Case study:

FOCUS ON TECHNICAL TALENT

The Technical Talent Programme was set up to give ambitious, talented engineering students the opportunity to gain practical experience and an insight into real-life engineering challenges by working at Tetra Pak alongside a mentor. Jennie Stackebo, now a Development Engineer in Package Development, explains how the programme benefited her.

​​Gaining practical experience

“I was studying Engineering Physics at Lund University when a friend told me about the Technical Talent Programme. It seemed like a fantastic opportunity to gain some practical experience, find out more about Tetra Pak – and show a potential employer what I could do.

“The programme gave me lots of opportunities and insights into different parts of the business. It also gave me a guaranteed summer job – a great thing when you’re a student! That first summer, 2007, the whole group worked on the packaging materials production line. I helped operate a printing machine – tough work and very physically demanding.

Real world perspective

“I don’t think I realized at the time how much I was learning, but that experience has stayed with me. When I joined Tetra Pak as an employee in 2009, my first job was as a Development Engineer in Printing Equipment and being able to understand the operator’s perspective was very valuable.

“In my second summer, I worked on the PLH 500 project, exploring ways to speed up the production of packaging material with pre-laminated holes. We were given total freedom to reimagine the process: real ‘blue skies’ stuff. So that was really the opposite end of the spectrum.

“I was offered work in term-time too, which gave me the chance to get even more involved. My course was quite theoretical so it was good to be able to apply my knowledge and feel like I was part of a team, working to solve a problem.

“My mentor was manager of the Material Treatment Department, DSO Packaging Material at the time. We met regularly, and he was very generous with his time, his knowledge and his contacts. One of the most valuable things for me was being able to tap into his network, and to learn just how important it is to establish strong working relationships.

Creating a network

“I worked on my masters thesis in my mentor’s department, so I could draw on a network of people I already knew. My research was on how parameters change when packaging material is creased either on the inside or the outside. I was able to use the equipment here to create simulations and run physical tests, which was just brilliant. People here were still asking me about my findings for several years afterwards. It was a great feeling, knowing I’d produced something that people could apply in their everyday work.

“At the end of my degree, I chose a specialism that included packaging technology. I guess you could say Tetra Pak inspired me! Then when I finished my masters in December 2008, I applied for a job at Tetra Pak and I’ve been here ever since, first in Printing Equipment and now in Package Development, where I’m involved in developing new technologies and new methods of testing our packages.

“The Technical Talent Programme is a brilliant opportunity to find out more about Tetra Pak, not just in terms of understanding what the company does, but getting to know the atmosphere and the culture too. And of course, it’s a chance to show the company what you can do and to apply your knowledge to some live projects. It’s a great all-round learning experience.”

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