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Applying for Novo Nordisk and the Graduate Programme – Part 1: Is this my career path?

Category: European Business Management | 16 comments

The deadline for applying for the graduate programme is getting nearer and at this moment you are perhaps considering whether to apply or not?

In order to help you I will discuss in coming blog posts different aspects of the process:

Part 1: Is Novo Nordisk and the graduate programme an option for you?

Part 2: If you choose to apply what advice can I give you?

Part 3: If you are chosen to take part in the Graduate Recruitment Centre (GRC) in Copenhagen, Denmark on 29–30 March 2011 how can I guide you a little?

Part 4: If you get through – as some of you will – an exciting career fast track is to be started.

Part 1: Is this my career path?

A new year 2011 is just around the corner and with that come new experiences and challenges. For me the first part of my first rotation in Market Access in Spain is coming to an end, and new challenges in marketing are on the horizon.

Some of you are perhaps right now facing a situation where a new path is to be chosen. I remember the thoughts that I had when about to finish my studies. Where do I see myself fit in? In which industry and within which area do I want to work? What is important for me as a person? What can I offer and what can the different companies offer me?

There are so many things to consider. What is success for me? Is success and having high ambition the most important thing for me? Or are there other values which are more important or equally so? For me being successful is significant, however not at the expense of repressing personal values. That is why Novo Nordisk and the graduate programme was the perfect fit for me! Being part of Novo Nordisk enables me to combine my ambition with a company that has high values consistent with my own.

In the following interview with me you can read further about why Novo Nordisk was my first choice and why it now has become my career path:

I challenge you all to consider what is important for you when it comes to choosing the company where you want to work. If Novo Nordisk is a goal, then consider how YOU can obtain being part of the graduate programme. There are many ways to get there. Find your own way – go for it – and apply!

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16 Comments to Applying for Novo Nordisk and the Graduate Programme – Part 1: Is this my career path?

  1. Posted January 15, 2011 at 4:20 am | Permalink
    Jason says:

    What is the pay while you are going through the training processes?

  2. Posted January 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
    Prashanth S Hugar says:

    I happened to read the website of NovoNordisk just yesterday. The Base camp programme sounds really interesting.
    I have completed my Masters in Microbiology from Bangalore University, India. I have been working in a reputed pharmaceutical company from SEP-2008 in the Quality Control department of sterile product division.

    I wanted to know if I am eligible to this programme too.. I am interested in programmes related to Quality in pharma or Regulatory affairs. Which programmes would you think is suitable for me.

    Thanks in advance for reviewing my comment in your busy schedule. Your support would be very much appreciated

  3. Posted January 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
    Renko says:

    Hi Helga,

    First of all, thank you and your fellow blogmembers for the helpfull and honest information. It sure gives me a very good insight of the programme.

    I just wanted to ask you something. A lot of the bloggers and other people in examples and short stories on the website are starters with a (coming) Masters degree. I am from The Netherlands, I am 33 years old (or young), having a wonderfull wive and three children in the age between 2 and 9 years. I will be receiving my Masters degree in Business Administration coming June. This however, does not make me hesitate at all applying for the Graduate Programme. Do you know applicants in simular positions? Does NovoNordisk support people in my position to apply for the Graduates Programme?

    Thanks in advance for your answer on this.

    Regards, Renko

  4. Posted January 18, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink
    Helga Tuesta Andersen says:

    Dear Renko,

    I am glad to hear that our information given is useful, and that you have obtained a good insight of the programme!

    One of the great things about Novo Nordisk is that the company really supports the balance between work life and private life. I believe that if you have the right profile then your private position will not be an obstacle for hiring you. The only thing that you have to have in mind is that you have to pass through three rotations in different countries during two years. If that isn’t a problem for you and your family, I am sure that it won’t be an issue for the company.

    In general the graduates are starters with a recent Masters degree. The programmes start in September 2011, so if you receive your degree in June then you will just finish in time to start in September. If you want to be a part of the programme, then I would advice you to apply.

    Good luck and let me know if there is something else that I can help you with

    Best regards,

  5. Posted January 18, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink
    Helga Tuesta Andersen says:

    Hi Prashanth,

    According to your profile and interests I believe that programmes like Regulatory Affairs and Global Development would be the perfect fit for you. Sadly enough – as far as I understand – the programmes are not hiring at the moment.

    Of the programmes hiring this year, that might be interesting for you, the Supply Chain programme could perhaps be an option. The programme is focusing on product supply and production, and you’ll need to have a Master’s degree in engineering, natural sciences, supply chain management, business administration, economics or similar. In case this programme has your interest you could contact supply chain Graduate Stine Krog-Pedersen. I am sure that she will give you further information about the details.

    If you as well have an interest in sales and marketing the European Business Management programme could as well be an option. The requirement for the programme is that you have a Masters from a business school or from a life science schools. A part from being fluent in English you need to be fluent as well in at least one of the following languages DE, ES, FR, IT, NL, PL, SE. The programme is – as goes to the name – focusing on the European market. If you prefer a programme having a global perspective, the Business Process Programme could be another option. In a coming blog post I will talk about the European Business Management programme in general, so here you will be able to obtain further information.

    The good thing about the programmes in general is that Novo Nordisk adapts your rotations to your profile within the programme orientation. What is crucial is that you have an interest in the areas presented in the programme details and that you live up to the requirements.

    If you are thinking about applying for more than one programme I would do that, as long as you adapt the application to the specific programmes.

    I hope that this can help you a bit otherwise, don’t hesitate to contact me again.

    Best regards,

  6. Posted January 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
    Helga Tuesta Andersen says:

    Hi Jason,

    The graduate will receive a suitable salary during the programme, reflecting the marked level…

    Best regards,

  7. Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink
    Doris says:

    Hi Helga,

    Thanks for sharing information with everybody here. I’m currently a MBA graduate and very intersted in both business process and global marketing program. Still thinking which program I should apply as marketing is more sales oriented while my background is more process oriented.

    How the company decides which position to go for graduates after the base camp? thanks a lot.

    Best regards,

  8. Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink
    Helga Tuesta Andersen says:

    Hi Doris,

    I suppose from your comment that you are going to apply for both programmes right? In case you do that you will at first be evaluated by different teams, and if you end up being between the final candidates for both programmes, I believe that the decision makers – based on your profile and your expressed preferences – will decide which programme you will be a candidate for at the Graduate Recruitment Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark on 29–30 March 2011.

    I hope that this helped you a bit otherwise don’t hesitate to write me again.

    Best regards,

  9. Posted January 29, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Permalink
    Doris says:

    Hi Helga

    Thanks a lot for above reply. I think I’ll only apply business process programme as this is my background.

    One more question, when the guaduates finish the base camp, how is the process to get a formal position inside of company? thanks.

    Best regards,

  10. Posted February 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
    Helga Tuesta Andersen says:

    Hi Doris,

    During especially the final part of the programme you have to be proactive and make use of the network you have created throughout the programme in order to find a following permanent position. However, you are supported by the programme manager who assists you in finding the position in case you haven’t found it on your own. It really is in Novo Nordisk interest that we stay with the company after completing the programme so you shouldn’t worry too much about not finding a permanent position within Novo Nordisk afterwards.


    When the programme comes to an end

  11. Posted February 22, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink
    Neel says:

    Hi Helga!

    I just happened to come across the graduate programme today and I’m sad I have just missed the application deadline! Nevertheless, I was wondering which programme might be appropriate for me? I have a Masters in Public Health with emphasis in Global Health Leadership from USC in Los Angeles. The Global Development and Global Marketing Programmes sound exciting! Thank you!


  12. Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink
    Lise says:

    Hi Neel,

    You are welcome to apply next year! We have people with a big variety of degrees in all the programmes, and with your background, you should be eligible for most. I suggest you read as much as you can about each programme (the blog, the graduate website…), and find out what kind of tasks are usually assigned to those graduates, and see what matches your interests.

    If you are in doubt, you are welcome to apply for more than one.

  13. Posted November 19, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink
    Liem Halim says:

    Dear Helga,

    First of all, I would like to say thank you for providing us with clear and concise answers from all of our questions. I have read this blog from top to bottom and I have also read each of the graduate program description. However, I am still a little bit confused about the differences between Global Development and Regulatory Affairs Graduate Programs.

    I am interested in R&D Department but I am just not sure about the difference between both of these programs. I would really appreciate i If you can mention the 3 key differences between Global Development vs Regulatory Affairs Graduate Program.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards,
    Liem Halim

  14. Posted December 17, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
    Blog post by former graduate Sofie says:

    Dear Liem,
    I am responding on behalf of Helga as she is no longer blogging. I am glad to hear you have found the blog helpful.
    Since I am not within the two programs myself I will recommend you to call the program managers to ask your questions for the various programs.
    Global development offers six different programs within, so I can’t say the key differences, I would advice you to read up on each of the various programs. Global Development programs are within niche areas.

    Perhaps have a read this post about regulatory affairs

    Good luck with your research and application:)

  15. Posted December 22, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
    Liem Halim says:

    Dear Sofie,

    Thank you for replying to my post. I have read more about their differences from the links you provided. I hope it is okay to apply for both Global Development and Regulatory Affairs graduate programs since I am interested in both of them.

    Anyway, I hope you have a great Christmas holiday this year.

    Kind regards,
    Liem Halim

  16. Posted December 23, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
    Blog post by former graduate Sofie says:

    Dear Liem,

    You can apply for both programs :) I applied for two also, back when I applied last year.

    Thank you, you too have a wonderful Christmas!