23 August 2018

Beatrice Partain, studying industrial engineering and management at LiU, has had a special summer job this year. With a salary of SEK 100,000 per month, she has worked as managing director and president of the Adecco Group.

Beatrice Partain stands in an office

Adecco is an international company that works with staffing and recruitment.She didn’t actually apply for the job. Well, not initially.
“I just took their leadership aptitude test on the internet, which was great fun. And then I received an email saying that I was among the top 200 candidates. It was only then that I started to take the application process seriously”, says Beatrice Partain.

For several years now, Adecco has offered well-paid summer jobs to students, as a way of attracting high-flyers to the company. The winner takes up the post of president and managing director for a month in the summer, alongside the ordinary manager. This year, 7,399 students applied for the summer job, and Beatrice Partain was the one selected. She received a salary of SEK 100,000 for one month’s work, together with a six-month mentorship in the autumn under the manager.
“It is, of course, an amazing opportunity. I take part in all of the strategy-planning meetings, spend a lot of time with the normal president and managing director, and am responsible for some internal projects, both local and global.”

From student to managing director of an international company – what’s it like?
“Well, of course, it’s a bit weird. What I mustn’t do is think about who I’m sitting in the room with, but see the others as individuals. And I have to remember that even though I’m still a student, I can make a contribution.”
As managing director, Beatrice Partain has strategic responsibility, together with the other members of the management group. What’s important is finding answers to questions that promote development of the company, and asking the right questions.
“There’s a lot of teamwork with people who have strategic functions in the company – they’re all amazingly skilled, and all extremely different.”

Have your studies helped you in your new role?
“Yes, I’m sure they have. I realise, for example, that I’ve learnt how to approach problems and how to analyse them. This is really helpful.”

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned in your summer job?
“How important it is to have the right person in the right place. That you should have the courage required to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It becomes extremely obvious how far you can come in this way. We are all different and think in different ways. And I’ve realised that the management truly listens to my input. That they really want to know what I think. This means that I have started to believe more strongly that I have a unique perspective, and I can use this to pose questions and express opinions.
But the greatest aspect of it all is that I actually participate and make a difference.”

And at 100,000 a month – congratulations! Are you going to do anything special with the money?
“I took a slightly longer holiday this summer before the job started and travelled to London for a week. I love London and I’m a bit of a musicals freak: I can highly recommend ‘Everybody’s talking about Jamie’.”

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