International Operations Business

Share This

“life-changing career” – What it Means For Me

Category: International Operations Business | (0) comments

 

Picture1

June has finally arrived and in 3 months, the graduate programme for the 2015 batch will be wrapping up. In football terms, we’re in the last 15 minutes of the game with everything there is to win. Indeed, the programme has been true to its tag-line: “life-changing career”. I have learned so much about Novo Nordisk and its business but most importantly, I have learned a lot about myself. I have experienced and done things that never in my wildest dreams could’ve imagined. I have learned from most the ambitious, amazing, and inspiring people throughout the programme spanning 3 different continents.

When I was doing my master’s degree, I wanted to do something that would change the world and have a positive impact on people. (Yeah, that typical millennial mindset trying to conceal the fact that I didn’t know what to do with my life). However, I really didn’t know exactly what it was I wanted to change but I did want to make a difference somewhere, somehow. Fair enough, I had ideas yet they remained ideas with no actual plans of realizing them. Or, I was too idealistic that the changes or impact that I wanted in this world were just not feasible. It was frustrating, and most importantly, getting expensive as I was living in Boston after graduation with dwindling funds and no actual income. Everything changed when I got into the graduate programme.

For my first rotation, I went back to the Philippines. As it was my first time in the pharmaceutical industry, I had some catching up to do. The first few months were certainly an information overload. I learned more about diabetes and how the disease affects people, along with terminology such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and different kinds of proteins (I have a business background and in no way would I have encountered those words before).  As for my main project there, I was assigned to do a medical education event that would benefit HCPs and patients. It was exciting and I felt really great as I was finally doing something impactful. However, being a newbie in the industry, it definitely had its challenges as I had to deal with internal and external stakeholders who were far more experienced and definitely demanding. Yet, as a graduate, I got a bit of leniency and understanding from all of them.  After all, it was the beginning of a learning process. My key takeaways from that first rotation was to learn and absorb as quickly as possible, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t think that you are the messiah sent from the heavens that can immediately turn things around. (But it would also be great if you can!)

As for my second rotation, I worked in the global headquarters in Denmark. As Rihanna would sing, “shine bright like a diamond, shine bright like a diamond,” which was also my approach and it was definitely a rotation where I can have a global impact; just like how I wished it to be. As my pharmaceutical experience was limited to the Philippine affiliate operations, I imagined myself as a diamond in the rough. This was certainly an opportunity to learn about global operations and be involved in projects with a global reach. In Denmark, they were more familiar with handling graduates and the expectations were more clear and actionable. In my role, it was certainly fulfilling as the projects involved more countries and with that, came a bigger impact. Being assigned there in global headquarters provided me with the opportunity to reach out and learn from global managers with different functions and from different countries. I was able to interact with various kinds of people coming from different backgrounds who have given me a wider perspective of the business and, cheesy as it may sound, life. My key takeaways from that experience was that it has set some things into perspective and most importantly, it gave me a perfect example on what work-life balance is, in addition to a concrete example of what should be prioritized in life.

Finally, for my 3rd rotation, I got assigned to Colombia. I have been living here for the last 5 months and my role has also changed to a new therapy area, which means a new set of patients and a new set of products. Compared to my 1st and 2nd rotations, I came here with a lot of confidence as I was more familiar with the operations and where to get the available resources. I feel so at home here because it’s like Philippines except that people speak in Spanish. The hospitality of the people has been amazing, not just my co-workers but people in general. Everyone has been so helpful and warm, and frankly, I couldn’t ask for more. In terms of personal goals, I have finally figured out what exactly I want to do after having learned about haemophilia and how it affects the lives of people who have the condition. Being a new parent myself, I can relate to how challenging it is to take care of a child and can imagine how much more so for the parents of children with haemophilia and of course, the patient himself. It’s a rare disease affecting approximately 1 in every 5,000 males born worldwide. It’s a disease where access to adequate care is very challenging in the developing world. Given these conditions, it’s a specific opportunity where changes can be done.

I still have 3 more months in this beautiful country but I think I already know what my key takeaway is and it has to be a combination of these; be ambitious, stay focused, be patient, say “no” at times and trust the process. Over the last 21 months, the graduate programme for me has not only been a professional growth process, but it’s also a personal development process where I learned to figure out what I can do with my life and how I can contribute to this world.

 

 

What is haemophilia? Click here to learn more.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 3 people. Average 5.0 of 5)

My Personal Mantra: Patience, Presence & Persistence

Category: Business Processes Global & European Market Access Global Marketing International Operations Business International Operations Finance People & Organization US Rotational Development Program | (0) comments

Dear All,

You might be wondering why it has been silent on the blog for a while! Here’s the answer: all of the 2nd year graduates were busy moving on to their international rotations. So as Francesca has specified in her post a couple of months ago, we are pretty much spread out on the globe. Some of us stayed within Europe, others moved to Asia, South America or, like me, the US. You can find some pictures of my first weeks here below this post (scroll down).

I met a couple of you during the Graduate Recruitment Centre, which took place end of March in our HQ in Copenhagen. We are so excited to welcome our new graduates to the company in September! During the Recruitment Centre, a couple of you approached me and asked me about my career aspirations, how I define success and how I keep motivated. As I did not have an answer readily available from my back-pocket, you really made me think about these topics in more depth. It’s tough to put a name on each of these things and the points that I will mention in this post are probably not complying with any MECE rule that consultants use. But let’s get started!

1. Patience

A lot of recent graduates that just finished business school talk about fast-track careers, have a really high expectation about their starting salary and extremely narrowly defined set of responsibilities that they want to take on. And, quite honestly, I was one of them as well. Through my time at Novo Nordisk, I have really learned to appreciate patience when considering career aspirations. This is not to say that I am not ambitious, I sure am – this more means that patience and curiosity will most likely take me further than the perspective I had when I graduated from business school.

 2. Presence

There is a pretty good book about mindfulness called “Wherever you go, there you are”, written by Jon Kabat (who is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School teaching Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society). The concepts he describes are very applicable to a career as well. When you are present in your current job and dedicate all your resources to what you are doing in your current role, you will not only be able to reach your goals (e.g. change diabetes), but new career opportunities will most likely pop up as a result of that. That’s how I define success.

3. Persistence

The third and final point, persistence, is how I keep motivated. I am usually not someone who gives up after the first try, so if something doesn’t work, I try harder the second time. If things would always work the first time we do them, it would mean that we already know everything there is to know about a certain topic, and personally, that sounds very de-motivating to me. So being persistent, seeing things not working, but trying again, is what really motivates me in my job.

These three points have of course to be taken with a pinch of salt: the first two points on patience and presence, for example, require some degree of satisfaction with the role you are in. For the third point, persistence, I don’t mean that it isn’t frustrating to try things over again, but it for sure is motivating.

Anyways, I hope that this post gives you a perspective on your questions during the GRC. In my next post, I will cover what my new role here in the US is all about.

Feel free to post a comment should you have any reflections or questions!

All the best from Princeton,

Claudia

 

Welcome message of the new team

 

My desk – with lovely gifts from my team in DK :)

 

Graduates everywhere – dinner in Princeton with Graduates from Regulatory Affairs, Global Development and Business IT!

 

Day at Jersey Shore

 

Charming Princeton

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 5 people. Average 4.2 of 5)

Target GRC – A Reflection on the Importance of Organisation Culture

Category: International Operations Business International Operations Finance People & Organization | (1) comments

Dear Friends,

Based on my recent experiences with potential graduates this year, I have been asked a lot of questions on how Novo Nordisk is as an organisation. Few also asked me about how the work environment is? It is a very broad question and something you need to feel in person. In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that I have realised as an insider that what makes Novo Nordisk an organisation with a truly “sustainable competitive advantage” is the Novo Nordisk culture! It is something that manifests itself in the form of an internal governance framework reflecting the ambition of the company, the direction of the company and the values and behaviours that the employees have to exhibit throughout the organisation. And we call it the Novo Nordisk Way.

NNWay Pic

Organisation culture has more often than not provoked vigorous debates around the world of management. While there is unanimity that it exists and that it plays a critical role in shaping our behaviour within the organisation, there is little consensus on how it impacts behaviour and whether the leadership can influence it in any way. Most of the time, the real problem is that we do not have a reasonable definition in the first place. Voltaire would say, “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” While not necessarily easy to define, the overall fabric of the environment one spends large amounts of time in naturally influences one’s perception of the work experience.  According to a study by TINYpulse, “employees who give their work culture low marks are nearly 15% more likely to think about a new job than their counterparts.”  Beyond the more direct managerial factors, the study hints at how important the culture should be when you make a decision to join a company. Be it peer relationships or be it work ethics – they are indeed difference makers.  It’s only common sense to realize that positive working relationships can help make a tough job tolerable, and the data bears this out. That’s not to say compensation does not matter, but it has always been a hygiene factor only – less could lead to dissatisfaction but more need not lead to more satisfaction.

On that note, let me highlight a few things to the potential pool of graduates who will be participating in this year’s Graduate Recruitment Center in March. For someone willing to join Novo Nordisk, the recruitment centre in Denmark is one of the best places to get a feel of the Novo Nordisk culture in a nutshell. Your decision to join should not be only based on financial factors but also on the organisational culture that a firm has to offer you. When you participate, ensure you do so with an open mind and definitely not with a mindset of being examined or being assessed. Try to include everyone in your conversation and always be a good listener. Consider yourself already within the Novo Nordisk ecosystem while doing the activities. After all, organizational culture is a jointly shared description of an organization from within and with that perspective you will fare a lot better than a participant in an assessment centre would.

Wish you the very best!!!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 11 people. Average 3.9 of 5)

Before 30 Years Old

Category: International Operations Business | (0) comments

“Before 30 years old, follow somebody. Go to a small company. Normally, in a big company, it is good to learn processing; you are part of a big machine. But when you go to a small company, you learn the passion, you learn the dreams. You learn how to do a lot of things at one time. So before 30 years old, it’s not which company you go to, it’s which boss you follow. That’s very important. A good boss teaches you differently.” – Jack Ma

Just in case you don’t know him, he’s the founder of Alibaba Group and one of the most successful businessmen in the world. When I was doing my masters, I had tons of time to watch his interviews and the quote above is probably one of my favorites.

So you might ask, if he said to go to “a small company”, why am I working for Novo Nordisk, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world? Well, I asked myself that too almost 2 years ago!!!

Fast forward to today, I am on my final rotation in my 3rd country and I can answer the question already. Why am I working for Novo Nordisk and why I would recommend the IO Business Graduate Programme.

  1. “Go to a small company” – One of the best things of the IO Business Graduate programme which I only realized now is that you start in the affiliate. When I started, I felt sort of disappointed and bad that I needed to go back to the Philippines after doing my masters in 1st world countries. After enjoying the convenience and safety of 1st world countries, I had to go back to a 3rd world country once again. But you know what, once I figured out that the affiliate was actually growing in double digits, I felt relieved. It got me excited! Yes, Novo Nordisk is a big company globally indeed but in the affiliate level, it is still rapidly growing and it has a lot of challenges ahead. I knew then that the opportunities for learning would be great and in this stage of my career, that’s the perfect breeding ground. It is like joining a small company after all!
  2. You learn the passion, you learn the dreams. You learn how to do a lot of things at one time.” – As a graduate in the affiliate, you learn how to do a lot of things at one time. You may be assigned to a Marketing project but you also get to do some tasks related to Commercial effectiveness, Finance, Product supply, Medical Affairs, and sometimes, even changing the printer’s ink! It may sound absurd but that’s actually very interesting because you get to learn to do stuff that you wouldn’t expect. With that too, you get to interact with basically everyone in the office, from the General Manager to the kitchen assistant. If you are open enough, you get to know what makes them wake up early in the morning. You see things in a different perspective and you get to know their ambitions whatever it may be. Those interactions can teach you a lot as a young professional.
  3. it’s which boss you follow” – I have to admit after finishing my MBA, I felt like I knew everything in business. I was that “annoying know-it-all-I’m-too-good-for-you MBA person”. Yeah, I’m sure you know someone like that too and yes, they’re definitely annoying I must say! :D Back to my point, the graduate programme gives you the opportunity to interact with various kinds of bosses in the affiliate and in global. It gives you the opportunity to learn from them and network with them, you also get to have free advice from them on your life goals. They can provide you with good inputs on how to live your life and how to properly grow professionally. These valuable lessons and inputs would have costed thousands of dollars from consultants, but you get to have them for free, or maybe a cup of coffee (which can sometimes still be free too if there’s a coffee machine in the office!)
  4. “A good boss teaches you differently.” – In my first ever meeting with the General Manager of the Philippines back then, he told me, “don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” Throughout my experience in the graduate programme, that phrase has been repeated by all my direct managers. Being a graduate lets you do things that haven’t been done before, it lets you take risks without really worrying too much. If unsuccessful, the worst thing that can happen is that your boss will just ask, “So, what did you learn from it?” Of course, these risks still have to be calculated risks and it should still be within the bounds of the Novo Nordisk Way.
    On another note, I’ve always envisioned myself to be working in the global headquarters right after doing my masters. However, this ambition has changed a lot after the interactions I’ve had during the Market Access and Public Affairs summit.  Vice-Presidents, Directors, senior managers, and various product managers from all over the world were in Copenhagen for a 2-day summit which I was fortunately been invited too. Learning from their experiences and their best practices from their affiliates is probably one of the highlights of my rotation in Denmark. This experience has inspired me even more to work harder in improving patient access to our products.

MAPA summit

 

As a parting shot, I would like to share what my boss in Denmark told me as it’s definitely different from what I have been taught before, “People who walk with the most stars on their shoulders here in HQ are from the affiliates.”

 

Have a good day,

Paul

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 8 people. Average 4.0 of 5)

Networking 101: Do’s and Don’t’s

Category: International Operations Business | (2) comments

First of all, congratulations to those who have already started their interview processes. It’s going to be an exciting journey and like what my mentor has told me before, “enjoy and just be yourself!”

Over the last several days, I have received multiple emails asking for information, personal tips, and questions about the graduate programmes. I’ll just share my top 5 do’s and 5 don’t’s when you’re networking.

Top 5 Do’s

  1. Introduce yourself properly – It’s definitely a pleasure when someone reaches out to us and of course, we want to know more about you too. You’ve probably mastered your elevator pitch and it doesn’t hurt to include that as your opening statement in your email.
  2. Be punctual, don’t be late – It’s a given. When you try to schedule a call, do it at the specified time. Avoid getting late. :)
  3. Use English first – As much as we love being in your countries, some of us unfortunately do not speak the language yet. We want to understand what you want so we know what to give you.
  4. Send us a list of your questions –We want you to succeed in your application and we would most likely give out information (without spoiling your journey).  I learned this the hard way when I was networking before. When I finally met up with the person I was going to talk to, I forgot 4-5 crucial questions I needed to ask. Ever since then, I would already include my questions in the email and if I have further clarifications, I can ask the person during the meeting. Another tip, give us a heads up in the beginning of the email that you have a lot of questions. This way, we can set time aside to answer your questions properly without rushing.
  5. Keep us updated – It would be great to learn about your progress whatever the outcome is. The people I reached out to when I was still applying became my good friends and most importantly, valuable contacts when I started working. Keep the network open.

Top 5 Don’ts

  1. Ask salary questions – As a candidate, never ask about the salary at this stage. First, it’s very personal. Second, you should focus on the getting the position and getting to know the programme and the company more. Third, money isn’t everything in life.
  2. Treat it as a date – Getting invited for coffee, lunch or dinner is nice but be professional and keep it that way. Don’t flirt while exchanging messages and most importantly, during the meeting. Also, there’s an app for that! NOTE: just to be clear, a colleague just told me and I didn’t experience this first hand. ;)
  3. Be too formal – Strike a balance between being too formal and too friendly. Just relax, we’ve been through that situation too and don’t be too uptight when conducting your informal interview/networking. It’s an informal interview and we don’t decide if you get the position or not, that’s not our job. At the same time, don’t be too friendly and comfortable since that would make us uncomfortable.
  4. Be too personal – Keep the scope of your questions in a professional level. Don’t ask us about personal questions that are not related to the position. At the same time, don’t share your personal life story. Yes, we want to get to know you too but not to that level yet.
  5. Process specifics – As much as we want to help you succeed, don’t ask about when the next interview will be, what specific questions were asked, and what business cases will be discussed. You can ask your interviewer for those information, don’t be shy. Also, each country has their own interview and screening process before the GRC in Denmark so whatever happened in the Philippines might not be the same elsewhere.

 

I hope you keep these tips in mind when doing your networking/informal interviews. Thank you for reading and good luck in your interview process! Feel free to reach out!

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 5 people. Average 3.4 of 5)

The video.

Category: Business Processes European Finance Global & European Market Access Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement International Operations Business International Operations Finance Product Supply R&D Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control Graduate Programme R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (0) comments

Creating a video to accompany your traditional CV would be a great way to stand out from the crowd. So, do not fear the video, the video is your friend!

The video was actually my favourite part of the application. It really gives you a chance to put a human touch on your application package and provide more insights into what you can offer. Yes, the video can be challenging. Depending on the person, one minute can seem like either way too little or way too much time. Here are a few tips to nail your video:

Look good, feel good, play good. The quality of the video isn’t tied to just that one minute in front of the camera – it also matters how you prepare. Clean up and rest up so that you feel at your best! Like I said, your video can show things about yourself that can’t be captured on a cover letter and CV!

Don’t repeat yourself. This helps us make sure you’re not a robot. Try not to repeat exactly what can be read from your cover letter and CV for the whole minute. Sure you can refer to a couple of relevant aspects, but make sure to tie them to yourself as a person. For example, I spoke more about my experience moving from Canada to the US and how it sparked my interest in the way the relationship between the public and private sectors impact patient access to treatment (personal), ultimately pushing me to study Public Policy & Global Health (on CV).

The most repetitive advice of the day – be YOU. It really doesn’t get simpler than this. Make sure to reflect on who you are as a person – what makes you a unique fit for Novo Nordisk, specifically – and show it in your video. A sense of authenticity can definitely be captured over a video, so make sure to show that.

These tips should set you well on your way to making a video that George Lucas would be proud of! If you are still on the stage of your cover letter, check out some advice from Albert here.

The deadline is Feb 12th for most programmes, so get applying!

All the best,

Brandon

"Don't make the same mistake that I did, Luke."

“Don’t make the same mistake I did, Luke” said the robot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 3 people. Average 4.7 of 5)

Possible concerns and Why they should not hold you back – IO Programs 3 days to go!

Category: International Operations Business International Operations Finance | (0) comments
Hello! Are you still contemplating whether to apply for the graduate programme(s)? Are you searching your soul for some motivations?

Three days left before application closes for the International Operations Finance programme; be quick! If I may, let me address some common concerns I have seen among graduate hopefuls, and share with you why these should definitely not hold you back from submitting your confident applications, at all!

Concern #1. I do not have experience with the health care industry.

No worries! Previous experience with pharmaceutical industry is not a qualification required for IO Finance graduate programme. For me, Novo Nordisk is the first pharmaceutical company that I work for, and I have seen my fellow graduates come from a variety of industries and different financial backgrounds before joining the company.

So in case you are concerned about lack of experience with pharma industry, do not let this hold you back from recording your most confident video! Learning about the challenges of pharma world when you are at Novo Nordisk will be a rewarding experience.

Concern #2. Before I start as a graduate, I do not know the exact assignments for my future rotations.

You may read more on the programme description page for some ideas about the locations. And yes, it is true that the graduate programme has some uncertainty about where a graduate would go for future rotations, and what projects or tasks would be assigned to the graduate. It also ensues that, as a graduate, there are many challenges to face when you start each rotation, due to the organizational changes, the cultural differences, or the working language in English, etc.

Make no mistake though, is it not what makes the graduate program even more interesting?

As a graduate, the challenges that you will face, you may love or hate it, but either way you can grow and develop yourself. The Graduate programme adds value to you, not only because of the technicalities of the job, but also because of the changing environments, hence the push for you to get outside your comfort zone and to adapt to differences (while still maintaining superb performance!).

If you feel concerned, no worries it is just natural. To share with you, frankly, I do not like surprises myself; I simply like to learn from them as much as I can, for at the end of the day it is the uncertainties in the journey that makes it all worthwhile. Let’s feel less concerned and more eager! The skills to adapt to and perform effectively under changing circumstances are the skills that will stay with you in the long term and benefit you in a future come what may.

So what are you waiting for? Apply away. Show your open mind and eagerness to rise up to (unexpected) challenges! Be the one the graduate programme is after!

Concern #3. As a graduate starting in an affiliate office faraway from other graduates, how do I get connection and support from the graduate network?

This is a common question, owing to the fact that one difference between the International Operations (IO/AAMEO) Finance Graduate Programme and several other the Global Programmes is that IO graduates start their first rotation in the Novo Nordisk office located in their respective home countries, instead of at the headquarter.

But if you are concerned about lack of interactions with the graduate community due to distance, worry not! I am half way through my first rotation now in Vietnam and I can attest to the fact that as a graduate here I do not feel disconnected at all from the graduate network. As part of the IO Finance Graduate Programme, I enjoy the opportunity to take part in regular online department meetings with IO finance graduates located across different continents. In these talks everyone can discuss important updates about the program and share his or her experience on the job. The support is there for you, definitely.

I learn significantly from fellow graduates in many ways. As soon as I started the programme, experienced fellow graduates warmly welcomed and sent new graduates a binder full of helpful information. Or recently in January, we had a talk joined by colleagues who have finished their graduate programs in prior years, learning a good insight into how to make the best out of the opportunities we have as graduates, right from the experienced graduate alumni themselves!

One more thing I thought you should know about Novo Nordisk culture: online talk conference is a very common way for employees located in different countries to get in touch. Have something to discuss? You reach out and book your colleague’s calendar! It is that simple. You definitely do not need to work at an area level office to feel connected and get assistance. Your colleagues here (not only graduates!) are supportive and helpful; it is the Novo Nordisk culture.

Feel assured yet? Check out the International Operations Programmes and Apply!

Three days left! Go go go!

Binh

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 2 people. Average 5.0 of 5)

Déjà vu! Giving Your Application a Purpose and a Voice

Category: Business Processes Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement International Operations Business International Operations Finance People & Organization Product Supply R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs Uncategorized | (3) comments

Are you having that weird feeling between excitement and dread that accompanies an application process to that prestigious programme you have been eyeing for some time now? Are you incessantly searching for some quick tips to make your application standout from the rest? Will you be eagerly checking your e-mails from time to time for some communication from the programme post application process – yes, even the “automated system generated” responses? If all these are true to an extent, then I can draw two conclusions – (a) You are super excited about this job; (b) The emotions look all familiar to me in hindsight and I can help you here;

Back in early 2015, I have gone through this gamut of emotions, and I realise today that most of them stemmed from uncertainty and my apprehensions about the role and workplace that I am getting into. Through this post I will share with one of the key ingredients that you could be missing out while you are preparing and working on your CV, Cover Letter and the Video. This ingredient, or its lack thereof, may well impact the quality of all the three (i.e. your CV, Cover Letter and the Video). Remember that these three uploads, will essentially represent you and all that you stand for in the first round. Hence it is important to pay heed to the content of your application. In all these three, you should project what you stand for and why you want to join Novo Nordisk. So how do you bring this element of purpose and give your application a voice?

Your step by step guide to researching a company throughout your application process

Step 1: Know the company and what they are looking for in you?

NN LogosThe best way to convince yourself that you know the company well is to be able to articulate what makes it special compared to its competitors. And yes, a little bit of its history. The good news? Companies will often tell you the answer to this question right on their websites. Do figure out the vision of the company and try answering how your experience could contribute to that effect or where you could possibly fit in the scheme of things. The “About Us” section is good place to start this research. Based on the programme you are applying, you should have a clear train of thought as to how this programme will essentially help you develop and enable you to contribute to the company’s success. And the best place to showcase this understanding of yours is in your cover letter and of course in your short video.

Step 2: Know the company’s sustainability

The new generation workforce is fast starting to realise that a company’s financial performance is not the only thing that will make them attractive but whether a company is viable and sustainable over a longer time frame. And how to know thTBLis? Social consciousness is becoming a critical aspect of today’s organisations, driven by an expectation of environmental responsibility in addition to the financial one. Think triple bottom line; people, planet, profit. For example, Novo Nordisk seeks to broaden the focus on the financial bottom line by its business to include social and environmental responsibilities. What do you think of this? Be prepared.

Step 3: Observe and participate in Community Interactions

In this era of social media, community interaction is an essential source of knowledge. Blog sites as these, Company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter profiles – are just few prominent ones to follow the updates on. This will give you a lot of confidence when you are applying and even during the post application – pre-interview phase.

Step 4: Learn about the Company Culture

Understanding the corporate culture you are getting into will go a long way in identifying yourself with the organisation. As a student we often look at how strong a company’s financials are and how big a brand it has. There can be absolutely no doubt as to how strong the brand of Novo Nordisk is and its strong financials are a testimony to the positive market sentiments around it. But there is one more thing I have realized as an insider that makes Novo Nordisk an organisation with a truly “sustainable competitive advantage”: The Novo Nordisk culture! It mainly manifests itself in the form of an internal governance framework that reflects the ambition of the company, the direction of the company and the values and behaviours that the employees have to exhibit throughout the organisation. We call it the Novo Nordisk Way. It is good to know a little bit about it while you are applying. Graduate blogs and stories are another great way to feel this culture.

Step 5: Read Up on the Field and Competitors

Last but not the least; don’t forget to understand the business the company is in. For example, Novo Nordisk is the world leader in Diabetes Care. When it comes to the competitors, look up competitors by going to the LinkedIn company page and scrolling down to the “Other Companies People Viewed” section. There should be a few competitors there. Do the same thing with the competitors you find until you have a pretty good sense of who the big players in the field are. These are very simple ways to prepare and feel confident about your preparation.

After all this research, you’ll probably be deliberating, “So, what do I do with all this information?” Remember that your objective is to convince that you truly want to be a part of this company. Merely expressing enthusiasm will not be enough and you need to corroborate the same with your knowledge. Once you are aware of these, you will be better poised to give the final touches to your application and your sense of purpose will be stronger than many in the same race.

If you would like to know more about the graduate programmes on offer, please visit the link below: More on the Graduate Programmes

Wish you the very best!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 14 people. Average 4.9 of 5)

If there’s one word to describe our experience…

Category: International Operations Business | (0) comments

One of the most amazing things that can happen during the graduate programme is that you get to grow your network exponentially. You get to meet colleagues from all over the world, especially on your 2nd rotation.

In the International Operations Business Programme 2015 batch, there’s a Mexican (Guillermo), Brazilian (Joao), Colombian (Julianna), Bangladeshi (Saifur), Iranian (Navid), Vietnamese (Anh), Kenyan (Christine), Egyptian (Yasminah), Indonesian (Yudha), Russian (Nikita) and Philippines (me!). For our 2nd rotation in Denmark, we lived close to each other and we would have gatherings where we would share our national dishes, conutry’s tourist spots, cultural norms, and traditional dances. (In my case however, I’m embarassed to say that I don’t know any Philippine dances so I taught them “the Nae Nae” – and yes, I learned that while doing my masters in the United States and I can dance that very well too). We surely had a lot of fun in Copenhagen and those memories will last us a lifetime.

As we start our final rotations, I emailed each one of them to share their new office views and I asked them to describe their graduate experience in one word. For part 1, I will be featuring Anh (Vietnamese), Julianna(Colombian), Nikita (Russian), Yasminah (Egyptian), and also myself;

 

AVDY

 

 

“I am Andy/Anh from Vietnam. I am currently in Tehran, Iran.

If there’s one word to describe my experience with the graduate program, it would be ‘unforgettable‘ (memories with friends and prestigious knowledge acquired).”

 

 

 

JRPC

 

 

“Hello! I am Juliana from Colombia. I am currently in Bagsværd, Denmark.

If there’s one word to describe my experience, it would be rEVOLUTIONary”

 

 

 

 

 

Nikita

 

 

“Hello, I am Nikita from Russia. I am currently in Santiago, Chile.

If there’s one word to describe my experience, it would be ‘amazing‘”

 

 

 

 

 

YSES

 

“Hello, I am Yasminah from Egypt. I am currently in Manila, Philippines.

If there is one word to describe my experience, it would be ‘enriching‘.

 

 

 

 

 

PVIA

And this is my current view, I am currently in Bogota, Colombia.

If there is one word to describe my experience, it would be “fantastic

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned, I’ll be posting part 2 in a few days from my colleagues in Kenya, Thailand, Dubai, Mexico, and South Africa.

Also, here’s a tip from my personal experience and from what I have learned in business school. When I wanted to learn more about the International Operations Business Programme 2 years ago, I invited the Malaysian graduate, who was in the Philippines for his 3rd rotation, for a dinner meeting and coffee. Talking to him in person was much better than exchanging emails. Plus, he was more open to answering my questions.

Good luck!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 4 people. Average 5.0 of 5)

Mornings at Kobenhavn Lufthavn (Copenhagen Airport)

Category: International Operations Business | (4) comments

Monday, it’s 4:30 AM and my alarm goes off. It’s one of those mornings when I needed to fly to one of the affiliates in Europe for a project meeting. I got out of bed quickly, did my morning routine, called the cab, and set off for the airport.

Transportation in Denmark is very convenient and dependable (compared to Philippine standards). I got to the airport precisely at 5:30 am and went directly to the security check. Right after the security screening, I got a cart and as I looked back, lo and behold, it was the 2-time Harvard Best Performing CEO of the World: Novo Nordisk’s very own Lars Rabien Sørensen. He was alone and without any assistants or bodyguards tailing him. Coming from a country which was proudly (and embarrassingly) awarded Selfie Capital of the World by the Time Magazine in 2014 (http://time.com/selfies-cities-world-rankings/), it was an opportunity of a lifetime, burn to the ashes or rise like Pheonix!

I stopped and waited for him, thinking about what to say and contemplating if I should take a selfie with him or not. It was 5:45 AM and as he was approaching, I finally had the courage to say hello and I briefly introduced myself. We exchanged pleasantries, I asked him where he was going and he also asked me where I was going. As we parted ways and went to our respective gates, we wished each other a safe flight and said goodbye.

Certainly, it was one of the most memorable experiences I had while working in the Global Headquarters in Denmark because it demonstrated to me a working culture that has a flat structure in contrast to the Philippines’ working culture. In the Philippines, it was very rare to talk to bosses unless spoken to, especially western foreign bosses. It’s a sad reality coming from a culture with more than 450 years of being under foreign rule (400 years – Spain, 50 years – United States) although I must say that there has been a significant shift in the last couple of years. Also, local bosses in the Philippines tend to think too highly of themselves which is not very conducive for collaboration. That’s what I found interesting in Denmark, you can simply say hello to everyone, even the big bosses. I even rode the same public transportation with some Corporate Vice Presidents, Directors, and Senior Global Managers, and etc. The office layout is very open and you can get seated and learn beside these amazing people. If you don’t know anything and you have questions, you can simply ask and book a meeting room. Everyone is pretty much approachable and this trait is very important for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Indeed, working in Denmark is one of the best experiences I’ll ever have. It’s not my ambition to work there again any time soon as I know that I have a long way to go in terms of front-line experience and local and regional market execution. My ambition is to go up the ranks first locally and hopefully the International Operations Graduate Programme will have provided me with this opportunity for the future, by going back to the Philippines with a global experience after this rotation.

Now you may be wondering if I took a selfie with our then-CEO or not, the answer is no. Considering all factors; 5:45 AM, Monday, assumingly without breakfast and coffee, I didn’t want to be that annoying person. I took the higher ground and presented my professional-self to the biggest boss of the company. In that brief moment, I was very humbled.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
(Rated by 3 people. Average 5.0 of 5)