Growing up in a small village near Lund, Sweden, must have provided an ideal backdrop for an idyllic childhood as well as a taste for challenges.
As Rikard puts it, one of his first big ones was applying to the three-year English-speaking senior high school in Lund and then moving on to even greater challenges in university there. Herewith began a serious love affair with a very serious discipline – economics.
What intrigues him about it? “Trying to explain a world that is really complicated, where you need take into account so many different factors is what captured my imagination. It might be impossible to explain the full complexity, but at least you can contribute in a small way…”
Pick of jobs
His job search after university ultimately led to offers from a well-known financial firm in Sweden and Hydro. Why choose Hydro? “It was gut-level. It seemed that Hydro really cared; they wanted to help with everything, with my flat, moving, everything really. The company in Stockholm said ‘OK, when can you start?’ I said,
‘I have to find somewhere to live.’ They said ‘Call us when you have a flat.’”
Rikard was in the Global Alumina and Smelter Growth unit before moving over to Risk Management. He did some heavy lifting on Hydro’s planning for the future.
“I was analyzing potential projects like where to build a new smelter, taking into account profitability, tax regime and other factors. I was doing that within a month of starting – a real challenge, but inspiring to be part of it.” Talk about the deep end!
What kind of freedom do you get in Hydro?
“A lot of it is up to you; having interesting tasks to do is often down to your own motivation.”
Does that mean you’re left on your own?
“No, in Hydro there is a platform to build your career house on. Maybe you don’t get all the bricks for the house, but if you have a positive attitude you get a lot more bricks.”
Making a difference
Will what he’s doing make a difference? “Our department is actually helping paint the picture for what the new Hydro will be by looking for opportunities to grow our business. And I’m a part of it.”
We’re glad he is.
: January 31, 2008