Business Processes

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Those questions you all would like to ask a current Global Business Processes graduate

Category: Business Processes | (2) comments

It is clear that ‘Business Processes’ is quite confusing to some: what does it actually mean? What do you do? What background do you need for it? And why should you choose this programme?

While I will not answer each question specifically, I hope that my story will provide some light to the questions and how you can use them to figure out if this is the right career move for you.

I would like to start by telling you why Global Business Processes was the right choice for me personally. Being young and fresh out of university, with limited work experience, I found myself questioning what I wanted to do with my life and saw an ocean full of opportunities. Coming from a background within International Business and Management of Creative Processes, it was clear that even throughout my education I chose a broad study direction and had broad interests. On the one hand, that opened many doors, however, on the other hand, it didn’t provide me with clarity in regards to what I wanted to do in my career. While I was puzzled, some things were clear about how I liked to work, areas of interest and values that were important to me.

For one, I am a generalist that enjoys several areas within business and I am an explorer, naturally curious and being challenged within new areas drives me. Secondly, working on projects, which are time and resources limited, is to me, yet another exciting way to work. Thirdly, leading and project management, being given that responsibility excites me. Lastly, I have always been involved with volunteer work and ultimately can’t see a better way to combine the passion for making an impact with my every day work.

So how does that apply to Business Processes? Well… There is no right formula or answer, but after having researched specific available positions and other graduate programs, none of them to the same extent allowed me to cover a broad area and discover which area within business could be the right one for me, while including the elements of exploring, developing, being challenged from day one and of course ultimately really making an impact. Moreover, l should not forget it is global for a reason, and working in this program you must have that international mind-set, and see the world as your playground. That is why this program fit my profile and personality extremely well.

Blog Post 2

What does Global Business Processes then mean, and what could you end up working within? Well, honestly ‘business’ is a broad terminology to use and Novo Nordisk is a very big organization, so the answer to that is likewise very broad. There are so many exciting areas within business where you may end up working, and processes that touch several lines of business. Being a graduate is both about developing professionally and personally, and your program manager will make sure that you are rotated within areas which interest you, fit your background, and meanwhile also allow you to explore new areas on the same time – on top of that Novo Nordisk is a global company with offices around the world. You could go anywhere and work across areas of business that touch several elements globally.

We are currently seven graduates that started in September 2015, we all work within very different areas – from R&D, Supply Chain Management, to in-house consulting and Talent Attraction. From experience I can say, don’t worry about where you will start; somehow my graduate manager(s) knew me better than I knew what I wanted to do myself, and you will try different areas within your three rotations. I am currently half way through my first rotation sitting in the area of Corporate Talent Attraction, where we are all about supplying the business with talent and attracting potential new employees. I personally work with branding Novo Nordisk as an attractive place to work, within digital acceleration, implementing a new global content system and on a vendor management project ensuring compliance and quality. Broad, different and very new tasks, that have so far been extremely fun, challenging and eye opening. I have been able to drive my own project, apply for projects, work cross-functionally with other departments, learn new skills and provide valuable work to the organization. To finish, I would say I am extremely happy about my current position, sad to leave it in a few months as it is just getting really exciting and on the same time curious about what the next will bring, where I will go and what I will learn next.

So let’s return to the questions: what does it actually mean? What do you do? What background do you need for it? And why should you choose this programme? Global Business Processes enraptures many different business areas, which means you could work within many different areas that fit with the need of the organization and your personal background and interests. That also means that you may have different educational background and experience, and we acknowledge uniqueness and personality. As a fellow co-graduate, Paul,  writes in an interview with the business hiring managers “Have the courage to be you—we do not have a stereotype of what a graduate should be..” and to answer the last question: why should you choose this programme? well, consider your fit with a Novo Nordisk, our values, being a graduate, and how you would like to develop your career path.

I could keep going, but will leave you with those thoughts and if I didn’t cover your question, please add it in a comment and I will make sure to answer it or cover it in my next post!

Don’t forget the deadline is approaching so read more and apply here.

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An interview with your hiring managers — What are they really looking for?!

Category: Business Processes European Business Management Global Marketing | (9) comments

Time is ticking down as the 10 January deadline to apply for a graduate position gets closer and closer. As all of you endeavor to get your applications in before the deadline I’m sure some of the questions you constantly keep asking yourselves is what do they really want? How can I most effectively tailor my application to what these hiring managers are looking for?

In an effort to shed some light on these questions and the hiring process on the whole, I’ve gone directly to the source and asked your hiring managers, Ove and Caroline, just what they expect from each stage of the application process. Everyone here is very much looking forward to receiving and reviewing your applications and we are excited to see what all of you come up with!

Here are the questions I asked them and their responses:

Q: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give someone applying for one of the business programs?

A: First and foremost, be yourself. Have the courage to be you—we do not have a stereotype of what a graduate should be so don’t put yourself in a box that isn’t yours. We get so many applications every year so we need to see what sets you apart, but you shouldn’t be unique for the sake of being unique—it should fit you. If you try to be someone you’re not we will see through it.

More specifically, many people think that when applying for a job it is important to consider your fit within the company, but for us it is equally important that you show that you’ve also considered Novo Nordisk’s fit with you, as well as why you think the pharmaceutical industry is the right place for you. What is it about our industry that attracts you? What is it about our company within the pharmaceutical industry that interests you, excites you, and makes you want to work with us? In addition, why have you chosen to apply for a graduate position as opposed to a permanent position here at Novo Nordisk?

Your Managers!

Q: A lot of people would like you know what you look for in the video beyond simply wanting to know why they should be picked. Is there anything in particular you’d look to see in the video?

A: Don’t read from a script and please do not read us your CV. We already have your CV we do not need you to summarize what is on there for us in the video. You can redo your video as many times as you like before you submit it so don’t be afraid to try different things before you arrive at a final product that you’re satisfied with.

Instead a great way to think about this video is what would be your elevator pitch? Say you meet our CEO Lars in the elevator and he asks you why you want to be a part of the graduate program and why you should have the job. What would you say to him in the minute or so that you have in the elevator? You could, for instance, reference a real life experience that you had that underlines why you think you’re a good candidate. Ultimately it should be something that shows your true colors. See the video as your opportunity for your personality to shine and a chance to say something that isn’t in your CV or cover letter. At the end of the day this video is your chance to say something that we don’t know about you.


Q: After I make it past the first round we have a phone/skype/facetime interview. What are you looking to find out from applicants during this round? How does this round differ from the first round?

A: During this round we look to dig a bit deeper into who you are as a person. We could do this in a number of ways. For example, we could zoom into something you listed on your CV—looking to understand what your role was, what worked well, what might not have worked well, any challenges or successes you had, etc. In this case we may ask you to elaborate on any deliverables that arose from the project as well. Keep in mind though that we could ask you to do this for something in a professional context as well as a personal context.

Throughout this interview we are looking to connect the dots on our end. Is how you’re coming across on the phone in line with how you came across in the video, on your CV, and in your cover letter? See this interview as another chance to give us an even better idea of who you are. We want you to be as comfortable as possible so that you can be yourself.

Finally this interview is also your chance to address any questions you might have for us regarding the program. We want to see that you’ve thought critically about why this opportunity is a good fit for you. Do you have any questions or concerns regarding the graduate program, Novo Nordisk, working in Denmark?


Q: So I’ve made it to the Graduate Recruitment Center. What are you looking to see at this stage in the process? Is there any preparation that I can do? Do you recommend I simply come as I am?

A: The most important thing for us at this stage of the process is that we create an environment where you are comfortable enough to be yourself. We already have an idea of who you are individually so this is our chance to see how you interact with other candidates and behave in teams. That being said we don’t expect you to know every detail of every market in which Novo Nordisk has a presence. We do, however, hope that you will have done a certain amount of homework before you come. Ideally you will have familiarized yourselves with our company’s history, mission, current situation on a broad level, and challenges we currently face.

On another level this is also your opportunity to assess your fit with Novo Nordisk, not only from a corporate point of view but a personal one as well. What do you think of the people you’re interacting with? What do you think about this process on the whole? Answering these questions will allow you to get an idea of whether or not you even see yourself working with Novo Nordisk as a graduate or in general.


I hope these answers have given all of you looking to apply for a graduate position a better idea of how to navigate your way through each stage of the application process. I can personally attest to the truth in every one of the answers that Ove and Caroline gave above. Having been through the whole process and gotten to the other side of it I can say that these really are the things they look for from candidates. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out.


Best of luck to all of you!


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Our Preparation to Welcome You: All hands on deck

Category: Business Processes European Business Management Global Marketing | (0) comments

Hello everyone,

My name is Lolo – Global Marketing Graduate at Novo Nordisk started this September.

Last year this time, I was just like you, contemplating on my future after graduation, exploring all the options and navigating through countless confusing career websites. I still remember the great confort this blog brought me when I first stumbled upon it. Stories shared by graduates here made these programs come to life.

Therefore, this year, my fellow graduates and I will try our best to share our insights on this blog, to help you determine whether the Novo Nordisk graduate program is a good fit for you. As our program manager says, ‘Looking for a job is much like looking for a partner, life is too short to be spent with an employer that isn’t fitting for you or cannot be relied on.’

In my first blog post, I would like to bring you to the backstage of the graduate recruitment to see how we are preparing to welcome you!

CEMS Vienna Career Forum

Being a CEMS corporate partner, Novo Nordisk’s graduate recruitment team participated in the career forum hosted by Vienna University of Economics and Business to meet with perspective applicants every November.

As a CEMS graduate (LSE & HEC Paris),  I had my first close experience with Novo Nordisk at last year’s Vienna forum. I still remember wandering the crowded exhibit hall, passing by Novo Nordisk’s booth and being intrigued by the company logo and wondered what this company did. I still feel fortunate today to have discovered the graduate program through the fair.

Exactly one year later, I found myself in Vienna again. This time as a corporate partner, part of the Novo Nordisk team.


(Photo: Part of Novo Nordisk team in front of CEMS Vienna Career Forum)

I was given the opportunity to facilitate the Novo Nordisk Skill Seminar at the fair with our graduate program manager Ove and corporate affair manager Bo.

Throughout the seminar, we hoped to provide students without pharmaceutical industry experience with an introduction and some insights into the industry. Besides the general introduction, controversies, current challenges of the industry  and the Novo Nordisk’s Way of doing business with triple bottom line were also presented at the workshop. Students were encouraged to work on a case study on stakeholder management and produce an actionable project plan that could create value for multiple stakeholders.

Indeed, Novo Nordisk is keen and open to introduce you to the pharma industry. As someone who had never worked in the pharma industry prior to my graduate program application, I could ensure you that Novo Nordisk is open to candidates with all kinds of background: ‘Hire for personality and train for skill’ is one of the selection criteria’s.


(Photo: Novo Nordisk booth at Vienna Career fair)

On the second day, seven graduates guarded the company booth, where we shared our Novo Nordisk experience and distributed information sheets designed for each program with our faces on them. I love the idea of having current graduates as ambassadors of the graduate programs. It reflects how our individuality is highly appreciated and gives us opportunities to share our real life experience with potential future graduates.

Global Business Process Graduate Programme

(Photo: Graduate campaign – result of a fun photo OP)

The Vienna career forum is only one of the many fairs Novo Nordisk graduates have attended around the world. Besides events, knowing that many companies’s career websites are hard to navigate to the point that getting information is a test in its own, the talent attraction team edited the graduate application website based on current graduates’ feedback to increase clarity and minimize confusion. They have devoted themselves to the details of web design, social media and blogs in order to provide you with the best opportunities to get to know us and to have a smooth application experience.

All hands on deck, we cannot wait to get to know you :)





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What makes your cover letter stand out?

Category: Business Processes European Business Management Global Marketing | (11) comments

Hej everyone!

In this post, I will attempt to give you some tips on writing your cover letter – what I think is a good cover letter – and how to make it stand out.

These are a few steps you might want to consider when preparing your letter:

1. Before starting…

Carefully analyse “every” word of the job description and try to identify and highlight what best matches your profile. As you can imagine, it is very important to choose the right programme(s) not only for you as a person, but also based on your experience.

2. How to get started…

You do not necessarily have to start from scratch! Take one of your existing templates and work your new cover letter from it.

But before jumping into the writing task, take some time to think! Allow yourself at least one day of brainstorming.

The way I did it was to take three sheets of paper. On each of them, write the following questions and answer them with a few bullet points:

  • What exactly attracts me and inspires me about Novo Nordisk?
  • Why do I want to do this graduate program as opposed to a regular job?
  • What exactly in my experience and profile matches/fits well with the program’s criteria? For example:
    • Global mind-set –> “I have a strong international experience (studied in country A, worked in country B), I speak foreign languages, I am open-minded, tolerant and curious about the world…”
    • Passionate about business –> “during my studies in economics, I learnt …, during my previous internships, I discovered …, why I love business or think it is important…”
    • Development opportunities –> “I am always looking for challenges, I want to develop myself within a dynamic company, I want a fast-moving career, I would like to reach X or Y goal…”

Having this written down, you will find it much easier to feed your paragraphs with well-thought ideas (once you’ve planned your structure – see tip #3) and to describe your experience and competences (see tip #4).

3. Draw your structure – each paragraph adds something different

Your letter is not only your story (= your background and how you came across Novo Nordisk), but also your “sales pitch” (= why you are a great fit for the program). That is why it needs to be well structured, not repetitive and only value adding to your resume.
It should convey a message, one that your CV cannot necessarily carry, that demonstrates your motivation and interest in the program and/or your passion for the company as well as for the healthcare/pharma industry.

To give you an idea, this is how I structured my cover letter. Of course, please be aware that this is just an example. It does not mean that it is perfect or exactly what we are looking for!

  • 1st paragraph: how I came across the company and the program, why they attracted me and what I am interested in here (e.g., Global Business Processes Graduate Programme).
  • 2nd paragraph: tells a little bit about your story and background, but mostly about your past experience (professional, studies). Here, you can truly make an impact on your application by telling more about your learnings from past internships or university projects and what you gained from that. This is a demonstration not only of the competences you built throughout your experience, but also of your achievements (see tip #4).
  • 3rd paragraph: establishes a bridge between what Novo Nordisk is looking for and what you can offer. It also shows your alignment with the company’s values and principles.
  • 4th paragraph: concludes and thanks for time and consideration.

4. Be precise, yet not too detailed

When describing your past experience (internship/project/event), make sure to be precise about the learning or achievement you share but not too detailed! A strong sentence includes the context, the task or initiative, and the result (nice to have a number).

Example: “As a Business Analyst at Company A (context), I used my initiative and creativity to design and implement two project management tools (task) that resulted in significant efficiency improvements (result).”

5. Remember: hard work (most of the time) pays off!

When screeners read thousands of cover letters, it takes them less than 20-30 seconds to see the difference between someone who put work in his or her letter versus someone who did not. I recommend you to use your network of friends and classmates to read through your letter and resume and give you feedback. Finally, you should be ready to send your letter once you think that you could not make it better than it is, once you feel very satisfied with it.

If you’re looking for tips on how to succeed in your video application, go read Sofie’s post on “Do’s and Don’ts”.


I hope to have provided you with some guidance or tips on how to write a strong cover letter. Overall, make sure that the letter reflects yourself and only yourself.

Best of luck!! And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, on LinkedIn or to :)

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Mastering your Video Application – Do’s and Don’ts!

Category: Business Processes | (19) comments

Do’s and Don’ts.

Before uploading your application, make sure to prepare for the one minute video that you will have to record! I have listed a few tips and tricks you should consider when getting ready for the recording – and yes, do think about it before. Most of you will experience a difficult time fitting everything you would like to say into one minute, most of you will do a lot of re-takes and it’s pretty difficult to be satisfied with the final results (at least if you are a perfectionist like myself!).


  1. Be yourself – I know, this is said several times, but it is really true. At Novo Nordisk it is very important to find a candidate that fits into the organization and the Novo Nordisk Way. Not to repeat what the host managers have already advised you, but I remember from my own feedback that they really appreciated my honest and open personality. This piece of advice is of course applicable for the entire recruitment process.
  2. Speak clearly and with confidence – I just recently found that old piece of paper with my “script” notes answering Why should we hire you as a global business processes graduate – which I later transferred onto a few post-it’s with key words I had hanging on the lamp in front of me.
  3. Structure your story line – There is nothing less convincing than someone reading from a script, rather imagine you are sitting in front of someone. I personally had my friend do the filming so I spoke directly to her rather than into a camera. Make sure to practice what you want to say before, whether you speak into the air, look into the mirror, practice with your friend or your teddy bear, doesn’t really matter.
  4. Prepare for action! – First impressions are important, if you are filming in the morning, make sure to drink your coffee first and look awake! It’s your personality that is important, so make sure that it shines through.
  5. Prepare your “recording studio” – As I’ve highlighted above, first impressions are important and this is your opportunity to really make a great impression. Therefore, here is a few tips:
    1) Don’t leave your washing machine on while you record or have your neighbor’s loud music playing in the back,
    2) Sit with enough light to have a good quality video – that means have the light shine towards you not behind you!
    3) Make eye contact by looking into the camera, don’t watch yourself on the screen
    4) Don’t film yourself from below, (it’s never a good idea) rather keep the camera straight on or slightly from above
    5) Have a “clean” background -no one wants to see your messy closet or an unmade bed in the background. This may sound silly, like it shouldn’t matter, but it does. Draw attention to yourself and not everything else around you.


  1. Speak as fast as you can to say as much as you can within the minute – it is not how much you say that matters, but what you say.
  2. Spend a long time creating a fancy home edited video – don’t forget they want to see you, not your editing skills. Sometimes effects and fancy videos can overshadow you. You heard what they said, don’t focus on quality of the video. That said, I am personally a very creative person and think a personal touch can’t hurt either, if that reflects who you are. Last year when I had to make my own video we didn’t have the option to upload a prerecorded version and I was experiencing some technical issues so I actually did exactly three retakes – third time’s a charm after all!
  3. Don’t make a 5 minute video when it says one minute – it’s tempting I know, but seriously don’t! Perhaps use a timer or countdown to guide you. This will work against you.

I hope that my experiences and advice will help you through the process and remember, making a video is actually quite fun!
Feel free to write me any questions you may have!

–> write me in the comment field below and I will make sure to get back asap :)

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The first step to an outstanding application — Let the Novo Nordisk Way be your guide

Category: Business Processes | (1) comments

If you haven’t figured it out by now you’ll soon realize that the Novo Nordisk Way is at the center of everything we do here at Novo Nordisk. Depending on what your experiences have been, the degree to which you believe this may not be the highest. I can’t emphasize enough, however, how much you encounter the NN Way on a daily basis. It is, therefore in my opinion, incredibly important that you not only understand the Novo Nordisk Way but also where you see yourself fitting into it. What aspects of it really resonate with who you are as a person or employee?

Not long ago I was in your very position—debating how I should begin my application to Novo Nordisk, what I should focus on, and how I could make myself standout from the hundreds or thousands of other applicants applying for a graduate position. I then realized (with help from some friends) that I needn’t be so dead set on being creative or out there – I simply needed to be  myself and figure out where I fit into the big puzzle that is Novo Nordisk. It was then that I began to look at the NN Way to assess my fit with the company.

To dive a bit deeper I, myself, found the statements regarding business ethics, accountability, and ambition particularly inspiring. With those statements in mind I began to structure my motivation letter and video submission – focusing not only on the values I found admirable about Novo Nordisk but also how they aligned closely with my own core values. I, therefore, urge you to be critical of yourself throughout the entire application process. It may be that there are certain statements that don’t align closely with you, but that you find highly appealing and would like to foster and develop as you grow.

Ultimately, by evaluating your fit with Novo Nordisk and its fit with you, you’re better able to determine whether or not this is the right place for you to begin your career. Moreover, by doing this, those that are assessing you will be better equipped to evaluate whether or not you would be a good fit for a graduate position. With this in mind I encourage you to begin your journeys here: Novo Nordisk Way and see where the Novo Nordisk Way might take you.

Good Luck!


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The Graduate Recruitment Center – What you need to know?

Category: Business Processes International Operations Business International Operations Finance | (0) comments

Hello everybody,

I am back with my follow-up post. The response to my first post has inspired me to come up with a post in quick succession. Hope you have been doing your research on Novo Nordisk in general and the graduate programme in particular. Last time, when I was in a similar situation, I wanted to have a macro view of the graduate recruitment center through the eyes of a graduate who has experienced the same in its entirety. From that standpoint I have decided to dedicate one full post on it. What will ensue here is a brief description of the Graduate Recruitment Center (hereafter, referred to as GRC) in Copenhagen, Denmark. So brace up!

Imagine that you’ve just succeeded in making it to the final round in Copenhagen. There you’ve been invited to attend an assessment center (GRC), where you’ll be tested on your communication, problem solving and team working skills. Maybe you’ve never attended an assessment center before, and it sounds quite intimidating to you. What are all things you could expect in a two-day recruitment center? How do you prepare for these challenges and scenarios to ensure that you project our knowledge, experience, and skills in the best light?

Let me give you a little background to the idea of an assessment center. Assessment centers were developed during World War II, when there was a desperate need to find people capable of certain types of leadership. Companies then began adopting this process for recruitment. Their popularity increased, and now there’s global interest in their use. The term “assessment center” can be often misleading, as they are not centers per se. In fact they are a series of tests, activities, and simulation exercises that organizations use to select the right person for the right role. Usually, several assessors monitor your performance throughout the course of the assessment, which can last anything from a few hours to a few days.

The question now boils down to, “can we” or “do we need to” prepare extensively for a recruitment center. The answer is short and sweet – No. Just know yourself well and be yourself. The activities are no rocket science and are very simple. You really do not need to prepare extensively for this. The graduate recruitment center, in particular, will provide you with an experience that will offer challenges embedded in various contexts. Often these challenges will manifest itself through group exercises and discussions, case study and presentation, and the final interview. But do not worry, you will have guaranteed fun, frequent breaks and an amazing opportunity to network with people from around the globe.


Group exercises will cover a large portion of the recruitment center and will test you on your ability to perform in the context of a team, your ability to negotiate and put your point across to the members, your ability to structure your thoughts quickly and help the group in regards to planning for an important activity etc. While ensuring all these, one should not forget that listening to others is also a huge part of effective communication. It is imperative for the candidate to share ideas with the group members and not impose his or her ideas on the group without actively engaging the group in the discussion.

Case study and presentation is that part of the GRC which is going to intellectually stimulate you. As students, working on real life business cases and scenarios can be really fulfilling for many. This is because an activity like this is actually going to give you an opportunity to put your learning into practice. It is important to point out that business cases are not a test of your knowledge of financial ratios and for that matter any technical skills. It is more to do with your logical reasoning, organising of thoughts under time pressure and coming up with a plan of action. Just relax. You are at your best when you relax.

The last round of the GRC will be an interview and this interview is an opportunity for you. An opportunity to find out whether the organisation and you are a good fit for each other. The only preparation required for this round is to have clarity on the reasons why you have applied for the role and clarity on your career goals and interests. Do read about Novo Nordisk in general before you come to the GRC. It does make a lot of difference to your preparation. Knowing about the programme and company will give you a lot of confidence to face the tasks at hand. You may also have a few good questions ready for the interviewers at the end. Asking good questions often reveals how interested and passionate you are about the role and the company you have applied to.

That was all about the process. But trust me there is more to GRC than just these activities. There cannot be a better gathering to network with graduating students from across the world. Last year there was also a candlelit dinner with ones peer group in the evening. You will never feel like you are being monitored and assessed all the time. The idea is never to stress you out, but to see the person you are and how you can contribute to the organisation.

Hope you enjoyed the snapshot. Also let me share with you a link where you will be able to see some videos before applying. Check Here!

Feel free to ask questions to any of the graduates on the blog and we will be happy to help you.

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3 movies, one haiku, and the Global Business Processes Programme

Category: Business Processes Uncategorized | (4) comments

Novo Nordisk’s Favrholm Campus in Denmark
















Maple leaf, drifting

Through oceans n’ thousand isles,

Land in Viking ship

Haiku, 5 January 2015, Barcelona Airport


If you keep an open mind, there are endless possibilities in life. I have been very blessed to stumble across the Global Business Processes Graduate Programme. I cannot guarantee that this programme will fit your profile, but I can tell you that the recruiters are not only looking for candidates with top grades – so let your personality and personal values shine through the cover letter and résumé!

The names for the graduate programmes are confusing, even for me working in HR. The Global Business Processes Graduate Programme is internally referred to as the Business Processes Graduate Programme and sometimes informally called the Business Process Graduate Programme (because Business Processes is such as tongue twister).

Basically, Global Business Processes (official) = Business Processes (internal) = Business Process (lazy).

Also, Global Business Processes Graduate Programme and International Operations Business Graduate Programme are different.

  • Global Business Processes Graduate Programme = based in Denmark (Headquarters); two rotations in Denmark, one rotation outside of Denmark
  • International Operations Business Graduate Programme = based in a local affiliate (outside of Headquarters); one rotation in Denmark, two rotations outside of Denmark










It is not easy to define the tasks of a Business Processes graduate because it is the most diverse programme out of all the Novo Nordisk graduate programmes (in my opinion).  To give you a sneak preview of what you can be part of starting September, here is a list of where the six 2014 Business Processes graduates are currently assigned:

•   Global Medical Affairs
•   Corporate Development
•   Product Supply
•   Quality Development
•   Corporate Communication
•   Human Resources  <– that’s me


The sky is the limit with the Global Business Processes programme and it can be an epic trilogy of a life-changing career.


Volume 1: Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill
Country: Denmark
Language: English
Release Date: September-April


starring 2014 Swedish business processes graduate – Matilda















Novo Nordisk’s philosophy for employees is: “Be yourself–more–with skill”. Authenticity is a core value of the company. The company hires you for who you are, develops you to become more aware of your capabilities, and will NOT change you into someone that you are not.

Although you do not have input in your first rotation, your profile, personality, and education are taken into consideration. There is a broad variation in tasks for all business processes graduates and the company will provide training and support. In your application, demonstrate that you are a generalist with high level of flexibility and adaptability to live and work overseas for an extended period of time.

Think SMART and give specific interesting life experiences in your application (e.g. Coordinated the 2014 Asian Business Student Forum that attracted 200+ participants and 30 business leaders from North Korea, China, and Laos).


Volume 2: The World is Our Playground
Country: Affiliates outside of Denmark
Language: English/Local Language
Release Date: May-December














You need to be adventurous and global-minded. Novo Nordisk does not own an isolated tropical island populated with cloned dinosaurs. Instead, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 41,500 employees in 70+ countries, and markets its products in more than 180 countries.

In your second rotation, you will have a chance to discuss with the graduate programme manager and have an input as to where and what line of business you would like to explore. However, the graduate programme is not a travel agency, so do not expect to handpick your destination. The second rotation is a unique opportunity to experience the local affiliate after eight months working in headquarters. Our corporate language is English and you are not required to speak the local language of the affiliate country.

The 2014 business processes graduates are dispersed throughout affiliates in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Where will the 2014 business processes graduates work starting this May? Answer:
• Switzerland
• Canada
• U.S.A.
• Japan
• Vietnam
• Egypt <–  that’s me


Volume 3: The Graduate Strikes Back
Country: Denmark
Language: English
Release Date: January-August














In the final rotation, graduates will return to the Death Star, I mean, headquarters in Denmark. Graduates will begin searching and applying for a permanent position within the organisation after 16 months of intense learning and networking. You also have the choice to pursue a different career path and not stay with Novo Nordisk.

What lies ahead in my journey, I do not know. The life-changing saga is to be continued…



(Warning: This is a spoiler to a life-changing career through three employees’ personal stories – including Pete, my manager today – and my 3 seconds of fame starting 1:25.)
















10 more days until the graduate programme application deadline (8 February 2015).

Comment below if you have any questions about the Global Business Processes Graduate Programme and/or general questions about the graduate programme.


May the Force be with you.




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A-Z (minus Y) of all your FAQs

Category: Business IT Business Processes European Business Management European Finance Global Finance Global Marketing Product Supply R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (21) comments

Apologies in advance, as this is a pretty long post that has completely abused the ‘recommended blog post length’ we were advised. However, I will throw it out there and say I think I have managed to find answers to all of your questions (I am using the word ‘all’ very loosely here, as I am sure you will come up with more I will happily answer). Also, I have tried to give some examples of what I did in my application to guide you.

Academic background: I studied *Insert cool science Masters or PhD* can I apply to the programme?

From Analytical Chemistry to Zoology all Natural Science based Masters and PhD students are welcomed with open arms to apply for the programme. However, please note that you must be graduating with your Masters or PhD this year or have recently graduated – no more than 1 year since you have graduated.

Birthplace: I was born on Mars, do you have to be Danish to apply?

I too was born on Mars and made the programme, so fear not, being Danish is not a pre-requisite.

CV: My CV is x pages long, is that too long? Photo on CV – Yay or nay?

Regarding CV length you should really try and ensure it is no longer than 2 pages long. It’s great that a lot of you have amassed an impressive amount of lab based skills or have been first and/or co-author on several publications, but this is not a pre-requisite for the programme. A clear, concise CV will facilitate the reviewers matching your skills and experience to what they are looking for. In addition, a portrait picture is welcome if you like; I didn’t add one as I didn’t want to confuse the reviewers into thinking Whoopi Goldberg was applying.

Daily activities: What sort of exciting Regulatory Affairs (RA) activities will I be doing?

I want to take this opportunity to redirect you to the first blog post of the other RA graduate, Annika – here and that of a former RA graduate – here. Don’t forget to come back here though, as we are only at letter D :)

Expat life: I heard that Denmark was voted the happiest Country in the world, so will I be super happy all the time here?

You heard right, Denmark generally tops the happiest country polls. I mean, I am super happy here but I get super happy (not even just normal happy) eating my favourite chocolate bar (FYI it’s Milky Way), so I may not be the best person to ask. Sheng, a graduate on the International Chinese Graduate Programme is a more reliable source and covers it wonderfully here.

Family : Can I bring my partner?

Why of course

Grades: On a scale of Kim Kardashian to Einstein, how important are grades?

Grades are assessed as part of your application, yes, and we are looking for candidates with good grades but honestly don’t be put off by the ‘Top 5% in class’ part some of you may have read. If you fulfill the basic qualifications (scroll down to Qualifications) you are in with a shot. The take home message on this one is that grades play a factor, but what is more important is your motivation to work in RA and transferable skills/experiences you can bring to the table.

Housing: Is accommodation offered as part of the programme? Do I have to find it myself?

We have a fantastic relocation partner that will offer you accommodation with another graduate (you will have to pay rent) and usually graduates are all placed near each other. For example, in the block of apartments I live in there are 6 graduates. I nearly forgot to mention, if you prefer to live by yourself  the relocation team can arrange that too.

International rotation: I would love to live and work in the Maldives, do I get a say on where my international rotation will be?

No, we didn’t get a say, so bear in mind that you have to be flexible around this. Nonetheless, we’re off to pretty awesome places: myself to the States and Annika to Vietnam. Furthermore, previous RA graduates have been sent to Brazil, Japan, the UK (love that place) and India.

Job Prospects: Being a graduate sounds like a lot of fun, but what happens after the two-year programme?

Upon successful completion of the programme you will be offered a permanent position within one of the departments based in our Danish Headquarters

Keep positive: I applied all the way back in December, but I still haven’t heard anything. Have I been unsuccessful?

No, relax, as we won’t start contacting applicants until after deadline (8th Feb). Also, all applicants successful or not will hear back from us.

Language: I speak about as much Danish as I do Ancient Greek, will this be a problem?

You and me both, oh and no this won’t be a problem as English is the business language, so if you’ve mastered that it’s a piece of cake.

Motivational Letter: I have a gazillion questions about the motivational letter, such as word limit, format, structure etc etc.

This one is a hot topic amongst you and was the thing I stressed about too. I will now shut up on the matter as Annika has just written a fantastic blog post addressing all your motivational letter related questions; I would strongly advise you check it out here.

Numbers hired: I heard through the grapevine the ratio of applicants:positions is actually crazy, so how many people do you take on?

You heard right, the ratio is a little crazy and last year approx 720 people applied and only two of us got selected. Don’t be put off by this though, in submitting an application you have absolutely nothing to lose and absolutely lots to gain. In addition, you may be happy to hear that this year we will be hiring 4 of you.

Other Documentation: Apart from my CV, motivational letter and grade transcript what other documentation should/could I upload?

I would say anything of interest that helps us build an even greater more rounded picture of you, whether that be an amazing reference you received or a really good grade on a piece of coursework. I was really random with one of the documents I sent as it was a newspaper cutting of me talking about the dance classes I then attended, bearing in mind this newspaper cutting was dated around 2004!!!

Pharmaceutical Industry: Damn, I have no Pharmaceutical experience. Does this mean I will be at a disadvantage?

Certainly not, if you have experience within the Pharmaceutical industry that is great. If you don’t, that is fine as there are RA graduates hired that didn’t have any either. More importantly, just highlight in your application why you would want to work in the Pharmaceutical industry

Qualifications: What are the basic qualifications for the programme?

  • Recent Natural Science Masters degree/PhD
  • Good grades
  • International experience/mind-set
  • Relevant Work experience (scroll down to Work Experience for more on this)

Recruitment Process/Timeline: Okay, so I have applied, what happens next?

All applicants are assessed twice and following deadline roughly 25 applicants will be shortlisted for Skype interviews, which take place around mid February. Next, 10 successful applicants will be invited to the Graduate Recruitment Center (GRC) at the end of March, which is a two-day event held in Copenhagen, where applicants are assessed in a series of exercises. Furthermore, prior to the GRC the 10 selected candidates will be invited to complete some online tests in early March. Finally, following the GRC, 4 candidates will be offered graduate positions to start September 1st 2015.

Salary: I heard its crazy expensive to live in Denmark and I don’t want to be poor, so do we get paid?

Denmark can be an expensive place to live (my jaw hit the floor when I heard how much I would get taxed here -FYI its around 42%). In saying that, you will get paid a competitive salary that will ensure that poorness is not on the cards

Training: What sort of training would I receive as a graduate?

I will go into more detail about this in my next post, nevertheless,  most training is on-the-job, but we also offer a lot of internal courses and the opportunity to attend external courses.

University: Does the university I have attended matter?

No, so long as you haven’t attended ‘The University of Life’.

Visa: Will I have to sort out my Visa/Work Permit myself?

No, we have a fantastic mobility team that initiates this process, co-ordinates it with you and pays for it.

Work Experience: What and how much work experience is required?

Regarding ‘what’, we look at all your interesting work experience undertaken RA related or not. If it’s RA related, great tell us more. If it ‘s not RA related, that’s fine (I had no RA related experience before I joined), just try and tie it in somehow to why you want to apply for the RA programme. The key here is that you need some form of work experience to apply , as having none will unfortunately most likely mean you are unsuccessful. Regarding, ‘how much’  generally we want applicants with no more than one years work experience following completion of their Masters or PhD studies. This takes into consideration those of you who may have conducted work experience for a few months here or there during your studies. All in all, this is reviewed as a case-case basis but generally if you have lots of work experience following your bachelors degree and then complete your Masters or PhD studies or you have more than 4-5 years work experience it will almost certainly make you overqualified. The reason is that the programme is structured towards bringing fairly unskilled people up to speed really fast, and grouping very unskilled people with more experienced people makes it very hard to do a meaningful programme for everyone. With 4-5 years of experience and a strong CV you will most likely be eligible to apply for a normal job in Novo Nordisk, here.

Xtraordinary (I had to cheat on this one): What can I do to make my application extraordinary and stand out from the competition?

Sorry to disappoint, but there is no clear-cut answer for this one. I remember when I was applying I read an interesting bit of advice on the blog of another graduate (sorry I can’t remember the post), stating ‘think about what makes you unique and express that in your application’. As cheesy as it may sound I said helping people in my application, as I had done a lot of volunteer work. I then tied this in with the notion that I found helping people a quality that makes employment meaningful to me and to wanting to help people suffering with Diabetes. I’m not sure if this made me stand out as such, but it was something I tried to have in mind. So, get thinking, what makes you stand out? We would love to hear it!

Zzzzz  (It’s always a struggle to come up with a relevant word for Z): Will I work insanely long hours that will leave me chronically tired?

No, I very much doubt it as you are contracted to 37 working hours. Yes, you will sometimes have to log onto your laptop in the evening to prepare something for a meeting you have the following day, or write a blog post on a Sunday evening, when really you should be in bed watching new episodes of American Dad. However, I am a firm believer in work hard and play harder.

If you are reading this, it means you made it to the end of this post. Congratulations are in order, as it was a lengthy one (I did warn you in the beginning)

Still in two minds as to whether to apply? Well take this quick test here to put your mind at rest.



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Your Cover Letter: Make It or Break It

Category: Business IT Business Processes Chinese International Graduate Programme European Business Management European Finance Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement International Operations Business International Operations Finance Product Supply R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (44) comments

As the application process has now been open for some time, the reviewing process is in full swing and one of the main weaknesses of some applications are the cover letters (also called motivational letters to avoid any confusion).

So I thought I would share some pointers on what we look for in a cover letter. Please take these only as guidance and not requirements for being successful in the application process (apart from points 1 and 2 that are essential).

Key Points to consider when writing your cover letter:

1. Mention the company and SPELL it right.

Each programme gets hundreds if not thousands of applications and if Novo Nordisk does not even appear it screams not interested.

2. Mention the programme you are applying to.

As for the point above we want to see that you are interested in what the company offers and have taken the time to write a cover letter for the programme and are not sending the same one to all companies.

3. Talk about specific aspects of the programme you like.

An expansion on point number 2. Try to show tat you have read all the information available on the programme and have thought about what you think makes it special and a great match for you.

4. Do not just repeat your CV.

Your cover letter and your CV will both be read so there is no point in providing us with the same information in both. Use your cover letter to showcase your interest, motivation and fit to the programme.

5. Do not dwell on scientific techniques.

In RA the majority of applicants have a scientific background (which is great and what we are looking for) but you will not use the lab techniques in RA. They provide you with a great understanding of the process; however we will see this from your CV so try to focus more on transferable skills. How have the previous work experiences provided you with skills that can you can use in another setting?

6. Read the Novo Nordisk Way and the Triple Bottom Line.

You want to show as much as possible that you have researched the company and identify with its core values. If you feel it fits mention it in your cover letter but most importantly you should be able to portray the key characteristics Novo Nordisk stands for.

7. Showcase any international experience.

All programmes involve some form of international rotation and so candidates ought to have an international mind-set and be ready to be flexible and leave their comfort zone. If you have done this in the past, it’s the proof that you are ready for what the programme holds.

8. Keep it short.

Preferably your cover letter should be to the point and not exceed more than 1 -1.5 pages. Remember that each reviewer needs to read hundreds of applications; the last thing you want is for him to get bored while reading yours.

9. Link previous work experience.

We are not looking for people with great amount of work experience however if you are able to link previous internships, projects or courses to the programme it will help you in showing your true interest and motivation.

10. Read the graduate blog.

You have already fulfilled one of the ten points by reading this. during the preparation of my application the graduate blog became my bible and it is the best source for first-hand knowledge that will allow you to understand the programme and its requirements.


I know I am not reinventing the wheel here but maybe some of you will find it useful and as an extra tip for reading till then end: Make sure to upload your cover letter as a document and not use the field provided in the application process as it will look much nicer.

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