Product Supply

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Are you ready for a cultural challenge?

Category: Product Supply | (0) comments

こんにちは(Ko-n-ni-chi-wa)from Japan!

If you had asked me two years ago, then I would never have had imagined that I would be living and working in Japan. But here I am, four months of my second rotation have passed in the blink of an eye and it has been the biggest challenge for me in my professional career. Entering the graduate programme of Product Supply I knew that my second rotation would be at one of our production sites around the world. My great colleagues in the Product Supply programme are currently on rotation in the US, France, Iran and Denmark. Usually the second rotation in the Product Supply programme is at our sites in the US, France, Brazil, China and Denmark, but this year we have graduates in both Iran and Japan.

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A picture from a fishing trip with my colleagues

So how do you prepare for working abroad? What I did was that I started attending Japanese classes every Monday evening. I quickly discovered that Japanese would be a difficult language to learn, but more importantly, that the cultural differences between Denmark and Japan were bigger than I had anticipated (or least that was what the textbook said). This was further strengthened by the cultural awareness course that my colleagues and I attended before embarking on our second rotation journey. When comparing the two countries on different cultural dimensions you would usually find Denmark at one end and Japan on the far other end. With an increased cultural awareness and tools to tackle cultural differences I moved to Japan in May to begin my second rotation at Koriyama factory as the only foreign employee. Having worked here in Japan for four months now, I can confirm that some of these cultural differences exist. Exchanging business cards using both hands, bowing instead of shaking hands, swapping out the knife and fork with chopsticks and being addressed as Jacob-san are all natural to me now and part of my everyday life here in Japan. There have of course also been cultural challenges, which from time to time have been frustrating. Eventually you learn to tackle or accept these challenges either by changing your behaviour or by understanding the why. So have a changed the way I work? No. For me it has been important to be myself even more, exposing my Japanese colleagues to Danish culture at first hand on a day to day basis. In the end working with different cultures comes down to a matter of understanding and having respect for other people’s way of work. You might wonder; so how big is the cultural difference between Denmark and Japan? In my experience it is smaller than I expected. The global mind-set and values of Novo Nordisk are key reasons to why the cultural gap is smaller than that described in the textbooks. It is fantastic to see that the values that Novo Nordisk emphasizes in Denmark also are finding their way to a packaging site in the country site of Japan. To give a real life example, my good colleague had a single day off in three years (to go the interview at Novo Nordisk) before joining Novo Nordisk in Japan. Now he has just returned from two weeks of vacation. As I see it, it is not a Japanese packaging site in Novo Nordisk, but a Novo Nordisk packaging site in Japan. Living in Denmark I knew that I wanted to work for Novo Nordisk. Had I lived in Japan, Novo Nordisk would still be my first choice.

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So if you are looking for a unique cultural challenge at first hand, then the Product Supply Graduate Programme is a good place to start. Unfortunately the Product Supply Graduate Programme will not be open for applications next year, but fortunately for you there are a lot of other graduate programmes in Novo Nordisk that offers the same cultural experience.


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Calling all master’s students!

Category: Business Processes European Finance Global & European Market Access Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement People & Organization Product Supply R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (41) comments

As I wrote in one of my previous graduate blog posts, the graduate programme is not the only option for a life-changing career in Novo Nordisk! If you are studying for a master’s degree and are eager to get started with your career, I can highly recommend applying for one of Novo Nordisk’s more than 100 internships. An internship can be a great way to test your skills and knowledge, but also an opportunity to develop and challenge yourself.

I started my Novo Nordisk career as an intern in the Cities Changing Diabetes team last year, and found that it was a good chance to figure out whether working in Novo Nordisk was something for me. Novo Nordisk takes its interns seriously, and you will have the opportunity to contribute on equal terms, so be ready for a challenge. My six months as an intern was a true learning experience and I had the chance to both use the skills I had achieved from university, but to a large extent also develop new and different capabilities that I could never have gotten from studying. In my case, coming from a public health background, increasing my business understanding was a key learning. I can highly recommend spending six months on an internship at Novo Nordisk, if you want to get a feeling of how it is to work in one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

However, you only get something out of an internship if you put some effort in it. To get the most out of your stay, here four tips for maximising the benefit of your internship:

  1. Have a clear goal: Before you start your internship it is important that you consider what you actually want to get out of it. What would you like to learn and what are your expectations? It is also a good idea to think about where you can contribute to the company!
  2. Be curious: To learn as much as possible, you have to be motivated and curious of what is going on – ask questions, participate in as many different meetings as possible and reach out to people.
  3. It is okay to make mistakes: An internship is a learning journey and no one expects that you can deliver from day 1, which also means that you have to be open to and ask for feedback during your stay.
  4. Be social: Make sure that you talk to all the interesting people you meet and network as much as possible. Participate whenever there is a social event and see it as an opportunity to get to know people who might be able to help you later on in your career.

Novo Nordisk offers around 100 internship positions in all areas of the business, ranging from marketing, finance & economics, research & development, engineering and IT. The internships vary in length (from 4-6 months) and scope but are all designed to give master’s students a valuable learning experience. The application period for the majority of the fall internship positions is from now to 14 May 2017.

See all the internships positions right here and read more about internships in Novo Nordisk here.

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Time to apply – who are we looking for?

Category: Business Processes European Finance Global & European Market Access Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement Product Supply R&D Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control Graduate Programme R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (30) comments

The deadline for applying for one of the graduate programmes is closing in – you have to send in your application here no later than 12 February 2017. I can imagine that many of you who are considering applying for one of the graduate programmes have thoughts about what type of people Novo Nordisk is looking for. So to clarify this, I will briefly go through the formal qualifications needed to apply, but also the profile and characteristics we hope to find and how you can implement this in your application.

Formal qualifications needed to apply:

  • A Master’s degree from 2016 or 2017 in a relevant field (depending on which programme you apply for, but it could be economics, international business, public health, marketing or similar).
  • Above average academic achievements.
  • A minimum of 6 months of relevant work experience or extracurricular activities.
  • International experience from working, studying or volunteering.
  • Professional fluency in English.
  • The right mind-set with a can-do attitude, high ambitions and excellent interpersonal skills.

The graduate profile we are looking for is characterised by being:

  • Driven – You have to know why you want to work for Novo Nordisk and why you want to be part of the graduate programme.
  • A team player – You should be able to work well in teams and have a humble attitude. Great work is not done by one person alone, but in a team, so we expect you to have a team player mind-set.
  • Proactive – You have to be ready to take initiative and show enthusiasm. We need people who are proactive and not sitting around waiting for someone else to do something.
  • Ready for change – You will be put through three different rotations (read more about the rotations in European Market Access here), so we want someone who can adapt and enjoys change.
  • Result oriented – You have to be able to deliver results and be a high achiever. We are looking for talents who knows what they want and who can deliver great results.

A good way of demonstrating that you possess these characteristics is by giving concrete examples! This applies to both your cover letter, but also in interviews. Examples are great because your previous behaviour in job situations is the best indicator of your future behaviour. The examples shouldn’t be too long, so don’t explain all the details. Instead you should emphasize your role, who was involved and what the results were. And most importantly – what did you learn from it? Remember that the best example may not necessarily be one where you achieved the best result, but where you played a major role and your great competencies were expressed clearly. If you are lucky, it might be the same example.

So, use examples in your online application (including the 1-minute video) to show who you are and why Novo Nordisk should hire you for a graduate position. Read other good tips and tricks for the application process here and here. I wish you the best of luck with your application and feel free to leave a comment or a question below!

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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,


"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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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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What do you do?

Category: Product Supply | (0) comments

Dear online friends and possible applicants

I am often asked the question: “What do you do?”. Working in Product Supply people often assume that I am working in the production flow, but this is not always a correct assumption. I would therefore like to tell you about my first rotation in Product Supply and what it is that I actually do.

Costa del Kalundborg – My first rotation
It might sound as an exotic city by the coast of Spain, but in reality Kalundborg is the name of a city (and municipality) in Denmark. The “Costa del” part is just a funny nickname for the city because supposedly it is one of the cities in Denmark with the most hours of sun. Whether that is true of false, I really cannot tell. The site where I am working at is situated in Kalundborg and the factory that I am working in is called Purification Plants. If I am in a factory, does that entail that I am working in the production? Yes and no! “Yes” because I am working in a support function to the production called Business Support and “no” because I am not physically working in the process flow of the production. Some of my fellow graduates in Product Supply are working with projects in the production flow and the plan is that I will be doing this on my 2. or 3. rotation. The job of my current department is to support the production with the handling of documentation, logistics, IT-support, investment projects and a long list of other things. I am part of the management team in Business Support, so I experience and touch upon leadership problems on a regular basis.

What do you do?
My first rotation here in Business Support has mainly been project based. From day one I have been assisting a project manager with a construction project, rebuilding the process rooms in one of our factories. My main task here has been to create transparency in the cost aspect of rebuilding the rooms. I have done this by reviewing the weekly reports from our vendor and by having regular meetings with our external vendor on the project.

The other project that I have been part of from the start has been an IT-/change management project concerning the discontinuation of an IT-system used in the factory and across Novo Nordisk. The scope of this project is to completely discontinue the system and to move the processes elsewhere. My starting role here has also been to assist the project manager in project management related tasks. The tasks have been everything from workshops, meetings with users and data-driven analysis. The scope of the project was to discontinue parts of the system, so meanwhile this project has been running I have been responsible for identifying the next steps in the project to completely discontinue the system. In this process I have been in charge of managing the relation to the external vendor and to identify whether or not their solution fulfilled our requirements. This week I presented my idea to the top management here in Kalundborg (they approved the idea) and I am now the project manager for the rest of the discontinuation across the factories here in Kalundborg.

Is it all about project management?
You might now wonder if all my tasks are related to managing projects? No! An example is that after two months in my first rotation I was asked by one the team leaders if I would like to facilitate a team development day for her team. Without knowing what that actually entailed I jumped right into it. I believe that in order to develop yourself, you must be able to push yourself into new things that you not necessarily have tried before. This is something that you should be ready for as a future graduate in either one of the graduate programmes. The task of making a team development plan is basically to facilitate a workshop with the team members and to help them decide upon a plan that develops the team given the challenges that they identify. To give you something to look forward to, I will wait to tell you whether or not I succeeded in developing a plan with the team members! What I can tell you, is that the answer is not a crystal clear “yes” :).

I hope that you got a sense of what kind of tasks you can bump into as a graduate here in Novo Nordisk. I am of course writing from the perspective of Product Supply, but if you would like to know what they do at other programmes please browse around the blog. Francesca from the Global Business Programme recently posted a blog post about what they do at her programme and Albert (from the same programme) posted about a typical week as a graduate.

Remember that the application process is now open. For a quick overview of all the programmes please follow this link.

Good luck in your application process and you are very welcome to ask me for any tips & tricks concerning your application (and video recording).


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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!


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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Product Supply – The manufacturing part of Novo Nordisk

Category: Product Supply | (0) comments

Hello everyone and welcome to my first blog post as a Product Supply graduate!

I remember the first time I visited this blog myself. I was determined that I would apply for a graduate programme at Novo Nordisk (Product Supply of course) and I expected that the blog would give me an opportunity to tap into what it is really like to be a graduate here in Novo Nordisk. Did the blog live up to my expectations back then? Yes!
I remember that the blog helped me identifying what kind of tasks you will be given as a graduate and what kind of challenges you will face. My future blog posts will therefore focus on giving you insights from my life as a graduate and hopefully inspire you to apply for the graduate programme in the near future.

You will have to wait…
Before you read the rest of my post (or stop here) I would like to highlight that the Product Supply programme unfortunately will not be hiring next year (2017). So, why should you even bother reading my blog posts? Well, first of all Novo Nordisk offers a broad range of different graduate programmes besides Product Supply and secondly I
have been in the exact same position as you before I decided to apply for a graduate programme in Novo Nordisk. I therefore hope that my posts will help clarifying questions that you may have about the graduate programme. Furthermore, Product Supply is expected to be hiring in 2018.

What is Product Supply?
The short answer to this question is: The manufacturing part of Novo Nordisk. Product Supply is truly global with production sites around the world. This is also reflected in the Product Supply graduate team from this year. This year we are four from Denmark, one from Germany, one from Brazil, one from France and two from USA. We are all assigned to very different projects, ranging from (but not limited to) change management-, optimization- and development projects within manufacturing. The programme consists of three rotations, 1st rotation in the country you applied for (in my case Denmark), 2nd rotation at a production site in a foreign country and 3rd rotation back home.

Who am I?
I am Jacob and I am Danish. I finished my master’s degree in Supply Chain Management at Copenhagen Business School this summer. My studies included a semester abroad at the University of California, San Diego where I had the opportunity to study Operations Management, but at least as important, practicing my surfing skills. I am not completely new to the company, as I have been working as a student assistant for Novo Nordisk from 2014-2015 in the department called Sourcing Warehousing Support. Between being a student at Novo Nordisk and being a graduate I worked as Business Analyst in a consulting company here in Copenhagen. On a more personal level I enjoy cooking, playing soccer and climbing/bouldering.

What will the future bring?
If I knew that, I would probably be famous. But, what I know is that in my future blog posts, I will do my best to answer the following questions:

  • What kind of tasks do you have as a graduate
  • What the work-life-balance is as a graduate
  • What leadership capabilities will you learn and how
  • What kind of responsibility will you be given

See you around!

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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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Working in a Foreign Production Site

Category: Product Supply | (13) comments

Dear all,

Working in a new culture is always an exciting journey.

The Danish Product Supply Graduates of 2014 just ended their second rotation in one of Novo Nordisk’s global production sites and would like to share their experience.

Below some insights into how your future rotation abroad could look like. We hope you enjoy it.


IMPORTANT: If you still need some more inspiration on how to write the perfect application: please see Christina’s “Last Minute Application Tips”


Christina Jessen (Danish): New Hampshire, USA

In 2014, Novo Nordisk bought a new production site in New Hampshire, USA. This is where I have spent my 2nd rotation – and what a place. I have helped set up our supply chain, worked with production teams to set up new processes, and I have rolled out LEAN production tools.

Best of all, I now know some amazing people, who introduced me to American culture, e.g. always ask how people are doing (even if you can’t stay to hear the answer), explore the great outdoors by going hiking, kayaking, or paddle boarding (it’s the New England way), and go cheer for the local college sports teams.

Carmine Petrone (Italian): Clayton, USA

I spent my second rotation in Site Clayton, a small city 20 miles south of Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, USA. My main project consisted in a quality assessment for a production process related to Flex Touch pens, where I had the opportunity to lead the test execution on the shop floor. Above all the positive aspects of this experience, I loved the energy everyone in Clayton put in doing their job and the willingness to always improve the way we work in Novo Nordisk!

North Carolina is a great place where to experience the southern American culture and, thanks to high jobs demand in Raleigh area, is now becoming a preferred place where a lot of young professionals move.

Giulia Schivardi (Italian): Chartres, France

During my period in site Chartres I worked mainly on a capacity optimization project. I was asked to conduct a study to evaluate how we could increase capacity in our cold storage. I brought forward two ideas. One possibility was to modify the layout of the storage to allow a better utilization of the space. The second option was instead changing the way we stored a particular type of good. After studying the options in details I presented them to management and we decide to bring forward the second one.

When working in Chartres I had the opportunity to live in Paris, a city that I learnt to discover and with which I literally felt in love. But this we can say it is the “obvious” part as almost everyone loves Paris. What I enjoyed the most of my period has been to learn so much about a new country which such a great culture and history. And especially to get to know new friends both in Chartres and in Paris with which I am sure we will keep in touch.

Henriette Koch (Danish): Chartres, France

In the past 8 months I worked at our production site in Chartres, France, where I was part of the QC laboratory management team and carried out a diversity of projects e.g. capacity analysis, aligning different departments to improve the flow of analysis and supporting the operational teams implementing LEAN tools. It was challenging but also a great experience to drive improvements in a different culture.

Chartres is 80 SV of Paris and close to many regions famous for food/wine and a lot of weekends were spend on exploring France.

Deborah Wolf (German): Montes Claros, Brazil

In my second rotation I got the chance to support the Procurement department of our Brazilian production site. During the 8 month I was working on a standardisation and centralisation project in Procurement to ensure compliance across the site. Especially the high level of LEAN and the Brazilian “Just-Do” attitude towards change and continuous improvement really impressed me.

TakeAction, Novo Nordisk’s global employee volunteer programme, is strongly established  in Montes Claros and it was a great pleasure to participate during my stay e.g. by raising awareness about the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle. Not to mention the beautiful country with its warm and welcoming culture, its breath-taking nature and its great food – simply a great place to live/work!

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