Meet our former Trainees

Caroline Erlingsson, Sales Manager, TEFAC, Sweden

When and where were you a Trainee?
I was a 2014 Sales Trainee in the TEFAC (Technical Fatty Acid) business segment based in Sweden.

What are your interests?
I like to stay active with running, skiing and many other sports. Travel to see new places. Be together with family and friends.

What is the coolest thing you have done?
Moving to Texas by myself when I was 18. It was a big step for me.

What do you always carry with you – and why?
My running shoes. Running gives me a lot of energy and it is the best way to explore new places.

What made you apply for a role with AAK?
AAK is a global company with many opportunities. I have degrees in chemistry and business and wanted to be in a company where I was able to combine that knowledge.

What does a typical day at AAK look like?
Every day is different; meetings, communication with customers, solving issues and planning what comes next. I also travel frequently to customers in Europe.

What is/has been your biggest professional challenge?
There can be small and big challenges but I always do my best to turn them into opportunities.

What would be your best advice to trainees looking for a good start to their career?
Have a curious and positive mindset. Take advantage of all the exciting possibilities you get.



Daan Lugard, Sales Manager, Western Europe, the Netherlands

When and where were you a Trainee?
In 2012 I was a Sales Trainee for Western Europe based in the Netherlands.

What are your interests?
Travelling, snowboarding, cooking.

What is the coolest thing you have done?
Travelling through Southeast Asia.

What do you always carry with you – and why?
My mobile phone because you always have to be connected in this fast world :-)

What made you apply for a role with AAK?
I applied with AAK because I always wanted to act in a B2B environment and felt AAK was looking for the next generation of talents that could offer this experience.

What does a typical day at AAK look like?
That’s the best thing about my current role as a Sales Manager. There are no typical days. One day I’m visiting a chocolate plant in southern Europe, the next day I’m negotiating contracts and the day after that I’m bringing AAK innovations to a customer making their lives easier/happier!

What is/has been your biggest professional challenge?
Successfully operating in one of the most competitive areas in Europe.

What would be your best advice to trainees looking for a good start to their career?
Give your full 100%, ask questions and enjoy the journey.



Marianne Ongenae, Factory Shift Manager, Site Hull, UK

When and where were you a Trainee?
In 2013 I was a Development Technician Trainee at Site Zaandijk in the Netherlands.

What are your interests?
Fitness, cooking, running, and travelling.

What is the coolest thing you have done?
When at university I wanted to do something completely new, so I went to Senegal to improve my French and do a project with the local university. I had the privilege to stay with a Senegalese family and got to experience their culture and way of life.

What do you always carry with you – and why?
My headphones and a pair of running shoes. For me there is nothing more relaxing than putting on some good music and go for a quick workout after a long day.

What made you apply for a role with AAK?
During my master thesis research, which I conducted at AAK, I found that the people at AAK were really helpful and interested in each other. Although it is quite a big company it still has a family feel to it which makes you feel appreciated and taken seriously. I really wanted to continue to work for AAK and therefore I applied for the Trainee Program.

What does a typical day at AAK look like?
On a day-to-day basis I deal with production issues, organize labour, and work on continuous improvement projects. A day in production is never dull and you’ll have to face new challenges on a daily basis.

What is/has been your biggest professional challenge?
After the Trainee Program I got a job as a Factory Shift Manager in Hull, which meant I had to move to a different country and start managing people, something I had never done before. Dealing with a different culture and trying to achieve the set standard proved to be a challenging experience.

What would be your best advice to trainees looking for a good start to their career?
My advice would be to pick a company that makes you feel good and that challenges you to be the best version of yourself.



Nikesh Hindocha, Sales Manager, AAK Kamani, India

When and where were you a Trainee?
I was a 2013 Sales Trainee in the Nordic region based in Sweden.

What are your interests?
Stay active, travel and spend time with family and friends.

What is the coolest thing you have done?
Jumping off a cliff, paragliding above Rio de Janeiro and finally land on Copacabana beach.

What do you always carry with you – and why?
My earphones and music. Besides listening to music, it is nice how it disconnects you from the noisy Mumbai.

What made you apply for a role with AAK?
AAK as a company attracted me due to the global presence and the reputation in the market. Also, I was aiming to work in the food industry. The AAK Trainee Program was an excellent way to combine interest in technology with my commercial mindset.

What does a typical day at AAK look like?
I typically start a day by analyzing sales numbers and market movements. Moving on I would interact with both customers and colleagues either through mail, phone or physical contact on various topics. In India I also look after integration activities as a result of the recent acquisition.

What is/has been your biggest professional challenge?
To be a part of establishing AAK in India and to transfer here from Sweden six months after I completed the AAK Trainee Program. It was challenging because: 1) I had to adjust to the fast lifestyle, people and culture, 2) and because I was the only one from AAK based there, I had to improve my ability to push and motivate myself to achieve results. Looking back I could not have asked for a better challenge.

What would be your best advice to trainees looking for a good start to their career?
Show initiative, stay positive and build a good network both internally and externally.

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