"It's a unique programme"
– Anders Blesvik Gandrud, Management Trainee
His fascination for technology goes all the way back to childhood. Now he impacts society by solving tech challenges in his Management Trainee projects at Visma.
Hi Anders! You always knew you wanted to be an engineer. Why’s that?
"I've always had a thing for maths, numbers and riddles. In elementary school I even learned to memorise over 150 decimals of Pi, which is quite nerdy, I know. In high school, I really enjoyed the science courses, but soon realised I also wanted to learn about the business perspective. Therefore, the industrial economics and technology management program was a perfect fit when I was off to university, where I specialised in artificial intelligence and applied optimization."
Cool! After graduating, you started as a Management Trainee here at Visma. What’s that like?
"It is both challenging and a lot of fun! During a period of one year, we get to experience and try out five different projects in different Visma companies across various fields. Some projects are more strategic and business-oriented, while others are more techy. Visma allows us to give input on what projects we’d like, based on our background and interests. We're also challenged to try out new fields and step out of our comfort zones. It’s a unique programme that I’m thankful to be a part of."
"During a period of one year, we get to experience and try out five different projects in different Visma companies across various fields.”
Right now you’re working on a project for an automatic rostering solution that helps customers plan their rosters. Can you tell us more about that?
"It’s a very exciting project. Planning and creating rosters is an extensive process if you do it manually. We use optimisation techniques to solve problems in a matter of minutes, instead of using several weeks manually. The solution assists schedulers in creating fair and efficient schedules that also adhere to laws, by optimizing shift allocation. My responsibility is to look into possible new feature improvements, recommend the one with the best potential and then implement it. This allows me to work with the solution from both a strategic and software development perspective, which is really cool. In a broader sense, I think it's our responsibility as a tech company to create products that have a positive impact on both our customers and society as a whole. We strive to build solutions that automate and help people take care of rigorous processes. This way they can rather spend their time on value-creating activities. The automatic rostering solution is a great example of that."
“I think it's our responsibility as a tech company to make sure that we use technology to create products that have a positive impact on both our customers and society as a whole.”
What an interesting project! Can you take us through some of the other projects you’ve taken on also?
"My first project was to work with one of our largest ERP systems. I did an outside-in assessment of one of the modules, looking at how we can change and improve it to create better experiences for the people using it. In my second project, I worked with user behavioural data, where I got to try different aspects all in one project, from research to implementation to analysis. The projects I’ve done so far have been quite different. This is one of the things I think is so nice about the Management Trainee programme."
The trainee programme seems like a great way to test out different aspects of technology and business – what do you think is the coolest part of the programme?
"Yes, definitely. Hmm, I could answer a lot of things, but I think the coolest part is that we’re able to do projects abroad. I'm going to Copenhagen for my next project, and I’m excited to meet new people, step out of my comfort zone and see Visma from a different perspective. In addition to having fun experiences in a new city, you learn how things are done in other countries and Visma offices. This makes it easier to understand how synergies can be realised across the organisation."
It seems like the group of trainees have become close. How’s it being part of that crew?
“Yes, indeed! We’re an international group from four different countries that have become great friends. We like to spend time together outside working hours as well, which is a lot of fun. As a part of the Management Trainee programme, we've attended many social activities and gatherings. Some of the stuff we’ve done are kayaking, mini-golf, escape rooms, attending an AI conference and different courses, participating in recruitment events and of course creating the Management Trainee Christmas Music Video, which is a yearly tradition for the trainees. All of these events set an excellent scene for getting to know each other well.“