Anne Sønsterud Jansen
Project manager in Research and Development (R&D). Has worked for Nexans since 2011.
As a child, her parents encouraged her to dare to be unconventional, and she also had a science teacher who told the girls they could be engineers too. Maybe that was what made Anne set her sights on an engineering degree from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She's not sure, but she's happy with her choice!
Anne brought to Nexans her wide-ranging experience from a number of different workplaces: from installing radar software on tracked vehicles in the Malaysian jungle to coordinating laboratory services in the health authorities of Eastern Norway, to mention just a couple.
"I'm not one of those engineers who likes to drill down into the subject and research all the details, since I easily lose patience. I'm more of an organizer – technically interested, with a focus on solving problems and challenges," says Anne. Here's where we see the common denominators of her career path.
When she came to Nexans in 2011, starting out as an engineer in the technical department for XLPE cables (plastic insulated high-voltage submarine cables), these were the qualities that quickly got her noticed by colleagues and managers. And this is why she was fast-tracked to the role of Lead Engineer.
What made you choose Nexans?
"I knew that there was a large engineering environment here and the work involved defined projects. A Nexans engineer is dedicated to a project from A to Z – from preparing a quote to the design and development of the cables, right through to delivery. I like this type of work, with a clearly defined beginning and end. Also, you increasingly get to take on a steady stream of different projects, which is ideal for me since I'm not that keen on routine work."
After nearly five years as Lead Engineer and team leader, Anne has recently seized the opportunity to progress further within the company – as a project manager in R&D.
What does the job involve?
"At Nexans, we constantly need to strive for new goals in order to keep pace with the market. The cables need to transmit more power, be laid deeper, and cover greater distances. R&D works on these parameters on a project basis. I am responsible for several different projects and get to work on what I love most: maximizing team effort, goal-oriented organization, defining the people and skills we require to get the best possible outcome," explains Anne.
Down-to-earth, friendly male-dominated workplace
In any new job, there are new colleagues to get to know – but with only around 10 per cent women, Nexans is also a largely male environment. Anne is well-used to this from her university days onwards, and thrives in this situation.
"It's a very down-to-earth and uncomplicated environment. I actually think that we women are not only respected, but sometimes even valued!" says Anne with a twinkle in her eye; she thinks that the youngest and newly-graduated women in the company share that view. Anne finds she performs best in a friendly workplace. As a team leader, she invited the whole team home to dinner on more than one occasion, and it's not unknown for her to bring cake into work.
"I'm a people person, and the social side of work motivates me to perform well. No question about it," concludes Anne.