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Johanna Bergendal

MSc in International Strategic Management at Lund University School of Economics and Management.
Online Business Controller (BC) at & Other Stories buying office in Stockholm.
Journey so far
I did H&M’s summer internship as a BC at L.O.G.G. Ladies in 2015, then a follow-up summer internship at & Other Stories online buying 2016. Started working at my current role as an Online BC at & Other Stories in 2017.

Hi, who are you?
I’m Johanna, a patriotic Gothenburger who has finally realized that it’s true that it always rains in Gothenburg. I graduated from Lund University last year and has enjoyed Stockholm life (and sun!) since then. I love traveling, cooking, going to music concerts and to run around Kungsholmen. I like fashion too, but if I had to choose between fashion or numbers I choose numbers. At least that is what I think that what my team would say about me.

Why did you choose to apply to the H&M Summer Internship?
At the beginning of my business studies, I had a brief idea of what I wanted from a future job, but no idea what that kind of role would be called, or if it even existed.

A lot of different companies came to my school and held presentations about their career opportunities, and when I listened to H&M’s presentation I realized that what I wanted to do actually had a label or a name: Business controller at H&M.

Their description of the role included: analyzing data and converting the analysis into actions, being an informal leader of a team with very different backgrounds, working with products you really understand, a lot of responsibility and endless international career opportunities. Also, H&M’s values felt very genuine and relatable, and unlike many other employers, H&M puts no pride into working 80 hour weeks. Instead, your manager will help you prioritize your work so you can handle your responsibilities within a normal work week. Perfect.

What was the internship like?
At my internship at H&M, I worked alongside my mentor who was a business controller at the buying office. Throughout the internship, we also got to attend inspiring presentations from leaders from different parts of the organization, explaining how this big global company is structured and the many career opportunities within H&M.

The first weeks, my mentor explained what his role included and I followed him in his daily work, attending meetings and helping him with smaller analysis tasks. I became a part of his team from day 1. At the end of the internship, I worked with a case that I was given from the section.

Tell us about your best memory from the Summer internship?
When my manager presented my case I felt quite nervous since it seemed so complex and challenging. It also required some Excel skills that I definitely did not have before. However, with some support from my mentor I analyzed the situation and came up with a solution to the problem. I learnt a lot from it, and it was great to realize that this case was not just made up, it included a real challenge at my section, and my conclusions were actually applied and implemented in the organization. I think this is a good example of how H&M really trust their employees, and also how you grow with your responsibilities even after only a few weeks in the role

Did you learn anything during the internship that you use in your role today?
Definitely! Aside from everything that I learnt about H&M as a company, the buying and production process and Excel skills, I learnt a lot about how to prioritize my time, always be action-driven, communicate with colleagues with completely different backgrounds, and to focus on the things that make a difference.

What´s the best part of working as a Business Controller at H&M?
After a lot of reasoning back and forth, I eventually decided to apply for a job at & Other Stories (within New Business) since my experience was that a role here is very entrepreneurial and independent. Apart from planning and setting our buying strategy for online, I have gotten great insight in the business. My responsibility stretches over many different business areas and I really have the power to influence our business decisions. H&M really trusts their employees and that makes me feel very motivated about my job.

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