Great to Be a Consultant – Interview with Natasha Steindal and Katarina Antonsdotter

Great to be a consultant Natasha Steindal and Katarina Antonsdotter

Natasha Steindal and Katarina Antonsdotter say that it feels great to be a consultant.

Natasha Steindal and Katarina Antonsdotter are technical writers and are working on the ongoing IKEA project. During this time, they have learned quite a lot about chemistry, textile, packaging industries and they continue learning more every day.

BACKGROUND

NATASHA STEINDAL works on the IKEA assignment in Växjö for 18 months. She came to Sigma directly after studying Information Logistics at Linnaeus University. Natasha is an active and social person, and enjoys a nice walk in the woods when she has time.

KATARINA ANTONSDOTTER joined the IKEA project in October last year. Before that Katarina worked as a consultant at Etteplan with project placed at GE Healthcare in Uppsala. Katarina has Master’s degree in Biology and Bioinformatics, PhD at Institution of Medicine and even a Master’s Degree in Music. While living in Uppsala for two years, Katarina also did education in technical writing. Katarina enjoys being in the garden, likes photography and plays trumpet in the orchestra.

Tell us about your project!

Katarina: We work with IKEA’s requirement specifications that apply for the whole range of their products. Close communication with specialists from different areas is required to put together finished documents which are then published three times a year. During the publication process we attend so called requirement councils, where the specifications get approved for a particular issue concerning a product. The meetings are very intense, as we take notes and summarize the discussions between managers and specialists, a task that can be quite complicated.

It is fun as I find something new all the time. There is plenty of information to enrich my knowledge!

Natasha: Yes, just next week we are going to have a publication, so it is a lot of work right now. The documentation spans across variety of topics – chemistry, textile, packaging and furniture, to name just a few. Currently I’m working with packaging, one of the biggest and significant areas, as everything should be packed in a proper way and material. It is fun as I find something new all the time. There is plenty of information to enrich my knowledge!

What gives you the most excitement at work?

Katarina: I enjoy great learning environment, a lot of variation in work that sometimes can also be quite challenging. During the requirement counsels we have tough deadlines and a lot of discussions ongoing. Our task then is to write down all the notes and summarize the results. Working as a technical writer at IKEA is quite challenging and this is crucial for me to enjoy work. The IKEA of Sweden office is also a great working environment with nearly 2000 employees and almost every third person coming from a different country.

Natasha: There are always new people to meet, new specialists from different countries. Well, it is always a lot of new communication.

It is also valuable for me to know that our work is appreciated.

Katarina: It is also valuable for me to know that our work is appreciated. Recently we received feedback on one of the specifications that is going for publication next week. This was a lot of fun, since in periods when work load is huge and people are stressed to keep deadlines within a short time frame, one forgets to appreciate the good work being done around. It feels rewarding and motivating to learn that the client also is happy with your result.

“Wow – this specification never looked so good as it is now – thank you!
One more time thank you. It looks really great.”

IKEA manager to Katarina

“You are quite observant and have an eye for details…I am impressed!”

IKEA requirement specialist to Natasha

Natasha: IKEA is expanding all the time, which adds us additional work and gives opportunity for Sigma to grow as well. We have grown twice since the project start, and are now almost five consultants from Sigma on the project.

Katarina: I totally agree. There are a lot of things happening all the time, and we are part of the process.

How does it feel to be a consultant?

Natasha and Katarina: We sit at IKEA’s premises from Monday to Thursday, and on Friday we come “home”, to our Sigma office. It is great to work as a consultant – we get a good feel of working environment at the customer’s office and then share this experience and new knowledge with each other. It feels great.

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