Anders Sandblad, consultant at the Nordic tech solutions and consulting company Combitech, has over 20 years of experience in software development. Lately, he’s been working with Combitech’s several talent programs. At the moment, his focus is on AI in Mind with the current cohort starting October 25, 2022. AI in Mind is one of several AI Sweden talent programs and is a further development of the well-established Combitech Talent Program, offered to partners of AI Sweden.
“AI in Mind started a year ago as the result of collaboration between Combitech and AI Sweden,” Anders says. He describes the talent program as a great way to support new employees and quickly boost their skills during their first two years at Combitech and to prepare them for future workplaces.
The program works as one of many initiatives to meet the growing demand for AI expertise in Sweden, with the fast-paced development demanding more motivated and interested people. Sweden is still at an early stage of using and working with AI technology, where AI Sweden is working towards accelerating the AI transformation in society on many different levels. The co-created talent programs that AI Sweden offers together with their partners are one step on that journey. Today, AI is already used in many people’s daily lives, and by increasing the expertise in Sweden, society could benefit even more from AI solutions.
What to expect from AI in Mind
About 10-12 new university graduates are accepted per cohort. The program is structured in three parts and offers customized courses in AI technology, people skills, and last but not least, experience development which adds a unique value to the program.
During the experience development section, participants discuss different topics and situations that have come up in their assignments at customer companies. Anders is in charge of this part of the program and thinks it’s an important way for candidates to grow into experienced employees. It’s all about understanding what happened in specific situations and learning how to handle them. The participants get input from each other’s different experiences at the seminars.
“The first topic is about being new at your job. How do we get the hang of what we’re supposed to do when we’re new at work? At the seminar, the participants share stories from real-life experiences and reflect on them together,” Anders says.
Combitech has reported that as a result of the talent program, participants develop not only their confidence and ability to handle difficult or unexpected situations, but also become more collaboratively minded, which is essential when you’re working in a new team.
Candidates who can take on leadership roles
For AI in Mind, Combitech and AI Sweden try to select individuals who they believe have the ability to take on leadership roles in the future. Many of them have a data or computer science background.
“As a consultant company, you need to learn about how a customer’s organization works. We’ve had discussions with AI Sweden and other partners about what is expected from future AI developers. This creates huge value for us, and gives us the ability to design the talent program in order to prepare the candidates the best we can,” reports Anders.
One of the most important outcomes of AI in Mind, according to Anders, is learning how to learn from your work-life experiences. You learn how to reflect, which is an important skill and a part of a life-long learning process.