Magdalena Akesson

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About Magdalena Akesson

Magdalena studied Development Engineering at University of Halmstad in Sweden and has a Bachelor of Economics and Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law. She began her career as a project manager for an innovation consultancy before joining the energy industry in 2009 as a Development Engineer at the Ringhals nuclear power plant in Sweden.

“I joined the nuclear industry at 27 at a time when most of the plant employees were male, much older and had a huge amount of experience! I had also had responsibility for a very large investment programme so it was a steep learning curve, but working alongside the operators and maintenance engineers in the plant quickly helped build my understanding.

My career has progressed rapidly since although I never really set out with a particular path in mind. I have been lucky to have had really good managers who have given me opportunities to progress and encouraged me to take part in talent management programmes. I think you have to have trust when someone sees potential in you that you perhaps don’t see in yourself.

I also didn’t think I would be a good manager but being appointed as a Program Manager for the large safety modernization program made me realized I loved developing people and handling difficult situations and that role really gave me the tools and the insight needed for my career since.

Shift in perception

My managers over the years have helped me progress rapidly so I take a special interest in meeting the young people who now join our business. It is fascinating to see just how many applied to Vattenfall because they want to contribute to our fossil-free mission and how they also recognize nuclear as being an important part of the solution.

As a single mother with a young daughter, Vattenfall has always been very flexible and given me the freedom to be able to balance my work responsibilities with home life.

When I was offered my current job I said it would be difficult for me to work in Stockholm full-time but with the flexible solution Vattenfall offered me I am able to manage both personal life, childcare and my work in a good way.

Outside of work I love traveling and enjoy capturing photos of everyday life in different parts of the world.”

Magdalena works within:

NuclearExplore

Career path

I feel like I have ‘come home’ in my current role as I’m dealing with the issues and the strategy questions I’ve always wanted to work with. The role of the BU is to manage and deliver successful projects for our nuclear and hydro and back-end business as well as secure nuclear fuel for Vattenfall.
This role was a new concept within Vattenfall and I led a team of technical project managers. It was a very ‘full on’ time as I was overseeing a significant number of projects in the pipeline but we only had a small team.
I had responsibility for 31 employees and had to strategically plan production, be involved in all development projects and organise and execute outages.
In my first management position I was responsible for running a large programme of 120 safety projects. I had never seen myself as a manager but this role proved very valuable in giving me the tools and insight to develop my skills further.
This was my first job in the industry and it was a steep learning curve! I was responsible for the turbine/generator process and future strategies, as well as the complete upgrade of the turbine process for one of the units which was a major investment.