It is almost like coming home!

Sabine Beckmann, Area Sales Manager for Spain and Portugal, is the latest team member of the OSTP commercial team. In May she and her life partner Alex relocated from Spain to Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, to start a new adventure and for Sabine to start a new position at OSTP.

The choice of Örnsköldsvik and OSTP as workplace was no coincidence when Sabine started looking for new opportunities. Even though the position might be new, Sabine is no newcomer neither to the company nor to the business. Before leaving OSTP six years ago, to follow a dream of hers and her partners, she worked 24 years for Outokumpu/OSTP in Germany.

– Being back again is almost like coming home. Many colleagues are the same, the products are well known, and I could quickly remember technical details like grades, surfaces, materials and the different standards. It is what I know.

– OSTP is an amazing company, and the colleagues are great. I really appreciate the international work and the international connections within the company. We are all part of the OSTP culture she explains, but each location, site and team also have their own culture. It is a mix that I appreciate.

A wider experience

But how come the couple chose to leave for Spain and a life as horse trainers?

My partner is a professional horse trainer since 20 years and we had a good friend and mentor in Spain. A couple of years ago he invited us to come and work and learn at his location in Spain. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we decided to take the chance.

In 2019 the couple moved to Spain and started to learn the language, about the area and from their friend. However, with the sudden and unexpected passing of him as well as a pandemic hitting hard early 2020, things got more challenging than expected. However, Alex and Sabine decided to take the challenge and make it work. They reworked their offering and way of working and with digital training courses, video consultations, memberships etc the couple kept the business going.

Of course, it was a tough period, but Sabine is happy about the experience.

We learned a lot about ourselves, about finding solutions, about digital marketing and from working with horses you get a sense of self and sense of psychology that is applicable anywhere. I can put it to use in my everyday life and in work.

Equality in a traditional industry

She will use all of her experiences in her new role back in the steel industry. Even though it has been a few years she does not think that the industry has changed too much. It is a business that does not change too fast even though it continually develops. But how is it when it comes to equality? The steel industry is by many seen as a traditional industry, and when Sabine is asked how it has been as a woman to work in a traditionally male industry, she is almost surprised by the question.

– I would say that it has sometimes been an advantage when meeting new customers. There has been more curiosity and given me an opportunity to present myself and my work says Sabine. Everyone has been nice, and, when showing skill and knowledge it has never been a thing. That holds true for everyone I think regardless of gender.

Recommending ostp and örnsköldsvik

Sabine and her partner have now lived in Örnsköldsvik for almost four months and they have started to know the region and the people. The move has been a rather smooth transition and she is appreciative of the helpful mentality.

– It was a bit challenging at first, before we got all the administrative things sorted, but everyone has been so helpful. Both here at the company and also at different authorities, even though waiting always makes it feel like it is taking too long. We have been eager to get started and are happy to be here.

When asked what she likes most about Örnsköldsvik she quickly mentions the nature, the space, the archipelago and the sea as well as all the possibilities for outdoor activities.

– This “Allemansrätten”, allowing anyone to pick mushrooms and berries in the forests is amazing and quite unique. We have also been hiking some and seeing some of the sights, and we look forward to seeing even more.

Would you recommend OSTP as a company and Örnsköldsvik as a place to live?
– Yes, 100%.