Hello Juan, Can you tell us a little bit about what attracted you to the Essity Apprenticeship Program?
I actually knew of Essity before I applied. I did my research when I was thinking about becoming an apprentice and I knew that doing my apprenticeship at Essity was a great opportunity to improve my skills and establish myself professionally.
Can you give a us a look into what it is like being an apprentice and describe a normal day?
During my day, I help and support the mechanic to plan and complete different tasks, such as: filter changes, vibration shots, electrical equipment checks, levels, etc.
During the execution of these activities we learn to be conscious that more problems can appear at any time. It’s crucial to learn the temperament of the machines you work with. The more familiar with them you get that more quickly you can diagnose the problem and solve it.
The aspect I have enjoyed most about the program even though you are an apprentice just starting out in your career, you have a voice. I have been included and had my opinion listened to on projects and made decisions on a scale I thought I would have to wait years to experience. That’s been really gratifying for me and I’ve seen that reflected elsewhere. Working in the factory forces you to work in teams, but being enabled to be a constructive part of that team is what energizes me and keeps me invested.
As an apprentice you are also studying while you work. How have you found the balance between work, study and play during your time with the company?
It was a bit difficult at first, but that’s probably the same for everyone starting out. You have to learn time management very quickly. You need to find a balance between study and work. Between those, you of course have to relax, do your hobbies and see friends. To relax my outlet is sport, I am really physically active. For me there’s a clear distinction between play and work. And when I am playing sport it helps me stay focused but also eases tension. In terms of studying which is often harder to find time for! You take the free time in the day as much as you can to stay up to date but you do get used to managing it, it just takes a few weeks to learn the ins and outs.
What is it like to work for Essity? What’s the working culture been like for you?
Well, as I said, I work on a lot of teams. In the factories you tend to get people who are very passionate about what they do and they want to be the experts in what they do. This really resonates with me, I have been very proud to be a part of a large team or project on multiple occasions. In my experience if you show up each day with passion and love for what you do, It makes you feel more invested in what you do and it helps build strong relationships with your co-workers. All these things make each day easier. Everything is very well organized; every worker knows the role he must play and every task or project is very well planned. All of this comes down to the strong sense of teamwork we have. It makes work both easier and more fun.
How would you describe the Essity apprenticeship scheme in three words?
Practical, motivating and precise.
You have come a long way in such a short period of time, what would you say to yourself a year ago now if you could?
Try not to hesitate too much about big decisions. Thinking about your choices and the consequences of them is smart but sometimes you just have to go ahead and do it! You need to listen to the voice in your head but sometimes you just have to take the risk. You can take risks because mistakes are ok, we all make them. You just have to learn from them and move on.
That is good advice. What advice would you give to any aspiring engineers and apprentices?
They should listen to their co-workers and have interest in the work that each of them does. You can learn a lot form any co-worker/professional.
One of the main focuses of an apprenticeship is to increase personal skills and prepare for a career, as the program progresses are you feeling more prepared for your next role?
Of course. I am in the perfect space to increase so many of my skills in a short period of time. Combining the study with the work has enabled me to surround myself with experts. I can learn from them and have them help me with my studies, as well as professional development. I have very nice colleagues and they have taught me a lot. I definitely feel now, I am pretty much prepared to execute any task because of them and am ready for the next challenge.
So, what is next for you?
When I finish my apprenticeship my next step will be focus on finding a suitable job for me and to focus on my English studies. Improving my English has always been a goal for me. The apprenticeship has definitely helped but I want to continue to develop in this area.
Thank you Juan.
• Job title: Technical Apprentice program
• Developing tasks with preventive and corrective maintenance department.
• Has since moved on to: Maintenance Leader, Converting.
• Age: 25
• Start of apprentice program: September 2016
• Aspiration: To become “The” expert in maintenance
• Dirty secret: Really does not like 8am Monday morning starts!
• Studying for final year of HNC qualification
Since this interview Juan has moved on to a new role as a Technician in Converting. Currently he is participating some large scale projects in the professional hygiene category.
Juan is enjoying the new challenge as a Maintenance Leader and is progressing in his professional development at a great rate. We spoke to Juan earlier this week he said: “The management role is very new and exciting. I still have a long way to go, but I see a future with Essity. I have really been invested in and it’s been an exciting time, full of learnings and opportunities.“
This season we want to celebrate our apprentices and apprenticeships all over the world. This will be the first piece of many to highlight the many exciting career journeys just getting started here at Essity, so watch out for more updates on our amazing apprentices soon!