Meet alumnus Erik Månsson
BSC in Business Administration
Graduation was approaching and alumnus Erik Månsson didn't know what he wanted to do. A few months later he received the diploma in his hand, as well as his first job - CEO for a start-up within Food Tech. We had a talk with Erik about his job - as well as running, monarchs and Netflix.
Erik, tell us about what you do today!
I work as the CEO of a startup called Innoscentia, a company with the aim to disrupt the current best before system in the meat industry. There is a lot perfectly eatable meat being thrown away today just because it reaches the best before date and we are developing sensors with the possibility to give true status of the product within the package. We are still very small and even though "CEO" might sound glamorous I pretty much do all the things that needs to be done so it's much more hard work than flair, I would say.
Sometimes you just have to be at the right place, in the right time and be ready to say yes even though your first instinct might be to run.
What is the main reason you work with what you do?
During the years at LUSEM I really tried to come up with what I wanted to do. I met a LOT of different companies during for example the eee-days, Corporate Challenge and many other career events but with one semester left I still didn't have a plan. I was looking at the consulting companies but felt some of them were a bit too big for me, so when I was approached by Innoscentia it felt much more like the organization I had been looking for. Sometimes you just have to be at the right place, in the right time and be ready to say yes even though your first instinct might be to run. Now I'm really happy with the choice being able to do a lot of impact in a small organization with high goals. If you want pressure and responsibility, I can recommend the start-up world.
How did LUSEM prepare you for working life and managing startups?
Just to calm everyone down, I still don't feel totally prepared and most people are probably not when they leave Lund. I think there are certain things the school can prepare you for and probably some it can't.
For me what I learned from classes gave a great foundation, and then my involvement in different student organizations sort of build on that. I was able to study organization and leadership with Nadja Sörgärde and Stefan Sveningsson, discuss management with Stein Kleppestö and branding with Mats Urde, all fantastic scholars. Then I got to practice that as President of LundaEkonomerna and various case competitions both in Sweden and abroad. The combination of theoretical and practical training was probably the best thing with my studies now when I look back at it!
I can pretty much guarantee that your years in Lund will be a magical, breath-taking, ground-breaking and life changing experience.
Lastly, I must mention the international environment that LUSEM and Lund is which is something I use a lot in my daily work. We have a Research and Development site in India so I have got the opportunity to go there but I have also visited both Tel Aviv and New York to pitch the company and I feel that I'm benefiting from having the international standards with me.
What do you prefer to do outside of work?
I like running! Training and sports over all is something I like. Otherwise me and my girlfriend likes to spend time in nature. This year I also have a goal to catch up on my reading so I'm going through some of Swedish classics at the moment. And of course, like everyone else, watch some series at Netflix!
What advice would you give yourself if you started your studies now?
Wow, I have so many! Give me an hour in Kåraulan with a batch of fresh students and I can give them all. No, but seriously, I'll give you my top three;
1. Engage in the student life! Lund is unique when it comes to all the fantastic organizations you can join. I have a sweet spot for LundaEkonomerna but check out LINC if you are into finance or Lunicore later in your studies if you want to try consulting.
2. Be ambitious, but not over ambitious! I believe there are two myths going around; one that your grades won't matter in the end and the other that you need straight A's to land a great job. I think both are false and I would urge new students to make sure they do all exams in the proposed tempo instead of postponing just to try to get a higher grade. Otherwise you might end up with a lot of exams to complete in the end (like I did, oops).
3. Enjoy! I can pretty much guarantee that your years in Lund will be a magical, breath-taking, ground-breaking and life changing experience. Make sure to enjoy it, challenge yourself, do some new and weird things, you won't regret it!
I believe there are two myths going around; one that your grades won't matter in the end and the other that you need straight A's to land a great job.
Tell us about your expectations for the future.
I have great expectations for the future! I look forward to Innoscentia launching our products soon so we can start saving the world, to Malmö FF winning the Swedish soccer league this year and to moving into a new apartment with my girlfriend.
That's the short-term focus, long term I look forward to sending my future kids to Lund. They can study wherever they want as long as it is here (laughs).