Viktor Dahlqvist’s first task at Ovako resulted in investment of 30 million. He was also still a student, a newcomer to steel, and pretty nervous. He talks about getting a significant role from day one, creating his own agenda, and about his current job as head of section.
When Viktor first joined Ovako in Hofors, as an aspiring MSc, he could never imagine what his first task would result in. The work was actually a thesis, but led to a job that lasted 2.5 years.
“I had not expected to have so much responsibility immediately, and that people would put so much trust in my results and my reasoning. It was both positive and a little stressful. Above all, it meant that I grew up very quickly.”
The aim of the thesis was to improve the capacity of heat treatment furnaces in the tube mill. The results showed there was great potential in the existing furnaces, and there were a number of different approaches to better exploit this potential. Viktor gained not just experience, but also improved his self-confidence – he was offered a job as a technician at the tube mill. Work continued on the furnaces and, together with Ovako’s specialist in furnace technology, they were able to present a major reconstruction proposal to both increase capacity and reduce energy consumption, substantially.
“I was happy to take the job. Ovako is not a big company, which means you get the opportunity for broad responsibilities if you want. It’s good to get an understanding of the whole of the industry and organization. Ovako is also big enough to have the ambition and resources to be at the forefront of technology.”
“I got to do important things and have a big input into my own work schedule, which I like. I also felt the company was a good place to grow. It felt like you could rapidly learn lots of different things.”
And that’s what he did. Viktor worked as a technician for two years, mainly with technical development of the business, on issues such as internal stresses in tubes, reducing rejected volumes when rolling tubes, straightness of cold-rolled tube, and cracking in tempered tube.
“I think you have to enjoy creating your own schedule, and be good at formulating your own tasks. Otherwise you will certainly learn how to enjoy it. If you prefer very prescriptive management and being told exactly what to do, being a technician at Ovako is probably not the job for you. We’re encouraged to take the initiative and be self-motivated.”
After the two years, Viktor was offered a job as section manager for a ring mill, and after less than a year he was responsible for another equally important area.
“Now I’m responsible for two areas. Clearly, if you want it and you take the opportunity, there is great potential to develop at Ovako. “