The dream job in the shape of a box

“It's like putting together puzzles and building LEGO at work – and I love it!”
Nikoline does not understand why not everyone wants to work as a Production Electronics Technician like herself.

The 23-year-old genuinely loves her job and looks forward to going to work every single day.
And she knows very well what she is a part of and the responsibility she has as a skilled worker in the defence industry.

Nikoline is born and raised in the city of Kongsberg, Norway, and her long-time dream was to work in safe and respectable workplace with exciting job opportunities in her hometown. Nevertheless, the work life seemed a little frightening and distant, and when she at the age of 18 had completed Secondary School with a vocational focus on Electronics and Automation.

Not quite ready to begin working a full-time job, Nikoline went on to study Electrical Engineering at the University, but quickly discovered that what she really wanted to do was practical work. With great assistance from the school, she managed to get deployment in an electronics department at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace – the same electronics department where she works today.

After just two weeks as an apprentice, she was fully convinced that she had found her calling. Nikoline really enjoyed both the tasks and the working environment and culture, and the frightening feeling and distance she had felt about work life was gone.

“Imagine being lucky enough to be able to work with this every single day!”

Nikoline decided to apply for an apprenticeship through the apprentice company K-Tech, and 6 months later her dream became reality. A two-weeks deployment turned into 2 ½ years and a certificate of apprenticeship with a full-time job as a Production Electronics Technician.Nikoline Credit N.Frilseth - KONGSBERG-7.jpg

As a Production Electronics Technician, she has many different tasks. And with the situation in the world today, it has a special meaning to know that the boxes she works on are part of the NASAMS air defence system.

“Following the product all the way to assembly gives greater ownership and a better understanding of what the products you work on actually is a part of,” says Nikoline.

Her workstation is located in a quiet, clean and tidy production area, surrounded by a handful of good colleagues. She truly enjoys her workday - connecting wires, soldering and handling circuit boards, before the finished box is checked, moved out into the production hall and installed into the defence system.

“Look at this box! Have you seen anything so beautiful?!”

Nikoline says that she becomes genuinely happy when she sees a box where everything is tidy, fits together perfectly and is connected correctly.

But what she likes most is when a challenge or a problem arises which needs to be solved. Whether it is something that does not fit correctly, or when something completely new comes in that they have not worked with earlier. She then needs to deep dive into the task, take part in testing and developing the product so that it will work as intended.

“I especially like it when it’s my idea that we use and that it works. It makes you really feel both seen and heard,” she says and smiles.

Although much of the work is individual, cooperation is still required in a number of areas. Nikoline thinks that combination is perfect. Competence transfer is an important part of this.

“What makes us have a strong and stable working environment is that we are a diverse group of people who work together and complement each other with different skills and interests. You always have someone to lean on if you need help in a field where you have less expertise,” she says.

Another great side of the job is that when the day is over, she does not need to think about work until she returns the next day.

“I have an ability to really disconnect when I’m not at work, so that I’ve almost forgotten what I was doing the day before. It’s fantastically nice not to have anything hanging over you when you get home,” she says. And being a problem solver, her way of relaxing is by solving difficult “Sudoku” – crack codes and find solutions is what she does best.

Even though she feels “at home” at the moment, she knows that the when she is ready for new challenges, there are plenty of opportunities for her in KONGSBERG. Right now, she has more than enough challenging tasks on her hands, such as being a safety representative and responsible for the department's most recently arrived K-Tech apprentices.

“It’s an important and rewarding responsibility, because I remember what it was like to be an apprentice when everything is new and scary. It is important to have someone to lean on,” she says.Nikoline Andersen Credit N.Frilseth - KONGSBERG-24.jpg

Nikoline is also involved in the work to recruit more girls to choose vocational subjects. She is genuinely surprised - and a little worried - that there aren't more girls who think that vocational studies are the way to go. But nevertheless, she hopes that her contribution in promoting the skilled worker-career will yield results a few years from now.