After two years in Treasury at Skanska Financial Services, which can be compared with an internal bank, Per was selected to participate in Skanska Stretch. This international leadership program selects a few promising young employees and gives them the opportunity to learn about various aspects of Skanska, to build capabilities to lead in an international environment and to build a personal network within the company. The program concludes with a period spent abroad. However, Per Heinrup switched employers before the abroad placement and was unable to complete the program.
What made you leave Skanska during the ongoing program?
Per says that although he enjoyed working in Treasury, he was contacted by a recruiter via LinkedIn who offered a challenging position in a consulting company.
"Having a new challenge felt exciting, to see things from another perspective and gain insight into other companies and sectors. It was an opportunity to work with something completely different, although the focus remained within Treasury."
The transition was considerable since he went from a line position in a Group comprising 57,000 employees to working as a consultant in a company with 100 employees.
Looking to further his career
Per says that he had studied abroad several times before and therefore it was important for him that his planned role and assignments abroad would further his career. When Per was matched to one of Skanska’s Development units in Europe, he felt that the step was too great and combined with an interesting and challenging job offer, he decided to change employer.
What experience are you bringing from your period outside Skanska?
Per says that he learned other work methods, both high and low and preparing processes and driving change work, while drawing parallels to Skanska.
"I enjoy streamlining and finding more efficient ways to work, not only for the sake of doing it," he says.
During the period outside Skanska, he also had time to reflect and says he began to see things from other perspectives.
"This happens when you are slightly outside your comfort zone. I realized that I had gone from the job approach to the company approach. Values and colleagues are important and it feels good to work for a company that has a positive impact on society."
What attracted you back to Skanska now?
"I never stopped thinking about Skanska and the idea of possibly returning to Skanska was always at the back of my mind since the years at SFS were so instructive and stimulating. But I wanted to understand Treasury outside Skanska as well and felt I needed to broaden my experience."
When there were fewer Treasury projects and more general assignments at the consulting company, Per felt that his motivation declined and also realized that he was happy in a company where he could be part of something bigger and could once again work closely with people at Skanska who had motivated and inspired him.
"I focused actively on returning to Skanska by reaching out to people at Skanska who I knew from the past. It could have taken time, but after a relatively short period of time there was an interesting open position within IR.
New role with freedom and responsibility
Per says that he was flattered when Skanska contacted him and suggested he apply for the job as IR Officer and he appreciated the combination of freedom with responsibility in his new role.
"Treasury is governed by laws and compliance, but although there are fixed rules, it is still possible to influence the process. It's the same in IR and I look forward to working with financial communication, both internally at Skanska and externally with investors and analysts. It is a good position from which to broaden my knowledge of Skanska and this means collaborating with many different people across departments within the Group."
At the moment, Per and his colleagues in IR are fully occupied preparing the quarterly report, which requires exchanging information across many departments, including Controlling, Reporting, Communications, HR, SET, as well as auditors.
Despite leaving the Stretch program prematurely, he has benefited from the network he formed during the course of the program.
"There is a great deal of knowledge within Skanska," he concludes.