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GROW Global Trainee Programme

#youaretheopportunity #storaensoGROW

Trainee programme

Our GROW Global Trainee Programme offers recent graduates world-class training, global exposure and an exclusive opportunity to explore yourself and the world. 
The latest programme kicked off in September 2017 with 28 participants from all over the world. All the trainees have been hired to permanent positions at Stora Enso. During the 18-month programme, they will complete projects for Stora Enso’s top leaders, participate in a leadership training programme with top academic faculty members, go on a 3-month assignment abroad, have a personal mentor and perform a sustainability project. 

The GROW Hub is a place to read more about the trainee programme and the experiences of former trainees. 

You can also read about some exciting journeys here: 

Deep dive into strategy and leadership at Stora Enso – Helsinki, Finland

The trainees met for the first time in Helsinki, Finland in September 2015. The purpose of this first get together was to get a good understanding of Stora Enso's strategy and future outlook, as well as to explain what we expect from future leaders at Stora Enso. The programme is very high on the top management agenda, and hence we had the opportunity to hear about Stora Enso's future and strategy from seven members of the Group Leadership Team, including Divisional heads and the CFO. The focus of the first week was also very much on ensuring a good first connection amongst the trainees, leading to what became a journey of true friendship - and a lot of Whatsapp messages.


Here are some comments from the trainees after the first week together:


"I'm proud of joining Stora Enso: So great to meet so many inspiring people here."

"The group was great! Many knowledgeable Group Leadership Team members who allowed us to challenge them."


"This first module worth every second. I cannot pick one thing that I would do different. However, I can point for sure the ones that I value the most: meeting the other trainees, meeting the top leaders, and understanding the company strategy."



Business fundamentals and me as a leader


Stora Enso partners with the best business schools in the world on its programmes. In 2013 and 2015, the programme partner was IMD Business School. 

Here are some reflections from the GROW class of 2013-2014 on their first week at IMD! GROW alumni from the class of 2015-2016 also share many of their stories on the GROW Hub Stories section here.

We spent a week at their beautiful campus, including a day in the mountains. The first part of the week focused on business fundamentals, such as strategy, innovation, finance, change management and value creation. Check out this video with some impressions from the classroom training at IMD.


The latter part of the week focused on everyone’s favorite subject, ME. The trainees put on their outdoor gear and headed up to the mountain to solve some quite challenging tasks with their peers. After the day everyone got feedback, positive and constructive, about their behaviors during the day. What did I do to help others succeed, and what do I still need to learn? Many stated that these were some of the most educative days of their lives. Here some comments from the feedback:

“One of the absolute best learning experiences I have had”
“Lovely. One of the best teachers I've ever met in my life.”


Read more about the week in Lausanne in Artur's blog


Doing business in China – Shanghai, China

In February 2014, the first group of trainees headed off to Shanghai together with two IMD professors, to learn about doing business in China. The program was a combination of a limited amount of classroom training and many exciting excursions. To name a few examples, the group headed off to the city on a scavenger hunt where they needed to figure out a number of challenging questions related to life in Shanghai by interviewing people, they visited Chinese and international enterprises and a “high-tech zone”, had lunch with government officials and listened to many fascinating lecturers.

"The whole week was a great learning experience: excellent deep dive to doing business in china, good lectures to give the theoretical background, excellent company visits to see the business reality."


Read more about the week in Shanghai in Eleonora's blog


GROW Sustainability Project


Sustainability is one of the top priorities in Stora Enso. Moving to new geographies brings challenges and opportunities that are totally new to us. Future leaders need to be very aware and knowledgeable about these issues, and that is why we wanted our trainees to get hands-on experience about our sustainability work.

GROW 2013-2014:


For two weeks in March, every trainee contributed with their own competencies to four different projects in Beihai region with the aim to create shared value. To give an example, a group of paper engineers looked into creating business opportunities in a nearbu village, called Nanle. Another group looked into the ancient paper making and ways to reduce emissions and increase productivity of these often very small family businesses.


Read more about this part of the program in blogs by Björn and Sanna.

For a small impression of the trainee adventure in Beihai, check out this video clip.

GROW 2015-2016:

For three weeks in March and April, GROW trainees worked on benchmarking Stora Enso's Corporate Community Investment activities across 62 units globally. They learned about practical projects in Montes del Plata, Uruguay, before traveling to interview HR, communications and sustainability experts in locations and sites in Russia, Poland, Austria, Germany, Finland, Sweden, China, Brazil and other countries. Read more about the CCI Baseline project from the Stora Enso Careers Blog.



GROW International Assignment

Every trainee will go on a short-term assignment abroad for about three months. These assignments are picked individually for each trainee, considering their competencies, personal wishes, career aspirations and the needs of the sending unit. For the next programme, the assignments will take place from April–November 2018, and we already know that trainees are distributed all over the world: Laos, China, Brazil, Uruguay, Germany, Finland, India and more.


Stories from the assignments can be read in the GROW Hub!


Closing module – Falun, Sweden

The last and final module will take place in Falun, Sweden. Again, some of the senior leaders will join the trainees during the module. We will look at what has happened during the last year and a half to our strategy and outlook, and what we have learned. We will also discuss the trainees' future outlook and career aspirations. And last but not the least hand out diplomas and have a big party!