The day started off early in the morning at Lund Central station. A group of 17 curious people, eager to see the roots and heart of IKEA, one of the largest companies in the world, located in the deepest forests of Småland. When arriving to Älmhult, the rain was pouring down and after a slight detour around the city of Älmhult, we finally arrived at IKEA.
We were all struck by the warmth and the feel of belonging, almost like a family feeling when entering IKEA in Älmhult, the place where the story of the company began, and the centre for IKEA’s culture. It doesn’t matter if you work with driving a forklift, or if you are one of the high shots at IKEA, you are still as important. These are values that a lot of companies try to follow, but without success. IKEA on the other hand is really showing this by their friendliness towards us as students, and to each other with small acts of kindness.
IKEA in Älmhult is not only a nice hangaround for the employees (even if they have a big facility with squash courts, gym, etc.), but it is also a place for BIG business. IKEA is continually growing and has set their goal to double their total turnover (compared to 2014 turnover), which partly can be done by hiring 75 000 people between the years 2014¬2020. This sure creates a lot of opportunities for students to work at IKEA.
Speaking of opportunities, due to the vastness of IKEA, the many different jobs that IKEA is providing, also leaves opportunities to work abroad and to try different roles within IKEA. This kind of “open space environment” could be one of the factors that has put IKEA to where they are now. We had the opportunity to visit ICOM, which is where the IKEA catalog is made, and you would be surprised of how many times you can twist and turn the different objects until the co¬workers are pleased with the result. Not only do they have a big studio, where they are taking the photos for the catalogue, but they also have a big studio for film making, and rumor says that Pixar Animation Studios have visited this studio to get a glimpse and inspiration.
But to get to where IKEA is today, you need to go back in history and see how it all started, and that was exactly what we did when we visited their IKEA Museum. It is surprising and inspirational to see how Ingvar Kamprad started up by selling matches and pens by knocking on doors, to later on investing the profit into the business to expand the product range. Speaking of Ingvar Kamprad, every person we met had their own peculiar story about that man, which gave the feeling that everyone knows Mr. Kamprad on almost a personal level.
If you are interested in working at IKEA, you should keep an eye at IKEA.se/jobb, or check out the events that IKEA organizes together with LundaEkonomerna at Lund’s University. As been said earlier, IKEA is going to hire 75 000 people, you might be one of them!