then everyone suspects I am in a meeting instead of beating my colleagues at the fussball table.

What has surprised you the most since starting at Visma?
The amount of freedom you have in doing what you believe is the best for the organization. I can really see that my input matters and if I have an idea for something, then as long as it’s practical to achieve there is nothing stopping me from trying it.

Lykke Bergsli, Norway

What is your academic background?
MSc in Industrial Economics and Technology Management from NTNU with specialization in Computer Science and Finance.

What is your first project about?
In my first project I am helping the corporate M&A team develop a CRM system to keep track of all potential targets, information about them and to visualize the aggregated data. I am also making a platform for communication between the different divisions in Visma where they can share information and discuss the next step in the M&A process for each company that is in the pipeline.

What is the best thing you have done together as Management Trainees?
As Oslo is getting colder by the day, and I am a beach bum by heart, I have really enjoyed going to the saunas on the water by the Opera with the other MTs. We have had some really nice days Saturdays there with beer, music and swimming.

What’s the biggest language misunderstanding you have encountered so far?
I have found that all the Swedes I have met believe that “kjempegreit” is a very common Norwegian word, and that it means “really great”, when it actually means something like “very OK”.

Jakob Hedström, Sweden

What is your academic background?
MSc in Accounting and Financial Control, with Management Control as my major.

What is your first project about?

It is of an organizational nature, where I have evaluated the pricing processes at Visma Enterprise. Efficient pricing is crucial to any business due to its direct impact on the financial result. It is, however, a fairly complex procedure as it includes many actors and by that easily leads to uncertainties. I have now developed a framework for the pricing process which provides the organization with a streamlined approval process ensuring that we price in an efficient and comprehensive fashion. The framework also gives us a basis for continuous evaluation of our pricing efforts, and by that helps us getting more scientific in this important area of the business.

The organization is onboard with this suggestion, and the current phase of the project is the practical adaptation and early implementation. Due to differences between the business units this involves a lot of meetings and discussions, which is both interesting and educational.

What is the best thing about your working space?
The accessibility of a great energy boost, in the shape of a fussball victory against Axel. Do not think I have lost a game so far.

What are you most looking forward to this year as Management Trainee?
By getting the chance to try different types of projects I expect to broaden my knowledge and hopefully find what I would like to work with after the trainee year.