Employee Testimonial

Meet Åsa Sjöström, Site Manager

Today, Åsa Sjöström is a site manager and manages a production site in Sweden. She says, “Since I started at AkzoNobel, I have had the opportunity to experience different positions and functions – this has really helped me develop and learn."

  • Site Manager
  • At Business Area Specialty Chemicals
  • Works in Sundsvall

"New challenges are developing"

Åsa’s career at AkzoNobel started in 2003, when she came directly from the university where she had finalized studies in MSc Chemical Engineering. “I was keen to start working and I got an opportunity to work at the RD&I laboratory at AkzoNobel.”

A research engineer in the RD&I department for a few years, Åsa led and participated in different development projects, many of them towards the production department. She says, “I have always liked the production environment. A lot goes on there, and it is really about a team effort.”

In 2007, she took on the challenge to step into a people management role when she was appointed as Production Manager for the Expancel Plant. Åsa recalls, “This was really a challenge for me, suddenly being responsible for about 70 people. But it was a very fun time as well.”

A few years later, a new challenging opportunity appeared when the HR function set up the country organization. Åsa took on the role as Manager for the HR Service Center. “We set up standardized processes and procedures. My experience in production was very helpful, but I also learned a lot about HR that I now use as a manager,” she says.

In 2013, it was time for a new change. She spent a short period as project lead in one global project concerning raw material simplification. Åsa says, “This was a truly international environment and I got the opportunity to learn about AkzoNobel as a global company.”

After that assignment, Åsa went back to the production environment, but now as site manager. Åsa says, “This role has so many different parts to it – health, safety, environment, projects, people and assets. We work with continuous improvements of the plant and it is fun to share the experience with a dedicated team. Every day is different and I learn something new every day!”