I could clearly recall one of my typical days at this time last year: breakfast, job search, lunch, job search, dinner, job search. As a lot of application deadlines approaching, I bet your job search and application schedule is as hectic as mine one year ago. It is never easy to spot opportunities that would perfectly fit your ambition and personality, and I would like to share my journey of passion-seeking with you:
- Why Corporate Finance
Before I joined Novo Nordisk, I have had abundant internship experience in top consulting firms and investment banks. I very much enjoyed the working environment in those places- talented people, challenging tasks, endless problem-solving opportunities. However, there was something that always confused me- the assumption. As it is they key to almost all projects which require future outlook, I found myself struggling all the time to justify the assumptions, for example, the industry growth rates, the profitability of a certain company, the potential cost reduction, etc.
When I applied financial modeling in my Master studies at Brandeis University in the U.S., I struggled with the same issue. Whenever I built up cash flow models, I questioned myself thousands of times the assumptions in the models- Why was the terminal growth rate 2%? Why would the company remain a constant growth rate in five years?In most cases I could find investment reports to ground my arguments, however I felt helpless because that was the maximum I could reach, and other than that I have no industry insights at all. When I read company reports from investment institutions, I found it challenging to figure out the stories behind financial output- well again, a lack of solid industry understanding.
Bearing this idea on mind, I regard the corporate finance function as the optimal place for me, where I am able to accumulate in-depth industry knowledge and sharpen my business acumen in financial analysis. After I worked in the Corporate Tax department after 4 months, I recognize how correct the choice was- the variety and complexity of corporate finance functions is way beyond my imagination. In Corporate Tax itself, we produce countless reports and models through out the year, whereas the outcome takes only 1-2 pages in the annual reports.
- Why Novo Nordisk
For me, the passion for the pharmaceutical industry is deeply rooted in my blood, as my father runs pharmaceutical business and my mother works as a biology teacher. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry is often the topic for my family at the dinner table, like the process of medical research, market landscape, etc. I have been amazed by its incredibly robust growth, and how unaffected it has been in economic downturns. I am also convinced that a career in this industry could be quite meaning and fulfilling since it could directly or indirectly boost the healthcare development for the human beings.
When I researched a number of employers last year, I was very impressed by Novo Nordisk’s double digit growth over 40 quarters and its value proposition. The setup of the graduate program was also very attractive to me. With four rotations in different functional areas, it offers an awesome overview of business and corporate finance in Novo Nordisk, enabling us to build up cross functional network at the same time. Additionally, the combination of rotations in both headquarters and regional offices/affiliates enhances our understanding of business and operation on multiple levels.