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AAK Javier Gines

Global Innovation Lead, Plant-based Foods

AAK HQ, Sweden

Javier Gines

When and where were you a trainee?
I was a trainee in the 2016–2017 Program based in our Dairy Business as part of the Business Development & Marketing team in Malmo, Sweden (HQ)

What made you apply for a role with AAK?
When I was close to graduating I had a clear picture in my mind that I wanted to work with a global organization which had a positive impact on consumers and the planet through good positive values (sustainability etc). Honestly speaking, I was really focussed on finding the right environment and company, and then looking at which part of the industry I wanted to work in. Then I found AAK, and the fit was perfect for me.

What does a typical day at AAK look like?
When I arrive in the morning I check my list of priorities and then focus on the key deliverables in my role.  It is an ever changing and emerging environment so no two days are the same in Dairy. I am involved in a variety of projects and leading on a key development toolkit that will be rolled out globally. I am also involved in a variety of meetings. There is occasional travel to our sites and a couple of highlights have include working with our colleagues at our Innovation centres in Karlshamn, Sweden and in Morelia, Mexico.

What is/has been your biggest professional challenge?
I think the fast-paced environment. There are many projects going on at the same time so juggling priorities is key. Sometimes you might feel as if you are not moving them forward but then suddenly it all comes together. Balancing the passion to work at pace to deliver for our customers and understanding that delivering the right solution can sometimes take time and a lot of stakeholder engagement; this has been my biggest learning point so far.

What would be your best advice to trainees looking for a good start to their careers?
I would say don’t worry about what your background is. You can really develop your career and learn most of the things on the job. Just find a place your heart beats for. A place where you feel you can be listened to and where you feel a strong connection. Don’t stand still, keep moving and discover what your passion is. You can always change your path in life, no matter where you start your career.

What are your interests?
I enjoy doing theatre and competitive dancing. Love to meet new people and be involved with what is happening in my city.

What is the coolest thing you have done?
I think travelling to the middle east countries was very interesting. Just so different.

What do you always carry with you – and why?
I carry my phone because it helps me to keep track of my calendar and helps me to reach out to the people I care about.

Meet other present and past trainees

Yang, Customer Innovation Technologist, China

"Even though the assignment was very challenging, our team worked together drawing on each other’s strengths and collaborating across several geographies and time zones to complete the project. It was a great learning experience for me, both professionally and personally."

Margarete, Project Manager, Sweden

Going from a technical education (food technology) into the commercial work-field was a great development area for Margarete, trainee in 2016. "A professional challenge that I am very happy for, as it made me grow!"

Johanna, Buyer, the Netherlands

"Regardless if you apply at AAK or not, a trainee program is an amazing way to get to know a company, learn to network and expand your strategic thinking."