Education: Master in Management, University of Mannheim (Germany), Master in International Business, Queen´s University (Canada)
Role: Trainee, International Talent Program (Focus Area: Merchandising)
Journey so far: Summer Intern 2016 and International Talent Program today.
Hi, who are you?
Hej! I am Niklas, I recently graduated from university and just started with the International Trainee Program here at H&M. I grew up in Germany but had the chance to live in different countries during my studies. I enjoy getting to know different cultures and am happy to be able to continue an international lifestyle with my career at H&M. After my two-month training in Stockholm I will move to Warsaw to start with my first placement in the Merchandising function – another adventure I am very excited about!
Why did you choose to apply to H&M and the Summer Internship?
I have always been passionate about retail, fashion and working internationally, but my journey with H&M actually finds its roots at university. During my semester abroad in the UK, I had a Strategic Management course in which we worked on a case study about H&M. I was fascinated by H&M’s unique success story and it was the first time I considered H&M not only as a fashion destination but also as a potential future employer. I immediately went to research on the H&M career website and found the summer internship program: An exciting and intensive six weeks program at the H&M head office in Stockholm within a highly international environment. It was clear to me that this was exactly what I wanted to do during my upcoming summer break. I applied for the program and that’s when my journey with H&M started.
Tell us what you did as a Summer Intern?
The main focus of the internship is to get a very comprehensive understanding of the company as well as to get deep insights into one specific function. I worked within the Global Merchandising team at Sales and Operations, and like every other intern, I was trusted with a business case that I worked on independently and which I presented to my function at the end of the internship. Besides the case, our schedule was filled with different workshops and seminars from a variety of functions at H&M. It was a great opportunity to really get the big picture of H&M’s ways of working. Towards the end of the internship we also worked in different H&M stores in Stockholm, which helped me to attain a much deeper understanding of the core business.
Tell us about your best memory from the Summer internship?
One special event that I still remember very well was an excursion to H&M’s distribution center for Sweden in Eskilstuna. We spent a day there and had a tour through the logistics and distribution halls, which was a very interesting and insightful experience. But not only the work at H&M was good fun: A great memory outside of work was Midsummer day – the other interns and I celebrated this very important Swedish holiday in a very traditional way and had a lot of fun!
What was the best with the Summer Internship program?
There are many things I could list here. But if I had to narrow it down to one single aspect, it would be the people at H&M. From the very beginning I felt very inspired by all the young, driven and dynamic people who work at H&M. This is also one of the main reasons why I decided to start my career with H&M after my studies.
And now taking part in the International Talent program, what´s the best part of being a Trainee at H&M?
The best part of the International Talent Program is that I can continue to learn a lot about the company as I not only go through many trainings within the first two months at the head office, but I also have two different placements in my assigned country, each in the area of Sales & Operations and Expansion. Hence, the ITP is a great opportunity to deepen my knowledge in different functions, to connect the dots between different areas, and to build a large network within H&M. To sum up, I think that the ITP is a great preparation for my future roles at H&M and it equips me with a lot of knowledge that will be highly beneficial in my daily work.