«I had never heard of it before, but the combination of mechanics and electronics was very exciting.»
Got the dream job
“In the job application I wrote that I could not imagine a job that fit better. It was like going a little hard, but this position fit perfectly,” says Kjartan Kristiansen. He got the job and started as a System Design Analyst in AutoStore in 2018.
From vocational subjects to masters
“It was completely conscious to choose a vocational subject. The plan was always to study further, but I wanted to have practical knowledge at the bottom,” he says. When his girlfriend was going to Sørlandet to study, she suggested the bachelor's program in mechatronics at the University of Agder. “I had never heard of it before, but the combination of mechanics and electronics was very exciting. After a bachelor's degree, he became a master in renewable energy.”
In addition to his studies, Kjartan worked in a warehouse, and he has also been a salesman at Elkjøp.
“Without it being tactical career planning, it turned out that these jobs were relevant when I searched in AutoStore. Warehouse work and experience from sales were useful,” he says.
As a System Design Analyst, he acts as an intermediary between sales and development. He is in contact with many customers and partners and receives support from development when needed. The day often starts early, since Kjartan works with customers in Asia.
“Today I was in a meeting with some customers in Australia, and then the task is to explain what is possible in our systems and listen to their needs. A lot of the work is sales-oriented, which I think is very exciting. If there is something I cannot answer, I take it further and discuss with the developers. It is incredibly exciting, and I work with several of our departments, and have to familiarize myself with a lot,” he says.
AutoStore has been through two acquisitions since Kjartan started in 2018, and the value has increased by many billions each time. Earlier this year, Japanese Softbank bought 40 percent of AutoStore, which valued the company at around 65 billion.
“It's a little amazing to follow what is happening. At the same time, we who work here see what we make and think that the enormous values make sense. It is fascinating how simple and efficient the system is, and how enormous potential it has,” says Kjartan.
AutoStore has grown significantly the last years, both in terms of headcount, revenue and complexity. Along with the company our employees grow, develop and search for new challenges and learning areas. As for Kjartan, he started a new position as a Project Manager October 2022. Providing him a different workday where he gets to combine his background from System Design with coordination, project management and a more holistic view on projects within Research & Development.