“The trainee came in with a new perspective to our challenges”

The two-year-long Schibsted Management Trainee Program assigns the trainees four different placements, with different roles, in different Schibsted brands. In each placement, the trainee has a manager in place at the department in question, and in 2022 Schibsted employee Mattias Hersby was one of them. Please meet Mattias, Director of Business Development & Operations at Schibsted Marketing Services AB.

Firstly, can you share the background of your decision to welcome a trainee into your team?
When I joined SMS three years ago, I learned about the program through our HR Business Partner as a part of my onboarding process. This year, 2022, was the first year I was able to offer an interesting position that would both solve a challenge for our team as well as present a great opportunity for the right candidate.

In what way has your trainee added value to your organisation?
Well, our trainee – Love Regefalk – came in with a fresh and new perspective on our challenges and possessed strong digital skills being from a generation where digital and mobile-first is just a way of life. He has also surprised me and the team with very good project management and analytical skills, which have helped us across various projects.

Do you have any tips on how to integrate the trainee into your culture and your team?
I think one of the key things has been to treat Love as “just another team member.” This means including him in all our team meetings, having 121 chats, and inviting him to team events and dinners. I’d also like to think that I have also encouraged him to not be afraid to ask questions and speak his mind on all topics that we have discussed and worked on. Finally, I would like to add that offering your trainees trust by giving them their own projects or project streams to manage is another key point to make them feel like they’re adding value to the team and also that they’re gaining professional development.

Mattias and the team.

How does the onboarding of an employee differ from the onboarding of a trainee?
In this case, our trainee was on his last and final assignment of two years, so in that sense, it was easier to onboard him given that he already knew a lot about our brands and overall culture. However, he was new to SMS, so we explained our organisational structure and strategy to every newly hired employee. We have a very thorough onboarding process, where the new employee/trainee meets with people from all departments to get a better sense of how we are connected and what everyone’s area of responsibility is.

From a corporate point of view, can you give us some advantages for companies to have a trainee program?
1. It increases the chance of hiring the right people.
2. It is a great initiative to include in any employer branding program to attract talents.
3. It allows the company to keep up with, or better yet, stay ahead of the competition both from an external and internal perspective.

Are you interested in knowing more about the Schibsted Management Trainee Program? Go to our trainee page for more information.

From trainee to Product Manager – a boomerang saga

In a world where you are free to choose your own path, some find themselves circling back to the same place over and over. Senior Product Manager Kristin Juland Møller is back at Schibsted a third time, and the reason why is crystal clear:

– The opportunities to develop here are endless if you want them to be, she says.
It all started in Bergen, Norway back in the early 00’s. After graduating from business school, Kristin Juland Møller was unsure about where her future was going to take her. Until she crossed paths with another student who told her about his experiences at the Schibsted Trainee Program. 

“I knew from then on that Schibsted was the place for me. I only sent out one application after my degree, and that was for the Schibsted Trainee Program. It just had to happen, and it did!” she says. 

Opened up many doors
A handful of students made the cut for the two year long program that started in 2001, and though they all came from different backgrounds, they had one strong trait in common: they were all very social and outgoing people. During the two years that followed, the trainees all spent six months working at four different companies within Schibsted. For Kristin Juland Møller that included Scandinavian Online (sol.no), the mobile company Inpoc and two different placements at Aftenposten.

“The Trainee Program opened up so many doors for me. It was crucial for the rest of my career. By getting to work closely with the top management not only in the daughter companies we worked for, but also being exposed for the group management during the programme, I got to know Schibsted as a whole. As an entity. In addition, we got to build an amazing network of contacts. You can say I was raised within Schibsted and saw how all underlying companies were connected,” she says. 

New initiatives formed an exciting future
When the program ended, Kristin Juland Møller decided to explore the world by travelling and moving abroad. She met the love of her life and left Schibsted for London in 2003, but returned to Aftenposten after a few years as Vice President of Product and Marketing. Hungry for development, and wanting to be more operational, she got the responsibility to build the new area “Schibsted Way of Customer Sales”. The following year she added LEAN to her toolbox before moving abroad again in 2013 to work for a startup while living in the U.S. Heading back to Norway in 2016, the door was open for her in Schibsted, and she happily returned to VG, working with user payment. 

Back where it all began
Before returning to Schibsted for the third time last year, Kristin Juland Møller seized an opportunity in the public sector in 2017, where a small team was building a new initiative to digitalize the Municipality of Oslo. But when another new initiative was in the making, the reason to come back to Schibsted was better than ever. According to Kristin Juland Møller, this is the most exciting journey so far: The Schibsted Ecom team’s mandate is to accelerate the green shift in ecommerce. 

“I have kept coming back for the culture. The people at Schibsted are talented, nimble yay-sayers and the possibilities to grow and develop within the group are endless if you show interest and lean in. I am very happy I applied for the Trainee Program. It got me into working with driven people who want to empower each other and make an impact,” she says.

“The trainee period was one of the highlights of my life”

A conversation with a former Schibsted trainee at a career fair gave Mari-Marthe Aamold what she calls a “career crush” – a crush that has turned into a lasting love affair.

– I had been curious about Schibsted and the trainee program for a long time when I reached the end of my studies. I can recall a conversation I had with a Schibsted trainee once at a career fair where the curiosity turned into something more similar to a teenager’s crush type of admiration: I really wanted her job, and I really wanted to be her friend. That had to be a winning combination for a workplace I remember thinking, she says.

Now CFO and general manager of the Schibsted news brands Stavanger Aftenblad and Bergens Tidende, that first infatuation has definitely not died down. And her time in the trainee program is still one of the highlights of her life. 

– The experiences, the people I met, all the cool things I got to test and try, goals that I set for myself, and the people that helped me along the way. The group of trainees that I shared the two years with are in themselves probably the biggest highlight. They were both colleagues, lunch friends, some of them roommates, and have become just really good friends. A fellow trainee summed it up quite beautifully at the end of the program when called us «friends that are colleagues, but foremost friends».

Great mentorship

It was not just the other trainees who were a great support and help during the trainee period. Having a good mentor has also been essential in her professional development, Mari-Marthe believes. 

– I once heard a TED talk where the speaker claimed that people that had mentors early in their careers tended to be more successful afterwards. I do not remember the name of the study nor the TED talk, but after having a mentor, and being able to both learn from him, and discuss my own situations and dilemmas along the way, I have no issues believing it can be true. 

The most important learnings

Mari-Marthe is grateful she got such a varied and at times challenging time as a trainee. With four different placements during the two year traineeship, she gained valuable insight in the company – as well as new skills she benefits from in her current position. 

– Being able to experience different situations during four placements was a kickstart to both working life and Schibsted life, and a great way of learning about the different facets of the company. Being the new guy or girl is always a little difficult in the beginning, but it sure was easier the fourth time when I had picked up a thing or two about what could make me more effectively become a part of the team, she says and continues:

 – But the learnings I have found most useful in my current position are probably the ones I did about myself.  What motivated and inspired me, what made me want to skip lunch and work on a Sunday, what gave me energy – and what drained it. 

The former trainee has no issues recommending applying for the trainee program.  – If you want to work within the media, technology, innovation, the trainee program is probably the best kick-off to your career I can think of. 

Read more about the trainee program here

”I understood what I wanted to do in the future.”

Head of Expansion at Lendo Sweden, Michel Dahlberg Traore, thinks the trainee program is the best way to test who you are as a business person – and he doesn’t hesitate to recommend the program to potential candidates: – It’s a no-brainer!

– To me the Schibsted Trainee program had what I was looking for. I wanted to work for a fast paced tech company with many ongoing initiatives that would allow me to learn from the best. I also wanted to have the opportunity to travel and see how business is conducted in other cultures, he says, and continues: – I wanted to get my hands dirty with real projects, not just becoming a slide producer.

The experiences he gained during his time as a Schibsted trainee is knowledge he draws upon every day. – I am currently launching Lendo in new markets around the world. My day to day ranges from people management to product management and sales, and the trainee program was definitely key to building a strong foundation in these disciplines.

Tough selection process with great rewards

Dahlberg Traore experienced the selection rounds as quite demanding. But once he was accepted and met his trainee colleagues, he was happy to have been through it. – I made some amazing friends within the trainee group, he says.

The mentorship provided through the program was also greatly appreciated. Dahlberg Traore is still in contact with his mentor on a regular basis, and he finds great value in the contacts he made through the two year as a trainee. – I built a really strong network within Schibsted. As a former trainee you will have a lot of great contacts that will give you hints on what is bubbling if you are seeking new opportunities within the company.

Future oriented program

Schibsted’s trainees get to contribute to real projects from day one. This was a useful experience for Michel and he is happy that the program was so future-oriented.

– I had two years of operational expertise that gave me learnings I knew I would use in the future. At the start I thought two years was a bit long, but it flew by. The highlights were some of the positions I held that really made me understand what I wanted to do in the future.

Although he was highly motivated throughout the traineeship, Michel Dahlberg Traore admits he had days that were challenging. – I would say it could be hard at times, not knowing exactly where in the world I would be in the coming spring or fall. That said, it is truly a privilege to be able to test four different full time roles.

The former trainee recommends applying to the trainee program and the Schibsted way of working. – I would say that Schibsted lives up to being a hungry and ambitious company, while having a Scandinavian working culture that puts people first, he says.

My placements in the Trainee program:
• Product Manager, Leboncoin, Paris
•  Strategy Manager, Schibsted ASA, Oslo
• Product Manager, Aftonbladet, Stockholm
•  Investment Manager, Schibsted Growth, Stockholm

Read more about the trainee program here

”To try and fail is key to learning”

”You could not ask for a better entrance into the professional life.”
For Schibsted trainee Karsten Gutterød Hauklien, the journey so far has involved stepping outside his comfort zone, broadening his perspective and being given responsibility. He thinks the opportunity and acceptance to try, and sometimes fail, is the key to learning.

Gutterød Hauklien joined Schibsted as a trainee in 2019, with prior experience from both communication and journalism. Now on his fourth and final placement though the trainee program, he is happy he gave it all in the application process and secured himself a golden ticket.

– Thinking back, it’s incredible how much I’ve grown in areas where I would rate myself poorly two years ago. The trainee program gives you the opportunity to discover what truly motivates you, both in general at work and which business areas or functions spark a fire in you.

The soon-to-be alumni applied to the Schibsted’s trainee program to be able to combine his passion for media and technology with his desire to create products that excite people in their daily lives.
– However, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, and I wanted to learn more. The Trainee program sounded like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain experience from different roles and business areas and develop my skills, he says.

His final gig at Schibsted – at least through the trainee program – has led him to collaborate with multiple disciplines on a big project for E24.

– Right now I’m leading a team of in-house people and contractors in E24, developing a financial platform. That involves financial experts, developers, lawyers, designers, salespeople and more. A lot of moving parts, but it’s really exciting to see the progress we’re able to make together.

Fair and thorough selection process

Through the process from when he sent his application to getting the traineeship, Karsten Gutterød Hauklien felt he gained some new insight on himself and his career goals.

– After the last interview, I thought to myself: “Even if I don’t get the job, I have been given every opportunity to show who I am”. I actually learned quite a lot about myself in the process: How do I contribute to make the best possible teams, what are my current strengths, and which areas should I try to develop further going forward?

He has no hesitations in recommending the Schibsted Trainee Program.

– If you like working in teams to achieve great things, and you want to develop yourself through training, feedback and new experiences, this is the place for you. Along the way you learn loads of new skills, establish lasting relationships and become more confident. Could you ask for a better entrance into professional life, he says.

A company that puts people first

Being able to take chances is one of the best things about joining team Schibsted, Gutterød Hauklien feels.

– I think the biggest advantage is the opportunity and acceptance to try and fail. That’s a fast track to learning things at lightning speed, or learning it at all. In addition, you get a rare 360 degree holistic view of Schibsted as a company.

Schibsted is a company where the greatest achievements come from collaboration between the brands, he says and continues:

– Schibsted is a place where you work in teams and collaborate across functions and brands – using each other’s competence and experience. Who wouldn’t want to work in a place where everybody is keen to help each other?

To say Karsten Gutterød Hauklien is won over by the Schibsted way of working would be an understatement.

– I haven’t heard of anywhere else where the work itself is so cool, while the company still is focused on you being able to have a comfortable work-life balance.

My placements in the Trainee program:

• Editorial Business Developer, VG+, Oslo
• Strategy Manager, tori.fi, Helsinki
• Business Developer, Dine Penger, Oslo
• Project Lead, E24, Oslo

Read more about the trainee program here

From trainee to CEO

When Ida Barth Thomassen entered the Schibsted trainee program in 2007, she knew that she had a great journey ahead of her. Today she is the CEO of one of the key media brands in the Schibsted portfolio. Working on real projects, having good mentors and building a strong network, are just a few of her highlights from her traineeship.

During her two year period as a Schibsted trainee, Ida Barth Thomassen connected with people that have been key to her career. She thinks the chance to work at four completely different companies and create your own professional network within two years, is really unique.

– I think that my professional network, and people in general at Schibsted, is one of the main reasons for why I have stayed at Schibsted for such a long time. Of course, in combination with great career opportunities and highly skilled leaders that I look up to.

She recalls her time as a trainee at Schibsted as being a part of a community. – I really enjoyed being a Schibsted Trainee for two years. We got to meet so many interesting and skilled people, work with different brands or projects, travel to other countries and at the same time being a part of a community of other great trainees in the exact same situation.

Professional selection process

Ida Barth Thomassen’s career at Schibsted started when she filled out the application form for the trainee program. She remembers the selection process as tough and demanding, but professional.

– The application process was very professional and thorough. I remember being interviewed several times by different types of people from various brands at Schibsted. We also got cases to solve, which I still today think is the best way to test a candidate during a selection process.

Curious about how to apply for the Schibsted Trainee Program? Read more about the application process here 

Great mentorship

It’s the people, the great support system and the willingness to lift others up that Barth Thomassen values the most at Schibsted – both when she was a trainee and now.

– When I was a trainee, having a mentor was reassuring, inspiring and very helpful. My mentor guided me on several occasions, and it was always good to have a dedicated person that you could be completely open with and ask for advice.

The feeling of having the support of those around her didn’t vanish once she finished the trainee program. – I´ve always been encouraged to seek new and exciting opportunities within Schibsted. And the fact that you not only have the chance to move between companies, but also being recommended and encouraged is of great value. You will discover that there are many various career paths in Schibsted, and I’m certainly not done with my path.

– It’s a unique career opportunity
The former trainee, now CEO, is proud and happy to be a part of a company that encourages growth in their employees. – Schibsted is a good workplace because of its innovative culture, way of doing business, the people and all the exciting brands. Not only will you meet interesting colleagues, but also make friends for life. And you will learn so much about the media industry that you will not find elsewhere.

Ida doesn’t hesitate to recommend the Schibsted Trainee Program to potential candidates. – I encourage others to apply for the trainee program, because it’s a unique career opportunity and you will probably end up having a really meaningful job. Not only in terms of innovation, business management, learning and people, but also because you get to work with products or solutions that really mean something to most people in their everyday life.

My placements in the Trainee program:
• Aftenposten
• Aftonbladet TV
• Svenska Dagbladet
• Schibsted Group

Read more about the trainee program here