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Hampus Friberg

Education: MSc General Management, Stockholm School of Economics. BSc Architecture, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Finished trainee program:
2017
Role within H&M:
Business Controller at H&M Beauty, Global Buying Office


Why did you apply to H&M and the Business Trainee Program?

I have always been interested in working in a fast-paced consumer industry and was really fascinated by the massive changes that the fashion retailers currently are going through with E-Commerce competition, sustainability challenges, and supply-chain disruption. H&M appealed to me because it has the global impact and size to make an actual difference in those areas, but it was the great people I met during my visits at the company that made me certain that I wanted to apply. All of them shared interesting stories about the journeys’ they had taken and the business initiatives that they had been able to join, but were still down to earth and felt very open to new ideas and perspectives. In a global organization of this scale, the Business Trainee Program felt like the perfect place to start since it would give me a hands-on experience at the most important parts of the organization around the globe that could help me to kick-start my career.

What did you do during the Business Trainee Program?
During my time at the program I worked in Design, Production, Online Business Development, and finally Sales, which gave me the opportunity to follow the products all the way from idea to customer. In two of the placements I was also positioned abroad, in Dhaka as part of our local production team and together with sales operations in Singapore. All my rotations were very different but equally fun and challenging, mainly because they combined both day-to-day work and cases which enabled me to learn the business but also contribute in meaningful ways.

Your favorite Business Trainee memory?
I have a lot of good memories from the program, but being out with our suppliers in Bangladesh was particularly exciting since I’ve never been in production before. Witnessing the thousands of garments that the team and I bought during the fall being precisely sown together in front of me really made me realize just how big impact a quick decision can have, and the complexities that we need to manage every day in our supply chain. Having a first-hand experience of all the effort that’s being put into every piece of clothing, from raw material to satisfied customer, has definitely given me a broader, more humble perspective, both professional and personally.

What makes the Business Trainee Program unique?
In my opinion the unique characteristics for the program is the global perspective and the fact that you get to experience the entire value chain, but also how fast you’re entrusted with making decisions by yourself. The program isn’t considered as an introduction or training period before you start you real career, so you’re expected to deliver analysis, insights, and help the team drive the business from day one. This can feel quite overwhelming at first but you always have colleagues to ask and you do it together as a team.

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