Kristina Larsson’s career story: Feeling inspired by long-term commitment to people and projects
by Sofia Eidman
In this blog series, we’re sharing career stories from Aurora Innovation employees. Product Owner Kristina Larsson has recently transitioned to her new position from the role of Scrum Master and Systems Developer. She enjoys working in a team and long-term projects – and outdoors in her leisure time.
Freshly out of university in 2008 with a degree in physics under her belt, Kristina wasn’t quite sure where her career road would take her. She began as a Java developer at an IT company and, after six years with her first company, she moved onto Aurora Innovation in 2015.
“I found Aurora very interesting – the open position I first applied to would allow me to work on IT with healthcare. It’s something that matters to people and has a real impact. It felt exciting!”
Today, she’s made her way to being a Product Owner at Aurora. Kristina enjoys working for long periods of time for the same company.
“You get to know people very well over time. Aurora has its own product teleQ and developing it is more inspiring every year and I’m constantly learning new things. IT systems never stop developing so our product is never 100% completed. Something new is always happening and we need to find different solutions. For me, it feels like things at Aurora are always on their way towards goals. Sometimes, the direction changes and you need to rethink your approach, I really like that,” says Kristina.
As Scrum Master and Software Developer, her main tasks have been to coach her team of developers, planning and executing development projects in sprints.
“Now, I’m moving towards becoming a Product Owner which means that I will make sure my team’s work is taking the product to the right direction. The work also includes talking with customers about their needs while as a developer, my work would focus on coding much more.”
Collaboration and conversation with colleagues in a flat organiation
Kristina enjoys co-creation and she can often be found working at the office.
“I don’t like working alone, I appreciate connecting with my colleagues and running into them at the coffee machine. That’s when those spontaneous conversations about technology, functionality and the product happen. They are basic building blocks that result in something that our customers like. Making healthcare more accessible is meaningful work,” Kristina says.
When she started at Aurora Innovation, the company was smaller than it is today. Unlike in large organizations, the daily work was more flexible and agile without heavy structures. She describes Aurora’s culture as friendly, open and innovative.
“In a smaller company, you need to be inventive to solve problems because ready solutions don’t exist yet. I enjoy the flat organization as well – someone always listens and takes your point of view into consideration. At Aurora, I’ve learned to take more responsibility as a team leader and scrum master. I’ve enjoyed learning how to lead people and help them work together efficiently and I look forward to continuing to learn in my new role,” Kristina states.
Outdoor activities and family fill up Kristina’s leisure time
Spending time with two children and nature are Kristina’s go-to activities when the work day is done.
“I enjoy being out in nature, skiing, hiking and picnics. I haven’t traveled in a while, but I also love sunny weather and beaches!”