Business Processes

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Winter in Copenhagen and summer in Dubai! How different the experiences within the programme could be?!

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

Dear all,

 It has been a while since last time I wrote  you :)

 In one of my previous blogs I’ve mentioned how unique is the graduate programme, but what I’ve figured out after experiencing 3 different rotations now is how unique and different each rotation could be!

 After a great experience in project management working on Quality projects and Process optimisation in the Headquarter, and after a very cold Scandinavian winter, time to move to the next assignment arrived last May.

 My current rotation (workwise) is again completely different from what I was doing a couple of months ago, I’m part of the Commercial Effectiveness and Marketing team working in Africa Business area that covers 55 countries. What I found extremely interesting during this rotation is that we work closely with the affiliates (so much more operational than in the HQ) and that the market maturity is very heterogeneous within the area, which makes the opportunities and the challenges faced in each market very disparate. We need to build the market in some countries in Middle Africa, where the market is already mature in e.g. South Africa.

  Besides the need to adapt quickly to the totally new work challenges, you should get used to live in a new city, with a completely different life style and as extreme weather for someone who come from a Mediterranean city (but the other extreme this time ;))!

Pic Blog 2

Paradoxically, despite all those differences, Novo Nordisk work environment remain the same, shaped by the NN way, extremely nice colleagues and with the patient in focus

If you are excited about having a such rich experience, apply now on the Novo nordisk website, remember that deadlines to apply for the International operations programme are the 1st of October in Algeria.

Very good tips about preparing a good application posted by Lilla, should you require further support/ information please feel free to ask  :)

Good luck!


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Where is everyone going for their international rotation?

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 Regulatory Affairs | (0) comments

First ever group photo taken in Denmark on 02 Sep 2013.
Next time we meet, that will be in 2015!

One of the most exciting part of this programme, and possibly the most attractive, is the 6-8 months of international rotation, that you can possibly work in any other country in the world! Check out the list!

Business IT

  • Jonas (Danish): UAE
  • Maiken (Danish): Japan
  • Saurabh (Indian): Switzerland

Business Process

  • Dmitrij (Belarus): Canada
  • Kristoffer (Danish): Japan
  • Mia (Danish): Malaysia
  • On (Thai): UAE
  • Shafak (Sri Lankan): Denmark
  • Stephanie (Scottish): Mexico

Corporate Finance

  • Adeline (French): Malaysia
  • Anette (Danish): Philippines
  • Mads (Danish): China
  • Marvin (German): Turkey
  • Rikke (Danish): UAE
  • Sophie (Danish): Switzerland
  • Valdemar (Danish): US
  • Xi (Chinese): US

European Business Management

  • Anne-Sophie (French): England
  • Lisa (German): Switzerland

European Finance

  • Patrick (Danish): Spain
  • Pauline (French): Italy

Global Marketing

  • Sidsel (Danish): Turkey
  • Tanya (Bulgarian): Italy

Global Procurement

  • Klaus (Danish): US
  • Søren (Danish): US

International Operations

  • Bruno (Brazilian): Turkey
  • Mouna (Algerian): UAE
  • Vicky (Colombian): Switzerland
  • Audrey (Malaysian): Switzerland

Product Supply

  • Alex (Danish): US
  • Astrid (Swedish): Brazil
  • Cathrine (Danish): US
  • Kristjan (Estonian): US
  • Mattias (Swedish): Brazil
  • Mette (Danish): France
  • Montserrat (Mexican): France

Regulatory Affairs

  • Mark (American): Brazil
  • Sascha (German): US

The graduates below have started in their own countries first and are currently in Denmark for their rotations:

International Operations

  • Ana Sofia (Mexican)
  • Erika (Mexican)
  • Ken (Malaysian)
  • Inci (Turkish)
  • Lebo (South African)
  • Ozue (Nigerian)
  • Mojan (Iranian)
  • Rafael (Brazilian)
  • Stephanie (South African)
  • Yogesvaran (Malaysian)

Product Supply

  • John (American)
  • Marcelo (Brazilian)
  • Sam (US)
  • Ying (Chinese)

Chinese Programme

  • Archer
  • Fred
  • Sharleen
  • Vera

US Programme

  • Carey
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Graduate Recruitment Centre: Last Minute Practicalities!

Category: Business IT Business Processes European Business Management Global Marketing International Operations Business Uncategorized | (3) comments

Hi everyone!

First of all, a BIG congratulations to everyone who is selected to the GRC!!! I hope you’re excited for the 1st and 2nd of April, for my part – I am looking forward to seeing you there :)

Huge apologies for my blogging absence – but I’m back now with some food for thought and useful things to share.

As the GRC approaches, I’m sure you’re excited and slightly anxious. There is some general information about the GRC, some videos you can watch, and Matthias has written a blog about what can be expected and how you can prepare for and approach it. Having said that, I’d like to add some practicalities and informal information that have not yet been addressed.


What to wear

Business casual (?!): The truth is business casual is more business than casual (check out the picture of the BP candidates at the GRC last year). Perhaps the casual part is that you are not required to go into a full blown suit, but you can substitute that with just a blazer (this mainly goes for the girls).


Business Processes candidates at the GRC 2013


Tip: since you don’t know what others will wear, bring options to dress up or down. It’s easier to remove a blazer to be more casual than to dress up! So bring extras


What to bring

Copenhagen weather-friendly wear: April is an unpredictable month when it comes to weather, and Copenhagen is not known for its lukewarm and predictable weather. So keep in mind and be prepared for all weather conditions when packing. You will be mostly indoors, but there may be moments of being outside (plus it could be cold inside Bella Sky) – you never know what the programme brings!

Be comfortable: Make sure to bring at least one pair of comfortable shoes. For the ladies, a mix between comfortable heels and flats as back up, since the schedule for the 2 days is quite packed and active (I won’t go into more details here in order to not spoil the fun for you ;) ).

Non-business clothes: This is especially referring to the dinner after the first day. It could be nice to change out of business clothes for the dinner, especially after having a packed day and relax a little!


What (and how) to prepare

Sleep: This is my top advice for best preparing for the two days – make sure you get enough sleep! Unfortunately I was not able to do this last year – but it would really make a difference if you can, since the days start quite early and continues full throttle!

Have a slide template ready: Timing is tight in general over the 2 days of the GRC, but it is especially true with regards to the business case. The format how this will be done this year is uncertain – there are likely to be changes from last year. However, it is beset to be prepared for anything and one way to do this is to have a nice slide template ready at your disposal.

Background knowledge: Some background reading on the therapeutic area and products is nice, but not required – we don’t expect you to have expert knowledge of the area. You should however read up on Novo Nordisk (especially the Novo Nordisk Way and the Triple Bottom Line approach) and of course your graduate programme area.


Meeting the 2013 business graduates

The current 2013 and 2012 graduates will be around during the two days at the GRC. Do come and have a chat with us, we would very much like to meet you! Your questions and comments are always welcome (you can also just have a talk with us without having a specific question :) )

Here’s some faces to look out for – 2013 business graduates team


From left to right: Sidsel (Global Marketing), Dmitrij (Business Processes), Steph (Business Processes), Shafak (Business Processes), Mia (Business Processes), Kris (Business Processes), Tanya (Global Marketing), Anne-Sophie (European Business Management), On (Business Processes), Lisa (European Business Management)


Lastly, be honest and enjoy! Take these two days as an opportunity to learn more about Novo Nordisk, the culture, the graduate programme, and the graduates in first-hand manner. So be yourself, be honest. We will be as well. And hopefully we will find a good match :)


Good luck and godspeed!!!



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Rocking the Graduate Recruitment Centre (GRC): key tips and all the blog posts published so far!

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 Uncategorized | (0) comments

As the deadline for the GRC draws nearer with every day, we can remember how we felt a year ago: a mixture of stress, curiosity, fear but above all excitement! We wondered how to best prepare for these two exciting days, and though we had browsed Novo Nordisk’s website, graduate blog and the entire Internet in search for more information, it somehow never felt enough.

In this blog post, we would like to ease your task of preparation a bit and assure you once more that you do not need to be afraid :-). As many posts about the GRC have already been published and you might find it difficult to find all of these, we have listed them all in our post below, and each of us has picked ONE of our top recommendations that we have for you. Enjoy reading and good luck!


Anne-Sophie’s tip: 4 letters: T.E.A.M.

At this advanced stage of the recruiting process, what does differentiate THE candidate from the other candidates? I do not have the exact answer to give you but I can tell you what I felt at the GRC: teamwork and collaboration! I know what you think: you have read it everywhere, on the website of every company you have applied to, and probably already experienced it along other Assessment Centres. And this is again the case here!

Bear in mind that we are looking for skilled candidates – which we know you are – but also for colleagues and people we can see ourselves working with. Your strengths might be the weakness of others. But instead of using these strengths solely to your own advantage, rely on them to help and drive your other teammates. As a leader and manager, you are expected to empower people and help them grow in their role. Knowing yourself and using your best skills for the benefit of the group and for achieving a common goal will be key to your success at the GRC. I can only give you my example: having had some prior experience in the pharmaceutical industry, I chose to share this knowledge with my teammates for them to better understand the tasks that were given to us and for the group to be faster and more insightful to solve our business case. Of course I felt exposed and sometimes wanted to keep this knowledge only for myself as I thought that this could be a huge personal advantage. But choosing the other way and deciding to use this for the benefit of the group only encouraged us to aim higher. Hence don’t be shy and dare exposing your best self for others!


Lisa’s tip: Never stop believing in yourself and your skills!

My advice to you is: Believe in yourself and show this confidence until the end! Compared to other assessment centres the GRC is quite long. It will be two very intensive days with many different exercises as you already know. You will feel exhausted at some point and there will also be moments where you might not feel happy with your performance. But this should never discourage you. Stay motivated throughout the two days and if there is a moment where you are not pleased with your performance, forget about it quickly and focus all your energy and enthusiasm towards the next task. I am saying this because of a personal experience from last year: Somehow, the business case was not ‘my friend’ right from the start, but when it came to the actual presentation in front of the assessors it seemed that it actually achieved to ‘break my neck’. During the preparation for the business case there were several things that made it difficult for me to properly prepare, so I held the worst presentation that I had ever prepared. And I am not just saying that because I felt like this, but also because I could clearly see from the assessors’ faces and their questions that they were not at all happy with it. I had terrible slides and the content was not really insightful. I felt very bad after this and since it was one of the last exercises, I was sure that I had lost my chance for a graduate position. After some time of feeling miserable I realised that there is still a chance to at least improve the final impression of myself. So I tried to forget about the presentation and focused on the next exercise. Although I did not feel that this actually compensated for my bad performance earlier, I still felt better and more pleased with myself after it went quite well.

In the end, I actually got the graduate position! For me, this shows that one unsuccessful exercise does not mean that you have lost all your chances. When I got the feedback for the GRC, I was honestly told that everyone was negatively surprised by my presentation of the business case at first, but then they admired how confident I presented these ‘lousy’ slides and how honest I answered their questions. They also appreciated that I did not give up after this, but put all my rest energy and motivation in the last exercises.

Hence, I want to show you that the way you deal with an unpleasant experience at the GRC can be key to your success and self-satisfaction. With confidence in your skills you will be able to better deal with such an experience!  


Now that we have given you our two best recommendations for the GRC, please browse the graduate blog and visit the insightful following posts below:

GRC video from 2013

Graduate Recruitment Centre: Last Minute Practicalities

Survival guide to reduce jetlag in the GRC (& something important)

Next Stop: GRC 1-2 of April

GRC: What to expect?

Next steps in the graduate recruitment process, key tips for success

Final words of advice, the Graduate Recruitment Centre

BP Graduate shares experience from last years’ recruitment centre

Ove Munch Ovesen: what is an assessment centre, the expert shares his tips

A job is a 2-way match

Applying for Novo Nordisk and the Graduate Programme – Part 3- Graduate Recruitment Centre

Enjoy the recruitment centre


Good luck and we – together with all the other graduates – will see you on April 1st and 2nd!

 Graduates 2013_Group Picture during Intro Day

All the best,

Lisa and Anne-Sophie


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The phone interview?! Tips and tricks to get ready

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 | (30) comments

Congratulations to those of you who have submitted their application to one of the graduate programmes! You have taken the first hurdle in becoming a graduate within Novo Nordisk :-). At the moment, all of your applications are being read through. This is probably the toughest round of the selection process since we receive so many great applications and we can only choose ca. 400 for the phone interview! At the end of February/ beginning of March you will be informed vie E-mail about the outcome of this process. In case you get selected for the next round, we can only say that being selected for the phone interview out of several thousand applications is really a great achievement and the main feeling you should have at that moment is being proud of yourself!

But, of course, you may also be a little bit nervous about what comes next. Therefore, we would like to share with you some tips for how to best prepare for the phone interview. Since there will not be a lot of time between the invitation for the interview and the actual interivew, it might be wise to already start preparing now:

First of all, be assured that there are no traps or mean questions in the phone interview: If you have reached this stage of the process, it means that we already think that you are a great fit with Novo Nordisk and the graduate programme. Interviewers will take the opportunity to get to know you better and get a more thorough understanding of what you previously did and why this made you want to join Novo Nordisk.

So be prepared to talk about the following:

What is your story?

Basically: why did you do what you did (academic and professional experience, extracurricular activities, etc.)?

We like open and honest answers: only a few of us have a straight arrow for a personal and professional path. What your interviewers are interested in is why you made those choices, and why, in regards to your experiences, you have decided that Novo Nordisk would be the best place to achieve your personal and professional development. For example, with regards to my (Lisa) professional experience, my CV was mainly filled with internships in the financial services industry (and mainly at one company). So of course during my phone interview the question came up: Why are you interested in working in the pharmaceutical industry and at Novo Nordisk? Why do you not want to work in the financial services industry and with the company you interned with? Although I had clear answers to these questions in my head, the challenging part was to share them in a logical and convincing way with the interviewer on the phone. Some preparation beforehand definitely helped me with that!

What did you achieve, which challenges did you face and what did you learn?

Take a look at your resume as well as your cover letter: you have to know them BY HEART and be prepared to answer questions regarding them! You will be questioned about both your positive and negative experiences. What you achieved and what you learned. Don’t be fluffy in your answers: of course you have learnt something and of course you had some challenges. What you did to overcome them is what we would like to hear. Also, be ready to elaborate on your achievements. However, no matter how great these might be, try and stay humble :-).

Why Novo Nordisk and why your programme?

We are looking for people who want to contribute to Novo Nordisk’s success. The graduate programme IS challenging, for real. Also you have to be convinced of why you wish to join the programme and what this means to you: What is important for you within Novo Nordisk, what programmes, actions, initiatives appeal to you and why you think they are relevant to Novo Nordisk’s patients, are some of the questions you should ask yourself.

Identify and know your motivation for Novo Nordisk and for the specific programme you will be interviewed for: This is your only chance as you will get interviewed for only one of the programmes you have applied for. Browse Novo Nordisk’s website as well as the graduate blog, podcasts, videos, FB page, etc., there is plenty of information there to help you :-) 

Our last advice: Be yourself because then you will be at your best! The interviewer wants to get to know YOU and since it is the story of your life you are the one who knows it best!

Also remember: everyone is nervous during phone interviews and the interviewer knows this as well and will not hold this against you. It is just natural. But if you smile while talking (Yes, you can definitely hear if someone is smiling on the phone!) and if you even manage to laugh this will not only leave a positive impression to the interviewer, but also make you more relaxed.

To read more about interview tips and tricks, read the following blog posts:

-      My top 3 tips for the phone interview

-      Phone interview and the Graduate Recruitment Centre – key tips for success

-      OH BOY!!! Interviews scare me…

Now enjoy the rest of this weekend and stay tuned for more blog posts to come!

Anne-Sophie and Lisa

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Insights from a current Graduate: What do you actually do as a Business Processes Graduate?

Category: Business Processes | (14) comments

“A lot of different things,” I would be tempted to say. It is not an easy question to answer, but as it is probably a question many of you have at the top of your minds, I will try to answer it seen from my perspective in this blog post.

As you have probably heard by now, there is no fixed recipe attached to being a Business Processes Graduate. The three rotations are based on your personal profile, and can vary greatly in relation to the nature of the tasks and the area of the company you will be working in. One thing that does seem to be consistent though, is that Graduates get tasks that require a large degree of responsibility and get to manage their own projects. That means you are often pushed to leave your comfort zone and the learning curve is therefore very steep.

During my first rotation, I am working on many different projects, but the main project I am working on and also managing on a daily basis is a global strategy project. My task has been to take lead in designing a global strategy process for communication, roll out a pilot in different parts of the organisation, and give my recommendations for how to improve the process going forward. As you can imagine, a global project involves many different people, and my most important task is therefore to navigate around the complex business and manage a lot of different stakeholders, entailing a large number of meetings and presentations. This is the most exciting, but at the the same time also the most challenging part of the project.

As part of the project, I recently organised a strategy workshop, where 40 people were gathered to kick off the process. To help facilitate the different sessions, a number of Managers and strategy experts from Marketing joined us. In the picture below you see Victoria – Global Project Manager (and earlier European Business Management Graduate), Wei – Global Marketing Director (and earlier Business Processes Graduate) and myself discussing the outcome from one of the workshop sessions.

From left to right: Victoria, Wei and myself

From left to right: Victoria, Wei and myself

I won’t go into more detail with this project now, but this is just to show that as a Graduate you will get a lot of responsibility, but a lot is also expected from you; both academically and people-wise, as you will have to work with many different people from many different cultures – both organizational and geographically.

If you have a recent master degree and think that the above sounds like something you would enjoy, I think you should hurry up and write your application. Deadline is just around the corner – 9 February 2014.

Click here to select your programme and apply:


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Tips for interviews and how you are selected…

Category: Business Processes International Operations Business International Operations Finance Uncategorized | (8) comments

Dear Candidates,

Now the light at the end of the tunnel is seen. Less than 10 days left to apply.  Do not forget to apply before 9 Feb. What will happen after 9 Feb? I will share my experience of selection process in Turkey Affiliate. The process may vary affiliate to affiliate, year to year and program to program. Though, I will share my selection process assuming this may help you to understand the main shape.

After application, your CVs will be examined carefully and if your qualifications seem to be appropriate for the program, you are called by local HR.

They direct you to independent selection center to measure your English competency.

If you are able to get needed score of English, then it means you come to next level.

You are invited to meet with directors and you are interviewed for your background and qualifications. They try to know you both academically and personally. For this part; my suggestion is “be yourself, please do not pretend since they will catch you by cross questions…”

You are invited to the assesment center. It takes half day and you involve various interviews, case studies in which you work with other candidates. For this part, my suggestion is ” do not try to play the role of leader instead be the motivator. Never get too ambitious and aggresive, instead try to compromise and result oriented. You may need to accept the ideas that you do not really like. Accept them if it helps to reach a solution and saves you from the endless debates… Please be aware of this:  you do not need to make everybody believe your ideas, instead be open to change and respect others’ values as well. ”

Now, you passed to other level. You are invited for the presentation session. You are provided with a laptop and a business case. You solve it and get ready for the 20 min presentation. Those will happen in an hour. You can not be prepared earlier. My tips for this part ” Be smart as much as you can. Be familiar with marketing terminology and try to suggest various cases. Think more and make a well defined presentation. Your presentation skills should come to stage. Do not forget to use proper language and be energetic and be motivated and be yourself…Again !”

If you pass this level, now a test will be sent. It is like an intelligence test both verbal, analytical and visual. Weird shapes are designed according to specific algorithm and you are asked to understand and imitate this algorithm to another set of shapes. It is fun actually. For me the hardest part was verbal, since the texts are very long to read and the time was too short. You need to be hurry and make skim reading. The analytical part was fun, too. If you like mathematics and familiar with algebra, it is not a big deal. But again, in each part you race with time. Do your best, since the scores will be kept and informed to you in assesment center in one interview. One more tip: be sure that your internet connection will never be broken down during test, for this you can choose using cabled internet instead of wifi.

Now, the local part is over. You are invited for the final assesment centre in Copenhagen. You meet the other candidates and work with them for  group assignments.This part takes 2 days, you really get exhausted since you need to wake up very very early in the morning: Like 5:00 in the morning…You need to be healty and energetic for those days. When your energy falls down, your performance may get worse… Eat well, sleep well, wear smart, try to speak English fluently, be friendly and be open. Be open to anything. Be sure that somebody from the assesment team is watching you and taking notes about your reactions. This situation may seem stressful, but i should admit that I enjoyed a lot. I learned a lot, and I even thought that I am glad to have this experince even if I would not be selected… You go home satisfied and enjoyed…

Here you can find, what we have experinced in final selection with our words:


Now, it is their turn. You did your best. Your scores and comments about your performance will be gathered and analysed carefully…

After the process ends and they come to a result, they will let you know. The job offer is made towards the end of March and you sign the contract in April. The first day of work will be in September. Welcome !!!!

So, though the process seems to be long, it is fun and unforgettable experience. Go for it… Apply before 9th of February. Here is the link:

Good Luck, Best Regards





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Behind the scenes: Application screening process

Category: Business Processes European Business Management Global Marketing Uncategorized | (28) comments

As I have talked with many people who are interested in applying to the programme and in general they all seem to have similar doubts regarding the screening process of the applications, I thought I would unveil the mystery to you so you know exactly what is happening and what to expect.

1.    We receive applications

We receive applications until the 9th of February but we already start reading them in January. Therefore we do encourage you to submit your application rather sooner than later, to avoid being part of the last-minute rush that tends to happen every year.

 2.    We screen applications

A group of HR partners and programme managers supported by current graduates screen applications for the different programs, usually within their own tracks. To assure transparency every “screener” gets assigned certain letters of the alphabet corresponding to applicants’ names, to screen these resumes.

 3.    We discuss with our “screening partners”

After having received and screened all the applications, everyone selects about 10-15 people from their stack. These applications are presented in a meeting with the screening partners (2-3 people within the respective program screening group) and for each screener we narrow down the candidates to 7 profiles. 

 4.    We meet with the programme managers and HR

Once 7 profiles have been selected by each screener we have a meeting in HQ with the respective programme managers and HR partners for each graduate programme track. Here everyone presents their best candidates. We look at all the profiles and have an iterative discussion, which is why the final selection is the result of a very long day.

 5.    The selected candidates are invited to a phone interview

The ones selected during the screening day are being contacted for a phone interview by either HR or the programme manager. If you get to this point you should be aware that indeed you are very close, and by this time at least about 10 people have discussed and approved of your profile, so take a deep breath and lay back just a little bit.

 6.    Online tests, just to be on the safe side

The candidates who “passed” the phone interview (I put that in quotation marks, because it is really about chemistry rather than an examination) will be invited to the Graduate Recruitment Centre. Before the GRC you will receive an online numerical and personality test to assess some of your skills. If your score is not the absolute best one on the maths test this is not going to be a deal breaker and you are not going to get un-invited to the GRC.

 7.    The grand finale: the GRC

The Graduate Recruitment Centre, which is the assessment centre for the program, will take place in April during 2 days and here you will have the opportunity to show yourself in person by taking part in team and individual activities. There will be no particular and detalied previous knowledge required on the industry or the company to ensure successful participation.



3 key take-aways for you:

  • We do closely examine all applications. All profiles go through the hands of experienced recruiters. This is why it is so important for you to submit some “quality material” both regarding content and layout. You can find endless number of posts about this on our blog.
  • The process is more about fit than skills. The emphasis is on personality and what you could develop into, so don’t start to practice calculating square roots of five digit numbers in your head, it will be moderately useful.
  • This is a marathon not a sprint. During the process your profile will go through the hands of many people so your aim should not be to impress but to build a good image through being true to yourself, humble but confident and to gain the recruiters trust.



We have some busy months ahead…stay tuned.



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Video: Tips and tricks for your application

Category: Business Processes | (35) comments

Hi all,

The deadline for applying to the Graduate Programmes is approaching and I have received a number of comments and emails about tips and tricks for what to write in the application for the Business Processes Graduate Programme. If you do a bit of online research on the Graduate blog-site, you will come across quite a few blogs that address this issue. You can read some great posts about this by former graduate bloggers here, here and here, and also by current Graduate bloggers Klaus and On.

I found many of these blog posts useful when I was making my application last year, so now I want to share some of my best tips for writing a good application, as well as the view of Ove, head of the Graduate programmes.

How to write a good application

Writing a good application is a rather subjective and complex issue. If you talk to 5 different people, they will probably have 5 different views on what a good application is. However, here is some of my best advice for making a good application…

1) Make it clear why you want to work for Novo Nordisk – do your research about the company, there is a wealth of information online. Read about the company’s culture in form of the Novo Nordisk Way
2) Make it clear why you want to apply for the Business Processes Graduate Programme – why would you like this job and why is this specific programme the right one for you?
3) Emphasize how you can contribute to the company
4) Make a clear common thread in your application – your cover letter and CV should go hand in hand
5) Read your application through carefully and avoid spelling mistakes
6) There is no rule about this, but less is more – keep your cover letter limited to 1 page and CV to 2 pages
7) Most importantly – be yourself and let your personality shine through in your application

I was also lucky enough to get an interview with Ove, head of the Graduate Programmes. If you press on the video below, you will get some insights into what he thinks a good application is.

Good luck with your applications and remember to apply before 9 February 2014. Click here to select your programme and apply:



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’So many applications…why should I apply?’ plus YOUR questions – a compilation!

Category: Business Processes European Business Management Global Marketing International Operations Business | (24) comments

Hi again!

So sorry it took me quite a while to upload my second blog post. Thanks for your comments on my first post and questions so far. I’ve been receiving some similar questions and thought that writing a blog compiling the ‘top’ questions I’ve been asked would be a good idea. With that in mind, and my experience at various Novo Nordisk career events both as a participant and a corporate representative, I will share some of the relevant and key learnings and questions that will hopefully be helpful for you.

There are so many applications, what are my chances? (i.e. I’ve heard that the graduate programme at Novo Nordisk is very competitive…?)

Yes, the graduate programme at Novo Nordisk is competitive and we do have an increasing amount of applications during the past recent years. However to be fair, and in my opinion, all graduate programmes are competitive since it offers candidates to experience different parts of organization during a short time period and thereby gain insight into the overall business of the company. One thing I would like to emphasize is, if you are interested and motivated, you are encouraged to apply and the fact that the programme is competitive should not prevent you from doing so. Let me provide you with a concrete example:

I first applied for the graduate programme for the 2012 intake. At that time I was not really aware of Novo Nordisk and my application was quite generic. In the end, I was not invited to the phone interviews (the first round). Since then, through my internships (not at Novo Nordisk) and interaction with 2012 graduates as well as Novo Nordisk representatives, I became really motivated to work for Novo Nordisk and specifically under the graduate programme scheme. I applied again in 2013, with a better and more tailored application, and was selected as one of the Business Processes graduates starting in September 2013. So, if you are motivated and really want to be part of the graduate programme – nothing is impossible :)

Any suggestions about applications and how to make it stand out?

For me this is the most difficult part of the application process. It is where the most cuts are made, and you have to convey your motivation and ‘uniqueness’ under a predefined format (CV, cover letter, and transcripts). This is also where I think my application made the most difference (see point above), which is why you should spend some time and consideration on it!

Lilla, a 2012 Global Marketing graduate has written a great blog post about tips for your application here:

Some points I’d like to add to and highlight in Lilla’s post are:

  • Tailored application is essential. Be sure to communicate your motivation clearly. Make sure that this application can only be for Novo Nordisk (and the graduate programme), rather than a generic application that can be for any company (just by changing the company name).
  • ABSOLUTELY NO TYPOS!!! Check check check your spelling, capitalization, ‘false friends’ (direct translations from another language), and that you are actually writing the word that you mean and not something that sounds similar or the same – for example there vs. their, and your vs. you’re.
  • Keep CV to 2 pages, and highlight any experience with Novo Nordisk (seminars, company visits, projects). An optional, but potentially good idea, is to put your cumulative grades in your CV, and what it is out of so that evaluators of your application get clear information from the start (e.g. Danish scale 10.1/12.00, or U.S. scale 3.39/4.00).
  • Don’t forget your transcript. This should be in English, and with information about what it is equivalent to (or how to interpret it). This is important as you don’t know who will be reading your application and what experience they have with certain grading scales that are specific to certain countries.

Does the ‘work experience’ requirement apply to relevant work experience, work experience after the Masters, or…??

I have received a lot of questions about this, and have reached out to our programme director for clarification. The feedback I received was that we consider all work experience after the Master’s degree. This also depends how much work experience you have prior to your graduate studies. If you exceed the ‘less than one year work experience’ requirement, please consider applying for the full time positions at Novo Nordisk:

What should I consider before applying to Novo? What is the culture like at Novo?

From my experience, people at Novo Nordisk are very open-minded and friendly. International orientation, and focus on patients are themes that are consistently strong throughout the organization. Throughout the organization and amongst the graduates we are passionate about making a difference in people’s lives and working towards a purpose (check out Mark’s blog about how passion is key:  

When applying to the graduate programme, flexibility is important. As part of the programme, you are required to move at least 3 times in 2 years. So ask yourself: are you ready for that? Does this make you excited?

Can I apply to more than 1 graduate programme track?

Yes, you are allowed to apply to more than one graduate track. However, make sure that each of your application is tailored and different from each other (see my point on suggestions about applications). You should have a strong reason for applying for different tracks and thus your applications should be unique and reflect this.

Do you chose your (second) rotation(s)? How flexible is this?

For the first rotation, you are more or less assigned where you will be working for 8 months. This makes sense since you will just be starting your experience at Novo Nordisk and perhaps would not have enough knowledge to make a decision about where you would like to work in the organization. From that point on, as you get more settled working at Novo Nordisk and more acquainted with the company, it is more of a discussion with our programme manager about work preferences and rotations. It is still important to be flexible and open to opportunities that may come up, which is also an exciting part!

Wow, this turned out to be quite a long post. Thanks a lot for your patience in reading it, and if you have any additional questions – you know what to do (comment or email)!

Good luck!


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