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Applying for studies? Choose technology!

Choosing higher education is a big decision. What do I want to work with, and what is “wise” to choose when thinking about future labour market opportunities? One thing is for sure: to solve the societal challenges we face, we need expertise in technology more than anything else in the years to come.

We know that technology will undoubtedly affect most industries and professions in the future. The industry is booming and it’s an exciting place to be, and many are advised to choose STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies. 

We truly need talented programmers and people with STEM education, but we also need people who understand how to apply the technology in businesses and societies. That’s what’s great about the tech industry; it has room for people of diverse backgrounds, educations and skills—basically everyone. 

Interested in starting your career at Visma? Visit our career pages here. 

Two Visma talents on what it’s like to work in the tech industry

We had a chat with two of our young talents, Robin Åkerberg and Louise Lindberg, on why it’s exciting to work in tech, why they think more people should join them, and their advice for other young talents who are choosing and applying for higher education. 

Meet Louise Lindberg
Age: 27 years old

Education: Ms.c. Industrial Management and Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH)

Role in Visma: Strategic Initiatives Manager in the Intelligent Process Automation team

Meet Robin Åkerberg
Age: 27 years old

Education: M.Sc. Economics and Business Administration (Major in Financial Economics), Hanken School of Economics

Role in Visma: Sustainability Manager

Q: Why is it exciting to work in technology?

Robin: Technological development plays an important role in solving some of the biggest global challenges that we are faced with today, and I think it’s great to be a part of that development. It’s an ever-changing environment, where things happen quickly, and opportunities are plentiful. 

It doesn’t matter what background you have; all kinds of people are needed within this industry. Whether you have a technical background or not, anyone can bring important ideas and perspectives to the table that are necessary for creating technologies that are useful for everyone. 

It doesn’t matter what background you have; all kinds of people are needed within this industry.

Although many groups are underrepresented in the industry in general, the fact that there is such a vast variety of academic backgrounds collaborating in this industry is super exciting and very educational. 

This results in an industry with huge potential for continuous personal growth and development, and I feel like I learn something new every day.

Louise: Thanks to IT and technologies, new solutions can be found to existing problems. I am driven just by this; to be creative and solve problems. Also, many IT companies have a multicultural crowd of employees, facilitating creativity. It helps to open one’s eyes and approach problems and situations from new angles.

Q: Did you always know that you wanted to work with something within tech?

Robin: I never had a clear idea about what I wanted to work with in the future, and I still don’t. When I graduated high school, I considered many options and I wasn’t at all sure of what I wanted to do. I decided to get an education in economics, and pretty quickly financial economics sparked my interest, as I have always liked maths and numbers.

During my studies, I realised that in addition to having a basic understanding of economics and business, it is highly relevant to understand how technology can be used in all industries and professions. In this sense, I see these two disciplines as a good foundation for any job and career.

Louise: No, definitely not. I have always liked math and physics so I was pretty sure I wanted to study engineering. In my program at KTH, it was more or less predefined which direction you were expected to go (which was not tech). I wanted to find my way and do the opposite of the mainstream. 

When learning the basics of programming, I understood it was about solving problems that seemed impossible at first sight. The feeling once you have solved it is indescribable and is what caught my eye for the tech and IT industry.

When learning the basics of programming, I understood it was about solving problems that seemed impossible at first sight.

Q: Why should more people choose to study and work with technology?

Louise: There is a clear purpose, which to me is important to retain the speed and progress in what you do. IT and digitalisation are about simplifying people’s everyday life and imagine contributing to that! It is satisfying to help colleagues and customers get a more sustainable work situation thanks to your IT solutions. 

IT and digitalisation are about simplifying people’s everyday life and imagine contributing to that!

Besides, it is an exciting business area where new technologies are being shaped, and where existing technologies are applied to new areas. It is fun to solve problems and be creative, trying to find new solutions to existing problems. This creates new opportunities and a safe future with lots of work opportunities.

Robin: I think the tech industry provides interesting opportunities for pretty much anyone. Having an understanding of how technology can be applied to make tasks, processes and life in general easier, is relevant to everyone in all professions. Combine that with a basic understanding of business and economics, and the world is your oyster!

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Q: What is your advice to those who are going to choose studies this spring?

Robin: I strongly believe that to succeed in life and be happy, people should do what they are most passionate about—the rest will follow. My number one advice to anyone trying to decide what to study is therefore quite simple; think about what drives you and what interests you, and be true to yourself. 

It’s okay to not know what you want to do, so try new things, try different jobs, and try not to shut any doors that you may want to explore later. If you are unsure of what to do with your (professional) life, acquiring a basic knowledge of economics and tech is always a great start—having that knowledge can lead to pretty much anything later on in life.

It’s okay to not know what you want to do, so try new things, try different jobs, and try not to shut any doors that you may want to explore later.

Louise: Don’t choose what all of your friends are choosing just because. Think about what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. To highlight tech once more, I want to say: choosing a technology track does not mean you need to be the best at programming (even though that is fun and super cool). 

There are other positions as well in the tech industry, some more technical than others. I want to wish you all good luck and please contact me if you want to ask anything about studying tech or working in tech. 

Q: What does a typical workday look like for you?

Louise: My workdays usually consist of several meetings with the development team and customers. 

Daily I discuss issues and possible solutions with the team when it comes to developing robots. This is done both through chat and calls, sometimes ad-hoc and sometimes more planned Standup meetings for example. 

I meet potential customers to present what our team can offer and to analyse their business processes. I help them identify where automation and/or offshore/nearshore can be applicable. After such a meeting, I sit down to draw the overall process flow and together with a developer, we come up with a possible automation solution.

I also meet with existing customers to verify the requirements for the robot we are developing.

My job is also to keep track of the business case, how much can we save if we automate a process? This is our most important KPI.

Robin: Due to Covid-19, I haven’t been able to work from the office at all since I started in my current role. In many ways, I enjoy working remotely, and as most of my colleagues that I work closest with are in Norway, it works well to have meetings online.

Before me, there hasn’t been a dedicated role towards sustainability at the Group-level in Visma. Because of this, I have been able to shape my role quite a lot myself. This has been both super exciting and daunting because it is quite a big endeavour to lead a sustainability transition from scratch for an organisation of this size.

An important part of my work so far has thus been to create a strategy for Visma’s sustainability work and setting up internal processes for reporting and monitoring our performance in key areas. 

This groundwork has included a lot of collaboration with people in different business functions and parts of the organisation, to make it relevant for everyone. The implementation of this strategy will be carried out during 2021.

Although I had acquired quite a lot of knowledge about corporate sustainability through my studies and my earlier work at Visma, I have continuously tried to educate myself further and stay up-to-date on the topic. For instance, I regularly tune in on webinars, read reports and benchmark with others.

Also, as sustainability is increasingly important also for Visma’s stakeholders, I regularly help colleagues out with answering sustainability-related stakeholder requests and questions.

Also read: Interview: – Businesses play a crucial role in the world’s transition to become more sustainable

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