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3 Strikes You’re Out? My Unique Graduate Recruitment Center Experience.

Category: R&D Regulatory Affairs | 3 comments

Over the course of your life I am sure there have been many moments where you needed to be at your best and yet the world was working against you. Perhaps it was spraining a wrist before a basketball competition, falling ill before an important presentation, or waking up to a snowstorm on the day of a can’t-miss exam (maybe this last one is solely a Canadian experience…). Whatever it may be, it is during these hardships that we find where our true strength lies and how we perform the face of adversity. I had to learn how to overcome one of these moments at the Graduate Recruitment Center (GRC) just last year.

It all started two weeks before the GRC where I sustained a very mild concussion at volleyball practice. Strike 1. I could lie and say that I sustained the concussion after making a heroic dive during a drill, but in reality I whacked my head on a low-hanging wooden beam after tying my shoes. Fortunately it was such a mild concussion that by the next morning I was back to my normal self.

Fast forward one week and I am at volleyball practice again, unaware of the impending tragedy I was about to face. While playing a game with my teammates I miscalculated a jump which led to a really bad landing and a severe ankle sprain. Strike 2. I was already begining to feel the stress of the GRC and here I was, one week away from the big event and unable to walk. Luckily, within days of my injury I went from being immobilized, to hopping around with crutches, walking with crutches, and finally, one day before the GRC being able to walk freely, albeit very carefully. What a relief!


Less than 24 hours before the GRC I found myself with a bacterial infection. Strike 3. At this point, all I could do was laugh. Bad things come in three’s right? Perhaps this last event occurred to give me the perspective of just how necessary pharmaceuticals are in our daily lives. One can only imagine.

So here I was, arriving at the GRC all in one piece physically, but definitely shaken from the various medical hurdles I had faced mere days before. Combined with the nerves of the event and how intimidated I felt compared to my competitors, I definitely was not feeling my best. I believe this really showed through, and while I never had a horrible presentation like some other past-graduates have written about, I just wasn’t being my complete self. My Day 1 self-assessment: mediocre at best.

As I sat in my hotel room at the end of that first day I decided that I needed to adjust my attitude and mindset for the next 24 hours or else I was not going to get the job. I started with a skype conversation with a friend where I ranted about my experience and received some encouraging advice. Then I watched (and re-watched about 10 times) a motivating youtube video (click here, seriously, it’s great!). Finally, I asked my friend to text me positive quotes throughout the next day and ended the night by creating a pump-up playlist to wake up to the next morning. This active decision to change my attitude, to give this competition my best shot, and to truly be myself resulted in an exponentially better Day 2. I was energized, I was motivated, I was happy, I was confident, and most importantly,  it showed! Without that turn-around decision the night before Day 2 I guarantee that I would not be sitting here writing this blog post.

The lead up to the GRC can be nerve-racking enough, especially if you are flying in from halfway around the world, have had a similar terrible lead up like myself, or have experienced something much worse! The key to overcoming these unpredictable set backs is to have tools that can get you out of your funk. It’s ok if a bad performance during the GRC momentarily knocks your confidence down, just ensure that it doesn’t keep you down! Start strategizing now about how you can have the best GRC possible, and be prepared to face hurdles and overcome them.

Best of luck!



For previous posts on our blog have focused on what happens at the GRC and strategies to cope(click here).

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3 Comments to 3 Strikes You’re Out? My Unique Graduate Recruitment Center Experience.

  1. Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
    Shingai Gwatidzo says:

    Hej Maggie,

    Cheers for the post, great to hear how you dusted yourself up. After the somewhat mediocre IQ test, I am quite nervous but excited all the same.

    I have applied for RA, any pointers on what to expect from an RA POV during the GRC?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. Posted February 22, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink
    Maggie Clark Maggie Clark says:

    Hi Shingai,

    The whole point of the GRC is to assess how you work under pressure, with others, independently and to figure out if your personality meshes with Novo Nordisk. If you’ve been accepted to the GRC then you are already qualified for a position (be it RA or any other program). From an Regulatory Affairs point of view there is nothing special you have to prep for. The hardest thing I found was having to be ‘on’ from the moment I woke up to the moment I fell asleep. We were always doing group work, being interviewed, talking with other candidates, talking with the assessors, it was hard to catch a breath. So be sure your energy doesn’t drop throughout the day and of course enjoy the experience! :)


  3. Posted February 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
    Shingai Gwatidzo says:

    Cheers for that Maggie, looking forward to the experience.

    Kind Regards,