Stretching the leadership skills

7/5/2013 1:51 PM CET

The second edition of Skanska Stretch is up and running. 26 selected participants are finishing the leadership training which is followed by a 6-12 months international assignment.

"Building winning teams and exploring new horizons are two of the priorities outlined for all of Skanska, in order to reach our Profitable Growth Business Plan. This is also what Skanska Stretch is all about", says Anna Sifvert, Program Manager, Skanska.

Carolyn Desmond is one of the early career top talent who are part of the global leadership program.

"I have great expectations for my international assignment and Stretch in general," says Carolyn Desmond packing her bags to move from Washington DC to Poznan and Warsaw, Poland, for her international assignment.

"I am very fortunate to have this opportunity to grow and learn. I will expand my internal network with Skanska, and learn new ways of working and living. This is an opportunity to get to know a new culture and create experiences that I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

For three years, she has been with Skanska USA Commercial Development and will now join Skanska Commercial Development in Poland for a year.

"Going to a country where I’m not familiar with the culture and do not speak the native language, I will be faced with many challenges. Despite this, I am confident I can contribute a great deal to the CDE team while developing as a person and becoming a better employee for Skanska" says Carolyn.

"We await Carolyn's arrival with high expectations and are looking forward to challenging questions based on her experience. At the same time, she will be able to learn about the European market and contribute to our teams," says Waldemar Olbryk, Managing Director, CDE in Poland.

Justyna Maternicka is returning to Poland after taking part in the first Stretch program including a six-month period at the Elizabeth River Crossing PPP project in Virginia, USA.

"I believe I have learned a lot and will be able to utilize this knowledge in my work with Design Build in Poland. I also hope that the personal development part will significantly contribute to my relationships with the people I will be working with," says Justyna now Technical Support Manager of the Skanska Poland Civil East.

Henrik Ahnström is back in Gothenburg, Sweden, after his international Stretch assignment with CDUS in Seattle, Washington. What learning have you brought back?

"The importance of understanding customers and what is important to them. To talk about the whys, and not the whats, when meeting with customers. By doing this, we focus on the meaning and purpose of what we do. We are here to serve the market and provide solutions to customers' needs. This will create passion, the energy that will spread and create a market-making team," says Henrik, now Business Area Manager responsible for the logistic and retail development business at Skanska Commercial Development Nordic.

Development Programs

Skanska Stretch is the global development program for Skanska's top talent early in their careers.

Read more about Stretch and other development programs at Skanska