Today Jan A. Nielsen the CEO of Scan-Speak visited Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology. Scan-Speak were for many of the participating students a well-kept secret, and when Jan asked all who knew what Scan-Speak were manufacturing to raise their hand, only two did.
Jan A. Nielsen used to be like many students are today, confused about what to do with his life, which resulted in that he became a state authorized accountant. It however clear that he had no interest in working as an accountant and instead he were hired as financial director in Vifa, which today is known as Scan-Speak.
From here Jan’s story just took off, and became much more exciting. A company that no one in the audience really knew of, turned out to have a turbulent story with economic problems and shifting ownerships. But as all good stories should end, the story of Scan-Speak also turned out to have a happy ending when Jan bought the company in 2009.
Jan A. Nielsen was full of experiences that he wanted to share with the students, and a thing he had learned from his carrier was “never to stay too long in the same company. “ If you want to develop as a person, you need to seek challenges. Some companies are really good at challenging their employees, but sadly there are also a lot of companies that do not. Too many employees develop habits in their current position, and when that happens, it is a good indicator for seeking new challenges. Jan took on his own challenge, when he decided to move him and his family to USA, for a year.
Jan mentioned Nike’s slogan “just do it” as one of his personal lessons. It was matched with his hope of everyone being passionate about what they do. Not just in their spare time but everywhere and with everything they do. His last personal lesson was to acquire a wide range of knowledge while studying, simply because of his belief that the final specialization happens in the company. A recommendation was to find a mentor that could help you see your weaknesses, so you knew where to do better.
It was a huge pleasure to have Jan as guest at the University, and hopefully we will be able to bring him back at some other time, to tell another exciting real life story.
Next Thought-Leader Seminar is Wednesday 5th of May 2010 – at 14:45 to 16:00 in Unimerco Auditorium – Aarhus University Institute of Business and Technology.