Business Sweden's
Trainee Blog

Follow our trainees on their exciting journey around the world with Talent Accelerator

Из России с любовью, or as we say in English, From Russia with Love!

Hello again dear reader, my friend, current colleague and/or future colleague.

Since it took me so long to write my third post, I thought it would be reasonable to make my fourth post quicker than usual.

Between February 5th and 9th me and the rest of the current trainees were sent back to the Business Sweden Headquarters in order to get some further training and in order for us to discuss various learnings from our different markets. A lot of interesting new information, tips and tricks were introduced and repeated to us and during one of the days we even got a self-management training day with Mia Törnblom, who among other things helped the Swedish Women’s National football team when they grasped the second place in the Olympic Games in Brazil 2016.

The gang with Mia Törnblom

The gang with Mia Törnblom at Business Sweden’s headquarters in Stockholm

I arrived in Moscow approximately four days ago now. Upon my arrival, I was welcomed by Moscow’s Trade Commissioner, Andreas Gioullarakis, at the airport. He had just been on a one-day errand in St. Petersburg and then synchronized with me so that we would arrive at the same Moscow airport and at the same time. He then helped me retrieve my house-keys which I conveniently forgot in the airplane pouch in the seat in front of me (a very strong first impression on your new boss, right!?). After about an hour of waiting the house-keys were back in my pocket. He then drove me home to my new apartment and on the way he insisted on showing me the mandatory and greatest sights of Moscow (click the link below to get a 6 second tasting of some of the beautiful architecture; shown in this video is a very famous hotel!).

Some of the architecture seen on my first tour

Friday, at 9:13 I stepped into our office (after some struggles running on slippery snow to work – apparently google maps’ estimated walking time does not take slippery snow into account) and jumped into our 9:15 morning meeting. I was introduced to the whole Moscow team; Andreas, Jonas, Elena, Alevtina, Ilnar, Ekaterina and Lyudmila (except for these team members at the Moscow office we also have team members at the Kazakhstan office that are working under the same Trade Commissioner and in collaboration with Moscow!). After that the Friday’s schedule was gone through. Every morning the Moscow office goes through the day’s tasks in order to make sure that everyone knows what tasks everyone is sitting with in order to assess the different colleagues occupations, time requirements and possible idle time. After this I was assigned to two projects, that I had been already been introduced to through email. One of the projects involves me updating, in collaboration with Ilnar and Jonas, the e-commerce guide for Russia. Since I had a similar task in Sydney this felt like a relatively straight-forward task. The second project is to do, in collaboration with Elena and Andreas, a market survey on large Swedish companies in Russia in order to get an idea of how they view the market and what the expectations for their including Russia’s future is.

On the evening of the Friday I had decided to meet up with an old Russian friend who I had met on my exchange in Tokyo in 2015. I also brought along my colleague, Ilnar, and asked them to introduce me to the culture scene of Moscow. I was introduced to the coziest of venues, called Gazgolder. A very calm yet groovy techno location in the central parts of the city.

The Gazolder Venue

The Gazgolder Venue

On the Saturday I completed the mandatory visit to IKEA and bought some home necessities (including Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns). I later invited Ilnar for a darn classic… A Swedish “Köttbullar med potatis, brunsås och lingonsylt”-meal (see picture description for English translation).

Swedish Mealtime

Meatballs with potatoes, brown sauce and lingonberry jam

The Sunday, was simply used for signing up at a close-by gym, practicing the Russian alphabet and visiting two tourist spots (The mandatory St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Christ Savior Cathedral). I then finished off the weekend by visiting the Gorky Park where a celebration was held. In Russia they celebrate one special week every year, which they call “Maslenitsa”. This week symbolizes the last days of winter and the week is finally concluded by burning a large supposedly scarecrow (but in Gorky Park’s case it was a big something else instead). Although this celebration is suppose to mark the ending of winter I am not so convinced; the local weatherstations predict minus 25 degrees Celsius by the end of this week . Wish me luck…

The mandatory picture of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow

The mandatory picture of the St. Basil’s Cathedral

Christ Savior Cathedral in Moscow

Christ Savior Cathedral

One of many Maslenitsa Scarecrows(?)

One of many Maslenitsa Scarecrows

The Maslenitsa Scarecrow in flames

The Maslenitsa Scarecrow in flames

I know many of you have now completed the Talent Accelerator Program application tests (GOOD JOB!!!) and that the Assessment Day at the Headquarters is the next step for a bunch of you. I am very excited to know that we will get more fresh blood to the company in a few months’ time. Hopefully it is you and I who will collaborate and spend time together on a future mutual market?

Have a great day and talk to you soon.

Good bye, or as they say in Mother R… до свидания!

Tao Hemberg Jankel