International Operations Finance

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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 | (2) 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

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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!!!

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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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!

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About the International Operations Finance Graduate Program

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

Hello!

I am Binh and I come from Vietnam. I became a graduate in Novo Nordisk International Operations (AAMEO) Finance Graduate Program in September 2016. This is my first graduate blog post. Nice to meet you!

As you are reading this, you probably are interested in Novo Nordisk and the promise of a challenging and rewarding two-year adventure called Novo Nordisk’s Graduate Programme. Does that sound intriguing to you? Let read on and find out what you can expect when joining the International Operations (AAMEO) Finance Graduate Programme.

  • What is in the name?
  • The AAMEO Finance Graduate Programme is your opportunity to engage in Novo Nordisk’s finance organization that covers Africa, Asia, Middle East & Oceania. AMMEO region includes 110 countries with many emerging and developing markets, which promises a diverse and challenging environment for all ambitious prospective finance graduates out there!

    Now, if you are interested, let imagine yourself in the shoes of a graduate and see what is ahead of you:

  • What is in the program?
    • Your Rotations:

    As an AAMEO Finance Graduate, you will work in three different countries in 2 years – 8 months for each rotation. You spend one rotation in your home country office and two others in one of the business area headquarters, the region AAMEO headquarters in Dubai, UAE, or the corporate headquarters in Denmark.

    As a result, you have opportunities to get exposed to different cultures and working styles, collaborate with multi-cultural colleagues, learn from diverse perspectives and gain a more global understanding of the industry in general and the finance operations in particular.

    • Your Tasks:

    As a graduate, you will take on a variety of tasks to enhance different key finance competencies. More specifically, you can develop skills in finance planning and analysis, finance control and reporting, as well as project management. When you relocate outside your home office, you can have the opportunity to explore the specialist areas including but not limited to corporate tax, corporate accounting, treasury, or internal audit.

    As a result, you are able to develop a diverse technical skillset, pursue different finance interests and challenge yourself in different finance areas.

    • Your Graduate Network:

    The AAMEO Finance Graduate programme itself can be seen as a close-knit family of graduates. Even though you may not work directly with other AAMEO finance graduates in the same location, you have opportunities to engage in scheduled Graduate department meetings and Experience sharing sessions, share and listen to stories and challenges of fellow graduates who are located across different continents and time zones. In addition, through the finance graduate training, you can also get connected to the very nice folks who are part of the Global Finance graduate programme and European Finance graduate programme. This graduate network is an exclusive perk of the graduate programme and presents a very nice addition to the international network of colleagues that you build yourself through work in each of your rotation.

    That is all for now! I will be back soon with another post. In the meantime, visit this page to find out more about the programme and our recruiting locations this year, and if you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out!

    Binh

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    Is a graduate position the only option?

    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 | (14) comments

    The answer to that question, is of course no! There are many ways to kick-start your career in Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk is a global leader within diabetes care, and to continue our business success we need to attract young, qualified people, including students and recently graduated talents. In this blog post, I will take you through some of the many opportunities within Novo Nordisk. Below you will find three sections, based on your graduation timeframe, which will make it easier for you to find the most relevant information. As I imagine that a lot of you reading this blog are students, I will focus a little extra on the student opportunities in Novo Nordisk and base it on my own experience back when I was a Public Health student.

     

    Graduated in 2016 or 2017? Apply for a graduate position!

    If you graduated in 2016 or will graduate this year, you can apply for a graduate position. As you probably already know, the Novo Nordisk graduate programme is a talent programme for recently graduated master students. In 2017 we offer 30 global graduate positions within Research & Development, Finance & Procurement, and Marketing, Business & HR. Within these three categories, you can choose between 11 different programmes, including both a Global and a European market access track. As I wrote in my last blog post, I am part of the European Market Access programme, which is a new programme covering an extremely exciting area of the business. The market access environment is becoming increasingly challenging and therefore it will become more and more important.

    You can read a lot more about the graduate programmes in the posts on this blog or find more information on the website here. Apply from 20 January 2017 until 12 February 2017 by completing the online application and by providing a 1-minute video of yourself explaining why you are the ideal candidate for the position. Keep an eye out for blog posts in the near future touching upon the application process or read some of the older posts, like this one or this one.

     

    Graduated in 2015 or earlier? Apply for a full-time position!

    A graduate position is a unique and amazing opportunity, but it is not the only way to get your life-changing career going. Novo Nordisk is a big and successful company with more than 40,000 employees in over 75 countries. So, naturally a lot of interesting positions are available within various areas. Novo Nordisk believes in making a difference to both patients and society, but we also believe that it is crucial to grow and develop employees in order to make such a difference. Therefore, by joining Novo Nordisk – in any full-time position – you will experience a strong focus on personal and professional development. For example, you might encounter the talent and leadership development programme, and you will definitely come across the individual development plan, which includes both short-term and long-term goals for your career. So, if you don’t see a track in the graduate programmes that speaks to your professional interest or if you are graduating outside of the timeframe, there are still plenty of exciting job opportunities! You can see all available positions here and sign up for the email job agent here.

     

    Don’t have a master degree yet? Apply for one the many student opportunities!

    If you are a student and will graduate in 2018 or later, you still have the possibility to get to know Novo Nordisk better. Novo Nordisk is very interested in getting to know the talents of tomorrow, including students taking the first step on their career path. For that reason, Novo Nordisk offers internships, student assistant jobs and even has a yearly case competition called Innovation in Action. While I was a Public Health student, I participated in the case competition and I had an Internship for six months working full-time.

    Innovation in Action is a unique opportunity to show your talent, test your problem solving skills, and network with other students and employees from Novo Nordisk, including people from top management. The case competition is an intense one-day event where students are challenged to work together and present their solution to a real and highly relevant case. The case competition is relevant for master students from all academic backgrounds, nationalities and universities. In order to be selected, you must demonstrate that you are a team-player and that you have a creative and innovative mind-set.

    I participated in Innovation in Action in the fall of 2015, where the case asked us to come up with an innovative approach to how Novo Nordisk can contribute to improving the education of healthcare professionals on obesity and on its treatment options. Participating in Innovation in Action was my first encounter with Novo Nordisk, and I was happy to confirm my positive view of the company. I had a great experience and my fantastic team even ended up winning the case competition!

    iia-2015

    Innovation in Action 2015

     

    Novo Nordisk offers a lot of different internships and they are a great way for master students to get valuable, hands-on work experience. It is an opportunity for a unique learning experience and a chance to turn theory into practice. To work as a Novo Nordisk intern, you are expected to be ambitious and willing to learn. So, if you are eager to start a life-changing career in Novo Nordisk, like I was, read more about internships here and find the available positions here.

    I started an internship in Cities Changing Diabetes and became even more excited about working for Novo Nordisk. The Cities Changing Diabetes programme is Novo Nordisk’s response to the urgent challenge caused by the dramatic rise of urban diabetes. This was the perfect match for a Public Health enthusiast like me, especially because I got to work with research and evidence generation both quantitatively and qualitatively. I learned a lot and took so many positive experiences with me into the graduate programme – I can highly recommend spending six months on an internship, if you want to get a feeling of how it is to work in one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

     

    To tie a bow on my student experiences with Novo Nordisk, I had the opportunity to come up with the case for Innovation in Action 2016, where the challenges with urban diabetes in Shanghai (part of the Cities Changing Diabetes programme) became the topic. Furthermore, I facilitated a Danish group and the winning group from the US, who was invited to Denmark to present to Novo Nordisk’s top management together with the winning group from Denmark. This was a great experience, having been in the students’ shoes just one year before.

     

    I hope you found this overview of the many possibilities in Novo Nordisk valuable and please reach out by writing a comment if you have any questions or comments.

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    Application Tips to those applying to become a Graduate

    Category: Business Processes European Finance Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement International Operations Business International Operations Finance Product Supply R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs US Rotational Development Program | (17) comments

    Wondering what recruitment specialists are really looking for? What you will need to get through the graduate recruitment?
    Lee Millian, a senior Talent Attraction specialist from our R&D division, has shared his application tips for future applicants! 

    Competition is intense for graduate positions in any company.  Often there are hundreds, if not thousands of applications for each position.  You need to stand out from the crowd! This is certainly no different at Novo Nordisk.

    It is a good idea to start thinking about applying early and to prepare yourself thoroughly.  In my capacity as Senior Talent Attraction Professional I am the person globally responsible for university relations for Novo Nordisk R&D. I have a number of years of experience of graduate recruitment and have looked through more graduate applications than I dare to remember.  I would like to offer my own personal tips to future applicants.  They are also tips which can be applied to any job application.

    • Read the job advertisement carefully – make sure you are fulfilling as many of the specified job requirements as possible in your application. I advise people to make a list of the skills and attributes the company is looking for.
    • Targeted and Specific – ensure every application you write is targeted towards that specific role. It is obvious to recruiters when you have just used the same general CV and cover letter.  Do not be general, but be precise.
    • Research – show in your application that you have really researched the industry, company, department and employees. The more you can show this the more recruiters can see how much you really want that specific position.  As an example, mention company projects which interest you.  Use as many sources of research as possible.  Make sure you have at the very least read the company website very carefully
    • Examples – use examples to back up statements you make. Just writing “I am good team player” is not as strong as backing it up with a specific positive example.
    • Well-structured application – make sure your application is well structured and “easy on the eye”. Remember, that your CV and cover letter are the first impressions we get of you.
    • Details – It is often the small details which count. As an example, make sure you do a spell check.
    • Exclude irrelevant points – Try not to include irrelevant points. Even if you are very proud of a particular achievement, if it is not at all relevant to the position you are applying for use the limited space more effectively.
    • Network – use your network as much as possible to answer questions you may have and give tips.
    • A second pair of eyes – I advise people to get someone they know and trust to look through their application before sending it. Another pair of eyes can see the application in a different light.
    • Passion! – try to show your passion for the industry, company, department and position. A good way for graduates to do this is by being active in relevant student societies.  Also to take part in company and industry related presentations, lectures and events.


    Hopefully the above points will help you in some way. They can not of course guarantee anyone an interview, but they will improve your chances.  Good luck and maybe I will meet or interview you in the near future!

    All the best with the application process! For more tips, advice and graduate insights read more of the blog posts full of guidance from former graduates, for e.g. this post by Nicolas on how to prepare for the interview.

     

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    People around matter!

    Category: International Operations Finance | (0) comments

    When and how do I learn the most?..

    What motivates me the most?..

    These are two different questions but I came to a conclusion that the answer to both of them for me is very similar…

    Before jumping to my recent learnings, I will take a few moments to get you up to date on my current story. My International Operations (IO) Finance Graduate Programme is getting closer and closer to an end. I have been around in different functions and levels of the organisation: in Business Area/affiliate role, in Sales regional office and headquarters collaborating with various departments on projects ranging from IT and waste management to Global Research. The content of work also varied from operational tasks and tactical process design to strategic projects and initiatives. A good palette of functions, geographies, formats of tasks and (most importantly!) people…

    My first day in Business Area Commonwealth of Independent States (BACIS) office, Moscow. During one of my first lunches with the team I was impressed to discuss not only my background and master thesis that I had just successfully defended; relatively soon we dove into discussions related to organisational development, employee motivation, behavioural economics, etc. I felt at ease to share my recent findings from HBR or Economist, ask questions about status quo in the organisation and potential areas for improvement. Collaboration with my first manager and department director ensured that I felt comfortable to ask questions, openly share my ideas and ask for feedback. These people remained an integral part of my learning journey even when I left BACIS organisation for further rotations.

    …And many many more helpful and supportive people in the Russian affiliate and BACIS office…

    My first day in internal consultancy department (Novo Nordisk Consulting). I got introduced to the department, went over a few organisational lectures and was allocated to my first project. After having quickly met my project manager, I was right away given a task to put together a few slides. The first challenge was by far not the hardest task that I was given afterwards on the projects. It was however a preview and early indication of the work rhythm and spirit in the team. From the first task onwards, my work in a new department was highly engaging and challenging; every teammate was given his or her share of responsibility and freedom to drive tasks and take the initiative. I quickly realised that my project manager is very result-oriented (as opposed to me sometimes); therefore, he inspired me to approach tasks execution as efficient and lean as possible.

    Another person who I was fortunate enough to have met during the rotation was my development manager. High requirements to quality of deliverables (including re-doing one document over and over again to reach the required standard), practical recommendations related to problem structuring, top-down communication and many other issues in question were invaluable for my personal development.

    One of the project owners was very inspiring for me as a people manager role model, a great example of how well strength-based feedback and self-development can work (how often do you reflect upon what you are really good at and celebrate success achieved due to your merits?) and in general how value-adding knowledge sharing can be…

    …And many many more motivating and astonishing people in headquarters…

    My 135th day with IO Finance and Local Manufacturing & Business Development teams (and other amazing colleagues in IO regional office). My rotation is still not over, thus I wouldn’t sum the experience up just yet as every day is so enriching in terms of self-learning and self-assessment thanks to diverse people around: crisis management, leading negotiations, self-organisation and task prioritisation, situational leadership, etc.

    I hope my remaining one month in the department and Programme would still be rich and vivid with learnings and supportive atmosphere formed by… yes, you guessed it: people around me!

    I have a short story to share:

    A mother wished to encourage her small girl’s interest in the piano, so she took her to a local concert featuring an excellent pianist. In the entrance foyer the mother met an old friend and the two stopped to talk. The little girl was keen to see inside the hall and so wandered off, unnoticed by her mother. The girl’s mother became concerned when she entered the hall and could see no sign of her daughter. The staff was notified and an announcement was made asking the audience to look out for the lost little girl. With the concert due to start, the little girl had still not been found. In preparation for the pianist’s entrance, the curtains drew aside, to reveal the little girl sitting at the great piano, focused in concentration, quietly picking out the notes of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.

    The audience’s amusement turned to curiosity when the pianist entered the stage, walked up to the little girl, and said “Keep playing.”

    The pianist sat down beside her, listened for a few seconds, and whispered some more words of encouragement. He then began quietly to play a bass accompaniment, and then a few bars later reached around the little girl to add more accompaniment. At the end of the impromptu performance the audience applauded loudly as the pianist took the little girl back to her seat to be reunited with her mother. The experience was inspirational for everyone, not least the small girl.

    …I don’t know about you but I learned that people around me matter A LOT! They can inspire and motivate, support and teach, encourage and impact choices. My hopeful and (a little) idealistic wish is to keep on learning from people around me. And keep on meeting many many more talented and impressive people along the long way ahead…

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    Be yourself at GRC – who else can you be?..

    Category: International Operations Finance | (2) comments

    The final countdown until the Graduate Recruitment Centre (GRC) is on. Hours of preparation are behind; emotions are at peak and expectations are high.

    I have a piece of advice to share (and from my perspective it is pretty important, so without further ado): Do NOT try to be anyone else but yourself! Instead, try to leverage your strengths and peculiarities to stand out and make observations whether the company/particular Graduate Programme is a good fit for you.

    Firstly, it is not easy to fool sharp and analytical people. Especially sharp and analytical people who specialise in recruitment like Novo Nordisk assessors. In general, it would be extremely challenging to consistently prove that you are someone who you are actually not.

    Secondly, it is faulty to think that there is only one way to be outstanding. Let me give you an example on group work. According to Belbin, in order to be a fully functioning – effective and efficient – team, you need to allocate nine team roles (and it is only one approach to team work). Therefore, there are numerous ways to contribute and add value in a shared task.

    You may also benefit from personality tests like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Such instruments may help you structure own understanding of yourself and be confident with who you are.

    Thirdly, ensuring the company is the right fit for YOU is pivotal. The situation is a classical demand-supply problem: given N amount of Graduate positions, there are X amount of candidates in the pool to choose from. However, it is also correct the other way around: given Y job opportunities to choose from you can start only from one option. Therefore, use GRC as a platform to communicate with current graduates, alumni and potential colleagues to find out whether Novo Nordisk is indeed your fit.

    10…. 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1

    Best of luck!
    Katya

    The Jay and the Peacock

    A Jay venturing into a yard where Peacocks used to walk, found there a number of feathers which had fallen from the Peacocks when they were moulting. He tied them all to his tail and strutted down towards the Peacocks. When he came near them they soon discovered the cheat, and striding up to him pecked at him and plucked away his borrowed plumes. So the Jay could do no better than go back to the other Jays, who had watched his behaviour from a distance; but they were equally annoyed with him, and told him:

    It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.

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