Our trip to Volvo was the biggest project we have done so far this year. We started communicating with Volvo last November, but the waiting list was long; we finally got a confirmation for our visit from Volvo in early January.
Given that this trip is offered only once a week, on a weekday, we realised some of us would not make it. So, we quickly decided to extend the opportunity to our fellow NFGL members from around Sweden. Our basic idea was to allow as many people as our budget would allow. We opened an online application and randomly selected NFGL members to join us. Places were offered to our friends from Stockholm University, KTH, Karolinska Institute and Lund University. We tried our best to be as fast as possible in confirming the spots, booking return tickets and restaurants, and sending emails with detailed information. We acknowledge, the trip schedule was very tight for all our visiting friends, but, at the same time, we tried our utmost to be flexible to all requests.
Volvo Cars Visitors Centre. Photo: Anup Banerjee
The trip to Volvo Cars started with a guided tour around the factory. Our accompanying guide was highly knowledgeable about Volvo's history and production process. He described to us in detail how a car is produced in the Volvo factory; the steps they go through, what values Volvo cares for and how sustainable the production process is. After a short break, we went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. So far, I would say, this is the first restaurant since my arrival in Sweden, where I have seen that many people having lunch together!
Volvo's Energy Efficient Hybrid Engine. Photo: Anup Banerjee
After lunch, we headed to the Volvo Cars Brand Experience Centre. It began with an official presentation on Volvo’s history, and then we were taken to have a closer look at Volvo’s new innovations and major breakthroughs. The guide described how Volvo is working towards its vision to reduce fatal road accident injuries by making cars safer than ever before, how energy efficient Volvo’s new cars are and how Volvo is working towards improving brand features. Probably the best part was being able to experience a Virtual Reality (VR) simulation of Volvo’s self-driving cars.
VR simulation of the self driving car. Photo: Anup Banerjee
After the trip, we gathered at a park near Gothenburg Central Station. As a final surprise, we had fika with NFGL Gothenburg. Thanks to NFGL Gothenburg, for surprising us – we could not be more thankful to them for that amazing coffee in the cold, windy weather.
Fika with NFGL Gothenburg. Photo: Myroslava Zaiets
Arranging a trip like this is always challenging. However, when we hear our friends say things like “by far it was the best field trip I’ve had in Sweden” we feel encouraged and determined to organise bigger events in the future.
It has been an amazing year for NFGL Jönköping. We have had learned a lot through hosting projects, joining trips with other NFGL groups, and most importantly sharing the international vibe for a better future among all of us. Hopefully, it will help us in our long journey afterwards.
Congratulations in advance to all NFGL members who are graduating this year. Don’t forget to visit Jönköping, if you haven’t yet. And finally, thanks to the Swedish Institute for their generous support, which allows us to arrange all these amazing opportunities throughout the year.
A few suggestions on arranging company visits or, study trips to future NFGL Boards:
• Explore the company websites to look for available opportunities to visit a company, or, try to find a contact person, preferably from the HR Department and send an email detailing your interest.
• Plan for trips and events at least a couple of months ahead of time. It usually takes a while to get everything confirmed.
• While booking tickets, check all possible travel options. Student tickets and youth tickets are always cheaper.
• Finally, continuously look within your internal network. We were able to arrange our visit through the network of our fellow member.