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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,

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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How could the three rotations in European Market Access look like?

Category: Global & European Market Access | (0) comments

Just like many of the other graduate programmes the European Market Access track has three rotations of 8 months each. During these three different rotations you will experience the many ways Novo Nordisk ensures patients access to our innovative products in Europe. Below I have tried to elaborate on what the three rotations might look like and what type of work you would be exposed to.

The first rotation: The European Regional office in Denmark The European regional office acts as the intermediary between Global Market Access strategy and local implementation in the affiliates around the world. The office has up until recently been located in Zurich, but is now located in Ørestaden, Denmark together with the Danish affiliate and the business area covering ‘Europe North & Central’. In this rotation you will support both headquarter and affiliates optimising activities. Therefore you will get an introduction to working in Market Access that covers both the more strategic work done in headquarter and the more hands-on work done in affiliates. This will provide you with an overview of the many aspects of market access and public affairs!

The second rotation: A European affiliate or business area (BA) This rotation is where you get to go abroad (naturally within Europe) and gain a lot of international experience while building a network! The work done in affiliates and BA’s is more focused on local strategies and the execution and implementation of the strategy. You will work on many and broad aspects of market access engagement and collaboration. Depending on the size of the affiliate, you will experience a market access team who are in charge of everything related to market access and public affairs. In the second rotation you will likely be driving your own project – of course supervised by your host manager – where you are in charge of the work process and outcome. In affiliates you are extremely close to the market (including local payers) and will gain valuable knowledge and experience that you can leverage in your last rotation.

The third rotation: Global Market Access in Denmark (HQ) The last rotation may be in Global Market Access in headquarter based in Bagsværd, Denmark. This department is constantly growing because market access is becoming increasingly important to the success of the company (read my previous blog post about why market access is so important right here). Here you will be part of one the teams within the department, such as Public Affairs, Health Economics & Outcomes Research (HEOR) or Strategic Pricing. In general the work done in Global Market Access is focused on developing strategies within these areas, which means that you can really use and leverage the many invaluable insights you have gained in the two previous rotations.

If you are still not convinced why you should apply I have listed my top five reasons below:

  1. You will have the opportunity to make a difference to patients and society while delivering exciting results from a business perspective
  2. Novo Nordisk is the world leader in diabetes care
  3. The programme is designed to develop top talent become future leaders
  4. You will be challenged – expect a steep learning curve!
  5. During the two-year journey you will build an extraordinary network

Don’t forget that the deadline for applying for one of the graduate programmes is 12 February (this Sunday!), so get started on your application today! I wish you the best of luck and remember to be yourself!

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Global Business Processes and Global Marketing: What is the difference?

Category: Business Processes Global Marketing | (1) comments

During some recent career events, I have been talking to some students interested in applying to Novo Nordisk (maybe some of you reading were there, too!), and many of you asked me: “…but what is the graduate business processes programme about, and what differentiates it from the global marketing programme?”

If you would also like to know more about it, I can only suggest to keep reading! 

Same same…

Let me actually start by highlighting what these two programmes have in common:

Programme duration: both programmes last two years and are made up of three 8-month rotations.

Trainings and development activities: the other business processes graduates and I have attended all trainings together with the marketing graduates. These trainings included the introduction days, a project management training, a presentation skills training, personality development meetings, etc. We do a lot together, also with the Market Access graduates, so it feels like we are all part of one big family…also outside of work!

Basic requirements: The two programmes share the same basic requirements:
a. A recent master’s degree (graduating in 2016 or 2017)
b. Minimum of 6 months of international experience
c. No more than one year of work experience after graduation (The Global Development Programme takes graduate with up to 2 years of work experience). If you have more experience apply for one of our many open positions. Sign up for our job agent e-mail service.
d. Above average grades

…but different!

Despite some similarities, the two programmes do have differences! Here’s an overview:

Generalist track vs marketing/sales track: While both programmes offer a wide range of options for the three rotations, the business processes programme has a much more generalist focus. In fact, while in global marketing you will most likely rotate within the marketing and sales departments, the global business processes allows you to rotate around many different departments at Novo Nordisk. You might be wondering what these departments are…If that is the case, check out some specific rotation examples in my latest post! Rotations can go from Marketing to Finance, from Consulting to Supply Chain Management, to Communications, etc. For example, I am currently working in Corporate Sustainability, and my next rotation will be with the Marketing team in Panama!

Number of abroad rotations: Both programmes start off in Denmark, usually either in Bagsvaerd (where the Novo Nordisk Headquarter is located) or in Søborg (especially for Marketing and Market Access functions). All of us live in Copenhagen though. However, while in business processes we only go abroad for the second rotation, as a global marketing graduate you will not come back to Denmark for your third rotation but you will go to another country on a sales rotation.

Candidate profiles: As mentioned, the same basic requirements apply to both programmes. However, the type of candidate that the two programmes are looking for is not the same. The biggest difference between marketing and business processes is that the latter is looking for candidates with a broad, generalist background that reflects your interest in a generalist programme like the BP one. For marketing, instead, a profile with stronger focus on marketing, sales and communications is preferable.

Is the difference between the two programmes more clear now? I hope so!

If you still have questions, please comment below or write me an email and I will be happy to answer you!

Also, if you didn’t do it yet, remember to apply before February 12th, 2017!

 

 

 

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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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5 things to highlight in your cover letter

Category: Business Processes | (13) comments

A cover letter is about one A4 page and you must have a really interesting story tell if it should be longer. Of course you have an interesting story to tell and you are truly unique. But so are the other thousands of applicants so you need to get your message rather clear. Below are five topics I would highlight in the cover letter. If you have a particular good story to tell within one of the topics it might be a good idea to spend more space on that and leave a couple of the other topics to the video.

International experience: Novo Nordisk is a truly global company with offices in 75 different countries and its products are sold in more than 180 countries. To accommodate this global footprint, employees with global mind sets are needed. The global mind set is often built from experiences abroad. Have you been living abroad with your family when you were young, been volunteering in a developing country after high school or studied abroad, you might have developed the global mind-set that is needed to succeed in the graduate programme. If you can tell how your international experience has shaped you as a person, I would definitely highlight it in the cover letter.

Striving for change: People come from all over the world to join the graduate programme. They have properly just wrapped up their masters abroad before moving to Denmark. After staying in Denmark for only eight months they will go abroad again. And after settling in and starting to feel comfortable in the international rotation, it is time to go back to Denmark. Graduates are challenged to get out of their comfort zones both geographically and in terms of tasks on the job. As soon as you get really good and feel at home, you will be thrown into new adventures. Rather than stating that “you love change and a dynamic work life” show examples of the personal and professional changes you have experienced through life and how you have responded to the changes.

Work experience: It is a benefit if you have relevant work experience from your time as a student. It can also be voluntary work in your community where you have shown initiative and leadership skills. Your work experience should be easy to understand for the assessors from the CV. Still, I believe it is a good idea to emphasize specific projects or deliverables you are especially proud of in your cover letter.

Why a graduate program: Why do you apply for a graduate program and not a regular full time position? I think it is important that applicants can answer this question pretty clear. For me, the graduate programme is a fantastic way to learn about different parts of the value chain in a global health care company. I am a generalist rather than a specialist and I hope these two years will tell me which areas that I am passionate about, so I – as well as Novo Nordisk – can find a good fit with a permanent position after the graduate programme is over.

Why Novo Nordisk: I didn’t have any experience from the health care industry before I started reading about the graduate programme. What got me hooked on Novo Nordisk was the global opportunities and the company’s values. If you don’t already know the Novo Nordisk Way it will be valuable to read and understand The Essentials – Novo Nordisk’s equivalent to the Ten Commandments (maybe not as famous, but there is also ten). The Essentials are ten clearly-defined statements describing how the Novo Nordisk Way works in practice, helping managers and employees to act in accordance with the company’s core values. I really believe that Novo Nordisk is a unique company in that regard and I hope that The Essentials will continue to be the guiding principles even when business gets tough and the financial bottom line is under pressure.

Good luck with your applications – feel free to ask further questions in the comment section below.

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Questions to myself – a year ago

Category: Business Processes Global Marketing | (16) comments

Hi Everyone!

Today, I’m answering my own questions that I had before I applied, hoping that they are somewhat similar to the questions you might be having right now.

1) Should I choose the Global Marketing or the Global Business Processes Programme?

Both these tracks appealed to me, when I researched which programmes were out there. So how did I make the decision which one to choose? First of all, I have always been interested in marketing – it was my favourite class in university, I graduated majoring in marketing and on top of that, I wrote both my Bachelor and Master thesis on that topic. Still, I worried about regretting the early specialisation later on. That’s why the Business Processes Programme caught my eye: the possibility to look into very different parts of the business sounded just too tempting. In the end, and after talking to my friends and family, I decided to go for Global Marketing though. Why? Because the field offers so much breadth in itself that I wouldn’t call it a very narrow specialisation. On top of that, it isn’t said that you really have to stay within marketing after “graduating” from the programme.

2) Do I want to work in marketing in the Pharma industry?

For me, pharmaceutical marketing has always been an interesting topic. While I was sort of “branded” by my family (they all work in the pharma industry), it was tempting to me to develop marketing strategies within the boundaries of regulation. Personally, I’ve always been inspired by building strategies around obstacles, applying what you’ve learned to a context you are not yet familiar with. I wanted to work in an industry that is evolving, yet constantly changing (read more about that topic in a really interesting report here). On top of that, you actually have a positive impact on patient’s health, bringing life-changing products to the market. Without Novo Nordisk’s diabetes products, for example, millions of people with diabetes would not live the life they are able to live right now. That’s why I chose to work in pharmaceutical marketing. While the graduate program exposes to a lot of tasks on a strategic level, rotations in smaller affiliates as well as the sales rotation ensure hands-on operational learning, which was also a deciding factor for me.

3) Where does this get me?

Being with the company for a couple of months now, I have found former graduates in many parts of the organisation. Did you know that the majority of former graduates stay with the company after finishing the program? Even better: Did you know that our new CEO, Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, used to be a graduate himself? So it is safe to say that the graduate program can open the path to a truly life-changing career – it’s you who’s controlling the gears!

2016-09-07-photo-00000438

climbing up there

4) So… Should I apply?

In the end, I decided to just give it a go. I knew that competition would be tough but if you never try you’ll never know. Looking back, I can only say that I definitely treasure the moment when I decided to hand in my application (~2 minutes before the deadline) and I remember the moment I got the call saying I landed the job just like it was yesterday.

I hope my thoughts are valuable to you as well and can guide you in your decision of which programme to apply to (BTW: application starts January 20, so make sure you have everything ready :-) ). In my next blogpost, I will tell you the story of how I got to know the company and what convinced me that it’s the company I want to work for. Until then, have a read on Anne’s post on all entry-level opportunities at Novo Nordisk.

All the best,

Claudia

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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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How to structure your cover letter – a practical example

Category: Global Finance | (4) comments

In this post, I will share some pieces from my actual cover letter (CL) to put the general guidelines into context. In this blog post, some of my colleagues have already posted tips and tricks for a good application, so make sure to check those out (Tips on how to make a great application What makes your cover letter stand out).

The CL is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and should not just support your CV but explicitly explain why hiring you would be mutually beneficial – the famous perfect fit. As the recruiter is already aware of your capabilities from going through your CV, the key aspect you would want to focus on in the CL is your motivation for the company and the position. This means; A) know the company well and B) know why you want to work there before writing the CL.

The recruiter is normally interested in three questions so make sure you answer them in the CL. These questions are:

  1. Why Novo Nordisk?
  2. Why the graduate programme?
  3. Why you?

My point of departure was to sit down and answer these questions before even considering applying for the programme.

 

My cover letter

The first sentence or paragraph is often the most difficult one. To start things off, I think it is a good idea to just state your interest in the programme and where this interest is derived from. In my example this looked like this:

Intro: “As  a  last  year  master  student  graduating  in  June  2015,  I  would  like  to  express  my  keen interest in  your Global Finance Graduate Programme. ***** ********, one of your current  graduates,  has  not  only  educated  me  about  the  programme  but  also  confirmed that Novo Nordisk would be the ultimate fit for me in order to kick-start my career.”

Maybe you don’t know anyone in the programme or even Novo Nordisk, but you might have attended career fairs, read a news article or what do I know. Anyway, now the intro is over and you can focus on what matters – answering the three questions.

First, I explained my interest in pharma and Novo Nordisk. This is of course subjective – so just be honest and explain what appeals to you. To give you an example, this is a section from my CL:

Why Novo Nordisk: “…With  more  than  40,000  employees  and  affiliates  or  offices  in  75 countries,  the size and  thereby geographical reach of Novo Nordisk provides  outstanding opportunities  to  work  both  locally  and  globally  and  in  teams  consisting  of  people  with diverse  cultural  backgrounds.  Another  element  I  value  about  Novo  Nordisk  is  that  the company is a pioneer when it comes to business ethics and social responsibility. The Triple Bottom  Line  Business  Principle  the  company  advocates,  proves  to  me  that  Novo  Nordisk…”

The graduate programme is only one in thousands of different positions that Novo Nordisk offers, so why are you applying for exactly this role? In my case, I mentioned the network and exposure as a result of the rotation setup as one motivation.

Why Novo Nordisk Graduate Programme: “…Furthermore, the rotation system incorporated in the programme offers an unmatched and unique exposure to both Novo Nordisk and the pharmaceutical industry.”

Note that up until now, I haven’t iterated or elaborated on my credentials. I used the “why me”-section (my last section) to combine my capabilities and experiences with the elements I had already previously mentioned, e.g.

Why me: “…I have gained some insight into the pharmaceutical  industry  through  company  and  market  analyses  in  the  context  of  both MediumInvest but also in my job in the equity department of Jyske Bank.”

In terms of space/number of sentences my CL was divided in the following way (I am not saying this is a perfect split) and filled up less than one page.

  1. Introduction (10%)
  2. Why Novo Nordisk (29%)
  3. Why the graduate programme (17%)
  4. Why me (31%)
  5. Closing (13%)

 

I hope this provides some inspiration and good luck with the application process.

Best,

Nicolai

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IO Business Graduate Programme – Bangladesh: Your Walkthrough of the Application Process

Category: International Operations Business | (3) comments

I’m posting this on behalf of my colleague Saifur Rahman, International Operations Business Graduate from Bangladesh.

“It just feels like yesterday when I was going through this graduate blog hoping to come across any and every piece of information that would help me know more about the programme and especially the application process.

And here I am—the first IO Business Graduate from Bangladesh and already midway through my first rotation—writing to let prospective candidates gain a better understanding of the application process.

As there are numerous insightful write-ups available on the application process by other graduates, I would like to address and focus on the Bangladeshi candidates to help them gain a better idea on what is expected of them throughout the application. Nevertheless, due to the mostly general nature of the article, anyone looking for a few tips and tricks before applying might find some handy information as well.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, let me list the items required for an application and with any of these missing, your application will not be considered valid at the first place. The requirements are a candidate’s CV, cover letter, video answer, and academic transcript. Here goes a gist of the dos and don’ts.

CV: This is your first point of contact with Novo Nordisk. Make sure it counts.

  • Make a customized CV

Candidates, especially in Bangladesh, conveniently have a general format finalized for their CVs and they send the same version to every job opening they apply for. What I would recommend to you is to create a personalized CV by clearly outlining your educational qualifications and experiences that are relevant to the programme. You may include training’s/conferences you attended and/or any other leadership experiences you have had but please leave out any irrelevant information that does not add any value.

  • Keep it short

Often our CVs become too long and by the time assessors are done with it, they lose interest. Remember your CV should only contain the highlights of your career so far and is not your biography. Therefore, try to keep the CV within one or a maximum of two pages by taking out useless sections like personal information (assessors are not interested in your birth date, your parents’ name, etc.).

I would advise you to prepare an informative yet concise CV which clearly emphasizes your strengths. It is also advisable for your CV to have a sleek look with a creative interface and formal formatting (please don’t use Comic Sans or any other informal formats) devoid of any mistakes. I cannot stress enough the damage any grammatical or spelling error can do to your first impression as an applicant. Hence, I would urge you to check your CV thoroughly for any typos/errors.

Cover letter: This is your opportunity to let Novo Nordisk know you on more personal grounds.

  • Let them have a deeper look into you

The cover letter’s purpose is to complement your CV and not to reiterate it. Therefore, it should either contain relevant information not mentioned in your CV or build on the information provided. Ideally, the letter should help the assessor know the type of person you are and what it is that drives you to apply for the position. Hence, it can include your personal story on what makes you a strong contender or it can elaborate on the work that you have done and how it can add value to the Graduate Programme. Just to emphasize it further, I would once again remind you to be absolutely sure of not submitting anything which has errors or formatting inconsistencies in it.

Video answer:  Enough of pen and paper, time to show who you really are. The video answer is your gateway to really leave an impact on the assessors.

For the video answer, it is absolutely essential for you to set a professional tone and hence it is a good idea to first make a script which answers the questions and then practice enough for your delivery to be flawless. The answers can be a reflection of your cover letter so you can emphasize further your suitability for the programme. It is imperative for your video and audio to be clear and devoid of any disturbance. Also make sure to look sharp, demonstrate your professional best, and shoot the video in a controlled environment.

Transcript: Although there is nothing for you to prepare for this item, it’s important for you to acquire this well before the deadline. Given the paperwork involved, the university process for providing transcripts can take some considerable time especially the public ones in Bangladesh and hence you are advised to take preparations taking that into account.

That was all from my side. I have tried to briefly shed some light on the items required during the initial application phase. In addition to what I have mentioned, there are certain general measures you should take before applying. These include doing an extensive research on Novo Nordisk, being genuine in your applications, and demonstrating your true self. Furthermore, as I mentioned in the beginning, I would recommend you to go through the numerous articles from other graduates that provide valuable information on the application process and the graduate programme as a whole.

It is important to note that this is the most crucial phase of the recruitment process as it is during this stage when the majority of the applications are filtered. Therefore, it is crucial for you to prepare these in the most impeccable way and then leave the rest to destiny. Please remember, it is not just a test of your fit for Novo Nordisk, it is also a test of Novo Nordisk’s fit for you and as you continue to plan your application, you should consider the nature of the programme and whether it is something you want to pursue.

I wish you the best of luck! And if you are all good to go, apply here before 4 January, 2016.  <LINK: http://www.novonordisk.com/careers/see-list-of-all-available-jobs.34698BR.External.html>”

 

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