Freedom at and out of work

September 23, 2022

After moving almost 350 kilometers, from Sweden's northernmost town Kiruna to the coastal city of Luleå, to study engineering at Luleå University of Technology, Ebba never thought she would move back again. But the summer job at LKAB opened her eyes to the possibilities.

Woman in work clothes and helmet outside.

She moved to Luleå straight after high school. Ebba Videll was not sure what she wanted to work with in the future so had applied to the engineering program Industrial Environment and Process Technology. A broad education that could lead to many types of jobs.
”Like many other young people, I longed to lget away from my hometown and never thought I’d move back to Kiruna again. I saw in front of me that I would work for one of the larger engineering companies and either stay in Luleå or move further south after graduation”, she says.

During Ebba’s first school year, she came into contact with LKAB several times. Representatives of the company visited and presented the company and were also present at job fairs.
”Even though I grew up in Kiruna where LKAB is the second largest employer, I had preconceived notions about the company. When you hear the word mining industry, I think you easily associate it with heavy industry and don’t have a good grasp of what it would mean to work as an engineer for LKAB. But when I met people who worked there, I understood what future investments are being made. It piqued my curiosity and I applied for a job there the following summer”.

Ebba ended up at the chemical laboratory in Kiruna where she analysed samples from production. A summer job that she would return to for three more summers.
”It was a job that suited me very well and it also put me in contact with different types of engineers. In this way, my eyes were opened to how many different things you can work with at LKAB”, she explains.

During Ebba’s fourth year of study, the program included a one-semester internship. Through the network of contacts Ebba had built up during the summer jobs, she managed to get in touch with a person from the research department and was able to do her internship there.
”I was at the end of my studies and thought it was good to have the chance to work with something similar to what I would do after my studies”.

Ebba enjoyed herself so much that she applied back to the research department for her thesis in the fifth and final year of the education. During that spring, there was also a position for a process engineer that Ebba applied for and got.
”Today I work with environmental and energy issues for the pellet plant and a lot with issues connected to flue gas cleaning. It suits me very well. I like when a lot of things happen and I always get to learn something new. My tasks are very varied and the job is free. If you show that you want something and find something interesting, there are great opportunities to continue exploring it. That’s the best part of my job”, says Ebba.

She, who would never move back, is once again settled in Kiruna. Something she enjoys.
”I probably wouldn’t have moved back if it weren’t for the job opportunity, but the lifestyle suits me well. I am out in nature a lot, running, skiing, fishing and hiking. There is a sense of freedom in having nature right outside the door. And despite the fact that Kiruna is a small town in terms of population, there are good restaurants and entertainment options thanks to the tourism”