Business Processes

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An Executive Vice President, and his story

Category: Business Processes European Business Management European Finance Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement Product Supply R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (0) comments

Dear reader,

IMG_9848An important part (and perk) of being a Novo Nordisk employee is the strong focus on leadership as well as professional and personal development – particularly in the graduate programme, which has the purpose to develop future leaders of the company. Recently, all global graduates got the exiting opportunity to meet a leader who has gone through most of his professional development at Novo Nordisk: Executive Vice President, Jesper Hoiland.

We were told to be at building NN1 at 8am (sharp!) where Jesper Hoiland would take us through his journey from when he started his career at Novo Nordisk, 29 years ago, until today. It is definitely safe to say that Jesper Hoiland has had a remarkable career! He has worked in, and successfully led various different business functions across the entire globe, which ultimately has brought him to the position and responsibility he has today: Executive Vice President (EVP) of Novo Nordisk and President of the US affiliate – one of the most significant regions for the Novo Nordisk business.

Jesper Hoiland embarked his career at Novo Nordisk in 1987, and worked within marketing in Novo Nordisk Canada and Belgium, before becoming head of Novo Nordisk’s Diabetes Division in France. In 1998 he took up the position as managing director of Novo Nordisk Australia, and in 2000 he was appointed Senior Vice President of International Marketing at Novo Nordisk’s headquarters in Denmark. In 2004 Jesper Hoiland took over the responsibility of Novo Nordisk’s region International Operations as Senior Vice President, based in Switzerland, and in 2013 he was appointed Senior Vice President of Novo Nordisk North America. This career journey culminated in April 2015, where Jesper Hoiland was promoted Executive Vice President with responsibility for the US. I told you, remarkable, right?

Given the opportunity, any curious and ambitious mind would have to ask the question: what has he done to come to the point where he is today, and what is the story behind his success?

IMG_9879The answer is not simple, because it is not simple to become an EVP – at all.  Throughout his presentation, Jesper Hoiland shared some pivotal moments in his career, and gave deeper insights to what he has done to get where he is today. In his narration he navigated through business and management topics, and his take on balancing your professional and personal life. As you may imagine, since it is extremely demanding to be an EVP in a global leading pharmaceutical company, these are areas where you must be an exceptional performer. It was extremely insightful! Furthermore, he touched upon a topic which I personally enjoyed a lot: working your way up, and letting your work do the talk. Jesper Hoiland told us about how he got his hands dirty by working in the field with tight budgets, demanding sales targets and making essential decisions on a day-to-day basis. In other words, he worked – in its most literal meaning – his way to becoming a top-line manager. From my experience, a vast amount of young professionals embarking their career dream of working with CXO-level strategy from the day they exit the university halls. But, let me offer you this view: how can you become a top-line manager, without having sold, launched or managed anything? Success does not come from sitting in an ivory tower. Call me outdated or old-fashioned, but I really believe in paying your dues and experiencing rather than referencing. Experience is an opportunity – an opportunity Jesper Hoiland seized, and that Novo Nordisk Graduates are offered.

Finally, Jesper Hoiland gave 5 key take-away insights to keep top of mind in your daily work life and long-term career. I’m intentionally not going to elaborate on these bullets to give you an opportunity to build your own take-aways.

  • Long-term > Quick Win
  • Co-develop with your peers through delegation and empowerment
  • Promote mobility and diversity
  • Provide instant, direct feedback, and be open to the same
  • Celebrate success

I hope you have gained a further understanding of what a career in Novo Nordisk offers. Thank you for reading!

/Nicolas

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Purpose is motivation – motivation is success!

Category: Business IT Business Processes European Business Management European Finance Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement Product Supply | (0) comments
SUCCESS
səkˈsɛs/
noun – the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Dear reader,

I’m sharing this post with you to tell you a little story, which may give you a deeper insight to what it means to be a Graduate at Novo Nordisk, and why I believe we can achieve and maintain succeess in our future careers.

Despite that Novo Nordisk Graduates are a highly diverse group of individuals, I strongly believe we have one common denominator: purpose. We have chosen to work for a company that strives to improve the quality of life for people with chronic diseases – such as diabetes and haemophilia. That is the vocation of being a Graduate, and the Raison D’être of the company. I must admit, to begin with, this purpose was only part of me on an aspirational, and somewhat intangible level, right until a very special experience I had recently.

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Intervieweing with my colleague from our Mexican affiliate, Mariana

When sitting at global headquarters in Denmark as I do, one may feel detached from this overarching purpose – seeing the change and improvement that your daily work causes. Nevertheless, as part of a project that I have been working on recently, I got the amazing opportunity of going to Mexico City where I had the pleasure of acquainting 6 individuals with diabetes who are treated with Novo Nordisk products. And what an amazing experience that was! I can’t possibly be asked to recap all the great things that they shared with me in this short post. Instead, I will leave you with a quote that will be quintessential throughout my career in Novo Nordisk:

Imagine what it means that I now can do my things and my labours that I like to do. I can go for a walk peacefully. I can do all the things that I like to do. I couldn’t do that before, because I was getting tired, my sight was blurry, and most of all the tiredness –  a tremendous tiredness. (…) Imagine! That I can dance, that I can do my labours, my handcrafts, well that is… that is life! That is life because, I’m past saying “no, I can’t”.

Edilburga Rivera, 59 years old, Mexico city

And here we find the purpose. Meeting these individuals, who warmly shared their stories with me and invited me into their lives, highly altered my work aspiration, and I returned to Denmark with a reinforced motivation. I understood that we as a company actually make a difference, and have impact in people’s lives. In addition, I also realized that there are still a large ammount of unmet needs in the area of patient care, and there is still much to be done for people with such chronic diseases. Thereby I have come to share the purpose of the company I work for, so we are aligned in the impact and goals we seek.Purpose_flower

The trip to Mexico has motivated me to maintain my hunger to learn and develop my skills, as well as clarified the common direction I have with the colleagues I work with. As I have attempted to illustrate, these things really go hand-in-hand, all sprouting from our common purpose. On top of all this, I know that I am in an environment that fosters and promotes professional and personal development. An environment that nurtures our ability to become rigorous leaders, who strive to have a positive impact, and change the current paradigm of our field.

I hope this post has given you an understanding of what it means to be a graduate and a Novo Nordisk employee, and the great opportunities we have at hand. Thank you for reading!

/Nicolas

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Packing the essentials for the Graduate Recruitment Center

Category: Business IT Business Processes 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 | (3) comments

The graduate recruitment center, also known as “GRC” in the Novo Nordisk language of abbreviations, is right around the corner! Congratulations to those of you who has made it so far.

BLOG GRC

I remember thinking last year, what should I prepare and what should I bring? Well let me give you a few tips on how to prepare and pack for the GRC!

The elements for success when packing your “bag” for the GRC:
1. Your Notes and preparation
While you are not asked to prepare anything in particular for the GRC, I would highly recommend that you do your research. By that I mean, do read up on Novo Nordisk, perhaps read the newly released annual report and get a feel for the pharmaceutical industry. Secondly, by preparation and notes I also mean your own “presentation” – you can expect to network and meet several people who will expect to hear who you are in a short 1 minute pitch. You will also have the opportunity to meet a lot of current graduates and employees, use this time to ask what it is like working at Novo Nordisk and prepare those questions you would like to know. This is not only your chance to pitch yourself, but also to get to know what it is like working at Novo Nordisk and see whether this could be something for you.

2. Time keeping – bring your watch!
The GRC is quite full of activities and each of you will get an individual schedule for you to keep with you and coordinate your various events throughout the GRC. Don’t worry, we even have a map for you prepared so you can find your way around and be on time. That said, you will participate in several events and tasks that require some timekeeping. Secondly, time goes fast and you will be very tired by the end of the first day – so do make sure to get a lot of rest the day before so you are ready and rested.

3. Your best shoes!
Now this does not mean you will do a lot of walking, and you should of course be comfortable, but I do advice to remember this is a job interview. Several ladies have already asked, should I wear heels? Well, wear what is comfortable to you, but I would if I was in your shoes :)

4. Talk, talk and contribute
When you reach the GRC, you will already to an extend have had the opportunity to present yourself and your personality, and while this is still very essential for succeeding – another very important aspect at the GRC is your teamwork and how you collaborate with others. Expect to work in teams and get to know the other applicants and possibly future colleagues.

All in all, the GRC is a very challenging, fun and exciting experience that either way will be a great learning experience. So when you roll in with your suitcase or bag, have fun and enjoy that you have made it this far! :)

See you there!

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My GRC adventure

Category: Business IT Business Processes European Business Management European Finance Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement International Operations Business International Operations Finance Product Supply Uncategorized | (4) comments

Dear Reader,

If you are reading this, it probably means that you are one of the selected candidates for this years Global Recruitment Center. If so, let me start by giving you my warmest congratulations. This is a fantastic achievement, and you should stop what you are doing for a second to condense what you have managed to reach. Well done!

In this blog post, I will share my experience of the GRC. Who knows, maybe you’ll find some information that can be useful for your upcoming experience.

My GRC experience started on March 24 last year at 7.00 am at Hotel Crown Plaza in the outskirts of Copenhagen. I remember being hopeful and exited, but mostly calm. This might be surprising, but I was able to remain calm, mainly because thats how I am as a person, but also because I had job security prior to the GRC. My mindset was: “I have nothing to loose, so I may as well go and enjoy myself, be myself, and show that to the assessors“. Hence, I was able to show exactly who they were hiring, apart from the professional competences. Because, lets be honest, you are competing against highly skilled and competent candidates from the entire world, so no matter what Novo Nordisk will get a highly skilled candidate to fill the position. Thus, the personal fit plays a huge role.11096542_10153218716717179_1136474961071704095_o

I have mentioned this before, but let me just stress again: there is no such thing as a perfect candidate. When I look at the people that got hired from previous years, I see far more diversity than uniformity. The question is not if you fit, but how you fit.

Anyways, I sat down at a table next to an American candidate, Paul, who today is a very dear friend and fellow graduate. We started chatting, and after a little while, a Dane sat in front of us. Interestingly, he (Filip) is now also a fellow graduate, and a close friend. But that is besides the point. With this I want to tell you, that the GRC is much more than you being put under a lens for two days. It’s about enjoying a unique opportunity to get challenged, learn, and getting to meet people from all over the world.

I got to met 10 of the 11 hired Business Management Graduates. That’s not to highlight my choice of people to engage in conversation with, but rather that I wanted to speak to as many candidates as possible, simply because it was so cool to meet skilled candidates from the entire globe. The GRC is about meeting great people from all over the world, and enjoying the rollercoaster ride – because, believe me, there will be a lot of ups and downs. Again, I believe I was able to do this, because I had the right mindset prior to the event.

7 thoughts and feelings you will experience throughout, which are completely normal

    • wow. every single person here is really sharp and skilled

Yes. Every single candidate who has made it to the GRC is chosen for a reason: they are among the best and most talented candidates. Some see that as bad news. On the other hand, you are there too, right? Also, you will be collaborating with these sharp minds, so, besides the possibility of learning from them, you are sure that whatever you may be producing or solving in gropus will be of high quality.

    • am I doing this right?

Throughout the GRC, you will be evaluated on various features. You will be asking yourself this question, because you are aware that you are being evaluated. This will happen through various exercises that require different skills and competences. In the movie  “The Last Samurai”, Tom Cruise is learning how to fight with a samurai sword against the most skilled samurai in a village. He lost to him, repeatedly, despite various months of intense training. At one point during a training, another samurai said: “No mind” to him. Of course, the advise worked. My advise to you will be similar. Stop thinking about whether what you are doing in the various tests is right or wrong. Just do it the way you would have done it with your study-partners or current colleagues. If you think too much, you risk missing out.

    • am I being assessed right now? and now? and what about now?

Because you are being tested through various different tasks, you can get a ‘Big Brother’ feeling, where you have the suspicion that you are being assessed all the time – even when you are just having a relaxed conversation. This is normal. And no, when you are in doubt of whether you are being evaluated or not, you are probably not. Again, stop thinking, or, rather, over-thinking every situation. Just be.

    • what do they want to hear?

At one point, we had to present ourselves. Me and an old friend sat together to complete this task. He asked me: “should I say I am ambitious and a team player, or should I say that I am a go-getter and hard working?“. I told him to listen to what he had just asked me. He wanted to advise him to pick “the right” adjectives to describe himself, so that he would impress and differentiate. In other words, what he thought the assessors wanted to hear. Not what he actually was. Before you go to the GRC, take some time to reflect about what you are. Bring that to the GRC and to the task in front of you, and nothing else.

    • I am so tired of speaking about myself.

Part of the GRC is introducing yourself, whether it is to current graduates, assessors, or other candidates. Another part is convincing the assessors about how you fit to the position, and what value you can bring to the company. I don’t know about you, but when I speak about myself too long, I get sick and tired of it. Nevertheless, when I think back, it was completely worth the investment, and it actually can help you learn a lot about yourself. Don’t loose hope and energy – this is your unique chance to get to know a lot of cool people, and to get an even more unique opportunity.

    • I am so tired!

After each day, you will be extremely tired, as you will have been performing for many consecutive hours. So be sure to come prepared and well-rested. Do whatever charges you with energy prior to the GRC, so you bring your A-game. I like to exercise and read prior to a day where I have to preform my best, which I did. We are all different, so find what works for you.

    • phew. I made it.

After several days of high performance and new impressions you will without doubt be exhausted. It is a great feeling, trust me, because you will hopefully leave Bella Sky thinking: “I gave everything I had”. At least, I believe that should be your aim. But, be sure to enjoy the ride along the way.

I hope this blog has provided you with some useful insights. I wish you the best of luck!

/ Nicolas

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10 things to pack with you for the graduate recruitment center!

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 | (0) comments

“How can I best prepare for the GRC?” This is the question that all of you who reached out to me asked. Fair question, as I asked the exact same to a graduate last year a few days before going to the GRC!

Well… I may disappoint you, but actually there is not much you can do in terms of preparation for the GRC. Of course, this is taking for granted that you already know yourself and your CV very well as well as what we do at Novo Nordisk.

Nevertheless, I’d advise you to bring along with you:

  1. Full batteries (energy)
  2. Strong motivation and great enthusiasm
  3. Open-mindedness
  4. Humility
  5. TEAM spirit
  6. Enjoyment and positive attitude
  7. Professional behaviour
  8. Strong awareness for business ethics
  9. Your ambitions and your dreams (everyone has a dream!)
  10. Your TRUE self!

As you read the above list, you may think that it sounds very obvious to pack these things in your suitcase. However, we will be happy to see that you did not forget them at the GRC!

4 additional tips:

  • “How should I dress up?” You have been told that the dress code is “smart casual” meaning that you should dress up appropriately and professionally, yet not too formally. My advice is to dress up in the clothes you feel most comfortable and self-confident with.
  • Enjoy the GRC! Be relaxed (it is very important!) and enjoy every moment that the GRC has to offer you. Although it is going to be intense, be in a positive mood. I have no doubt that you will greatly enjoy your time there anyway. Take it as a unique opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world and expand your network. I have stayed in touch with quite a lot of people that I met at the GRC last year!
  • For non-Danes – Consider the GRC as an opportunity for you to learn more about Novo Nordisk’s identity and to get some insights on the Danish/Scandinavian culture and work environment.
  • NO STRESS! – I must admit that, even though I was very attracted by Novo Nordisk before applying for the graduate programme, the GRC was the actual revelation for me. On the first day, I realised that I had a big crush on the company (yeah, I’m also romantic when it comes to jobs!) and I left Copenhagen thinking that I really wanted to work for Novo Nordisk one day… However, it was impossible to assess whether I had a chance to get the job or not, as all the candidates I had met there were amazing. Therefore, on the first night in my hotel room, trying to fall asleep after an intense day, I decided not to put any pressure on myself to get this graduate job. I would just be relaxed, cool, and happy to be there with smart and nice people surrounding me. Why? Because I realised that I would like to work for Novo Nordisk one day. One day could be the following September (by starting the graduate programme) or in a few years, coming back with some experience via another job. Nothing is set in stone in life! So if it doesn’t work now, it could work later. NO STRESS! :)

Congratulations again for making it that far and all the best for the GRC! I am looking forward to meeting you all on Wednesday night at the dinner!

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The world is our playground – where has the Global Business Processes Graduates been rotated in the world?

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Having sat in your position just about a year ago, I remember wondering where that could be. Where in the world could I go?

Being a Global Business Processes graduate means that you are rotating between departments every eight months and on your second rotation you will get the opportunity to go abroad! As the Global Business Processes Graduate Program Managers, Ove and Caroline says, the world is our playground, and you could really go almost anywhere, well at least where Novo Nordisk has an office. That said, where you go on your second rotation depends very much on the business needs at the moment and where you fit into the organization in terms of both your skills and the opportunity at the various locations.

While you are on your first rotation, your program manager(s) will collect information on where you would like to go, which business area you are interested in, projects that interest you, your personal development interests and so forth. They use this feedback when allocating the graduates to their second host department.

World-map-graduates-blog-fb

As you can see above, graduates have been to different corners of the world. Mexico City, Zurich, Princeton and Tokyo, illustrates some of the more recent rotations the Global Business Processes Graduates have been rotated to. It is pretty exciting to think of the many opportunities working at such a large company, with affiliates in 75 countries around the world, provides its graduates!

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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!

Paul

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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.

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(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.

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(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 ahnm@novonordisk.com. :)

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