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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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Is a graduate position a real job?

Category: R&D Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control Graduate Programme | (0) comments

I often get this or similar questions accompanied by confused looking eyes when I tell people about my graduate job at Novo Nordisk. But you already graduated? Aren’t you qualified for a real job, they might ask.
To all of you, to stop all confusion, I can tell you that YES, the graduate positions are real jobs. Real jobs which are paid as every other job, and where you are part of departments on equal terms as full time employees.
As every employee you make an Individual Development Plan with your managers, you set goals for your rotations and you get lots of challenging and highly important tasks and projects on equal terms as permanent employees.
Furthermore it is acknowledged that this is probably your first real job after graduating. You get an experienced mentor to guide you through all your rotations. This is great, because you can discuss future career goals, ask questions that you might not want to ask your manager and first of all you get a buddy within Novo Nordisk from day 1.

More than a full time job
So, since you have the same responsibilities as a permanent employee, you might ask: ‘Why don’t just apply for a permanent position from the beginning, instead of wasting two years shopping around different departments before settling down?
Well, depending on who you are, some reasons will speak more to you than others. I have made a list of all the good reasons why a graduate program is so awesome (and highlighted my own favourite reasons):

  • By working in 3 departments you get a diverse work life with ever changing tasks. As your first job, this is a great way to get a feeling of where you can see yourself working permanently one day.
  • You get a broad understanding of the company and the way the different departments are connected. This will help you get a birds perspective of the company and is a big plus in future jobs.
  • Network – because you get to work in 3 different places and on top of that have a big network of graduates from all over the company you get a bigger network than you can imagine. This is very valuable in the future, and hanging out with the graduates is great fun, I might add :)
  • You get specialist knowledge of 3 areas within Novo Nordisk in only 2 years. This will make you a very attractive candidate in your future career. Graduates are compared to candidates with much longer resumes and experience because they have experience from a broad variety of tasks.
  • Being a graduate at Novo Nordisk you also get special development offers, such as Project management and presentation skill courses, and a steep learning curve within all areas of your professional life is always in focus.

I hope that this post has showed you that a graduate position is for sure a real job – and that it will be a great starting point if you want to pursue an exciting, challenging and life changing career. To apply for positions (deadline 12th of February!) or read more on the different graduate programs, check out the graduate pages here, or this blog on requirments for a great candidate.

Do not hesitate to ask questions,

/Sofie

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What a European market acces graduate actually does…

Category: Global & European Market Access | (4) comments

I remember when I applied for the European Market Access programme last year, I researched (as you may remember from my first blog post) what market access is and what a job within this field would entail. After I did some research, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of the areas market access covers (such as health economics, value communication, public affairs, and so on), but it still felt a little like a black box. I had a lot of questions, including: What could an example be of a task? How does a day look for someone working in market access? I imagine that you have similar questions and considerations, so I will try to address this and hopefully make it a little clearer what a market access position looks like in real life.

I am the only graduate in my year with a first rotation in an affiliate – the other business graduates are currently in headquarter and will have their affiliate experience during their next rotation. I will have two affiliate rotations, as I am going to the affiliate in the U.K. for my next rotation (which is an extremely interesting place to go if you want to learn about European market access!). Working in an affiliate is extremely exciting – here you have the opportunity to learn about practically every aspect market access and thus get a broad understanding of the many different areas. My first rotation is in the Danish affiliate located in Ørestaden, which makes a lot of sense for me, since I studied Public Health at University of Copenhagen and therefore have an understanding of the Danish healthcare system structure and a general overview of the political environment. For me, working in the Danish affiliate has been a great introduction to market access!

I have tried to gather some examples of tasks that I have worked on so far, and to outline a typical day at the office as a European Market Access graduate. My hope is that it will give you a more concrete feeling of what types of tasks you could get in market access and how life as a graduate is in the reality of an affiliate.

Below you will find some examples of tasks I have worked on so far:

  • Prepared and given a presentation for World Diabetes Day
  • Contributed to process of obtaining reimbursement for a new insulin product
  • Organised and prepared a workshop for the Danish management team focusing on obesity treatment in Denmark
  • Helped organise a political conference on the treatment of obesity in the Danish healthcare system

In addition to the affiliate-specific work, I have graduate-related tasks, such as:

  • Writing graduate blog posts
  • Writing a case for a CEMS business project in a Norwegian business school
  • Participate in graduate events and trainings, e.g. about project management, personal development or presentation skills

 

What a day working in market access in the Danish affiliate could look like:

  • 08.30 – I usually come into the office and start my day by checking my calendar & email and making a to-do list for the day.
  • 09.00 – We usually meet briefly in the market access team and update each other on what the plan for the day is, and if needed we discuss how to approach a task or meeting.
  • 10.00 – I often have a meeting or two before lunch, either internally e.g. with a brand team or externally with e.g. an agency.
  • 11.00 – Depending on the number of meetings, I usually have some time to prepare for the next meeting or work on what is on my to-do list.
  • 12.00 – Lunch
  • 12.30 – Back to work! Hopefully sending some emails and crossing some minor tasks off my to-do list, unless something urgent have come up, which in my opinion only makes the workday more exciting!
  • 14.00 – Another meeting/teleconference with either an internal or external stakeholder.
  • 15.30 – A short coffee break with one of my colleagues and then back to the computer, telephone or meeting room.
  • 16.00 – Depending on how the day developed, I usually have some time during the afternoon to discuss my tasks with the market access manager in the team or work on something graduate related if needed.
  • 17.00 – I leave the office around 5, depending on the work load and how much time I have had during the day to make it through my to-do list.

 

I hope this little sneak peek into my affiliate experience have answered some of your questions, if not feel free to reach out to me by leaving a comment below! You can also read Albert’s blog post: Take a look into my calendar – what a week as a graduate looks like for more insight into a headquarter rotation in R&D Business Support as part of the Business Process programme.

And don’t forget to apply for one of the graduate programmes right here from today (20 January 2017) until 12 February 2017! I can highly recommend the European Market Access programme if you want to be part of the team that ensures millions of patients across Europe get the full benefit of life-changing medicines. 

A little to do list for you!

A little to do list for you!

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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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Why the Novo graduate programme? My Four P-s job mix!

Category: Business Processes | (0) comments

“Graduate Programme or full-time position? Home or abroad? Generalist or specialist track?” Many questions were going on in my mind one year ago, as I was looking for the right job after business school. No answer was obvious to me, and career events seemed to have become a new hobby… I blamed my indecision on my curiosity and desire to not limit my possible scenarios…In reality, I felt a lot of pressure in making a decision towards my first, real job. If you somehow also feel this way, I will share with you how and why I found an instant match with the Novo Nordisk Business Processes Programme!

So let’s press forward one year!

I am now a Global Business Processes graduate at Novo Nordisk (long names sound quite official, don’t they), and I am really enjoying my first rotation in the Triple Bottom Line Value and Impact team, which falls under the Communications, Relations and Sustainability department. How did I end up in this programme? Reflecting back to my applications, I realised that four elements were the key decision criteria. What am I talking about? People, place, progress and purpose…a.k.a. my Four P-s job mix!

People: “If I start at a big pharmaceutical company, what will my colleagues be like? Can I learn from the people around me? Can I build a meaningful network?” If you share these concerns, well, then it’s worth knowing more about this programme.

It is not a coincidence that People is the first P of this mix. In fact, I believe this is one of the programme’s main assets. As a graduate, you are exposed to an incredible network of people, and they are people like you! By rotating in three different departments, you build relations with colleagues from the most diverse areas.

In my current role, I am exposed to people with interesting mind-sets and skills that I might not find in any finance or marketing department. Most of them have been with the company for many years, which is for me not only a source of inspiration but also an important source of expertise and experience that I can consult any time. The atmosphere is easy going (not what one would expect from a pharma company), and if I have questions (and trust me, I have many!) my colleagues are always happy to help. Humbleness and respect are not just words on paper in the company.

Meanwhile, I can count on my ‘graduate family’: a mix of international and like-minded colleagues who either are or have been part of one of Novo Nordisk’s graduate programmes. It is extremely helpful to have people around you who are or have been in the same situation and with whom you can discuss ideas, share feelings and, equally important, have fun! I live with another graduate, Claudia (great blogger, too!), and it is a lot of fun!

The business and marketing graduates during the introduction week

Place: Industry, company, country and rotations are all components of my second P – Place.

When I applied for the programme, I had never worked in pharma, and I was not committed to any industry. However, I saw pharma as a secure industry with a bigger purpose, complex dynamics and varied career opportunities – all elements that fulfilled my ‘place’ criteria. Complexity and size often bring in processes and stakeholders, slowing down the decision making. For some, this might be a frustrating aspect. I personally see it as an interesting opportunity to learn how to work with and adapt to new processes and stakeholders.

In geographic terms, Copenhagen is quite an ideal place to live in: you can bike around everywhere, nothing is too far! There’s art, music, good food, nice parks for burning off the good food, and a fun nightlife. I am also learning Danish (life might be too short to learn it, though!) and will be living here until the end of April and then coming back for my last rotation in January 2018.

At the moment, I am also very excited to be moving to a new country soon. How often do you get to work and live for 8 months in places like Canada, Australia, Thailand, Chile…? Rotation options vary from marketing to R&D, finance, consulting…you name it! Of course, flexibility should be part of your personality; if you are focused on one particular aspect, the Business Processes programme might not be ideal for you. In order to learn and enjoy the programme to its fullest, you have to be open to unexpected rotations and be curious to learn about different aspects of the business. So, if change and novelty stimulate you, then this programme will make you happy!

The graduate team during a factory visit

Progress: You can be in an amazing place with wonderful people, but if there is no potential for growth, things will get boring pretty fast, don’t you think?! This is why my third P is about Progress – namely potential for personal and professional development.

As I already mentioned, the graduate programme is perfect for exploring different areas of the business. In complete honesty, I don’t think I would have ever considered working in corporate sustainability myself, but I am learning about concepts and aspects of the business that turned out to be really stimulating. Moreover, as a graduate, you get to attend project management courses, workshops and practical trainings.

In terms of personal development, you have regular individual meetings with both your graduate manager and your host manager, where you can discuss about work-related but also personal challenges and opportunities. Overall, the focus on both hard and soft skills is what I really like about this programme!

Three-day project management course in Favrholm

Purpose: My fourth and last P is probably the one that distinguishes Novo Nordisk from most companies out there. Having tried other industries before and realised that I wanted more than just money and responsibility, I purposely looked for a company with a positive impact on society. I am proud to work for a company that is working to improve the lives’ of people with chronic diseases. Especially now, in corporate sustainability, I see how Novo Nordisk engages in initiatives that go way beyond the simple sale of drugs. Being part of such culture inspires and motivates me greatly. At the end of the day, I want to be proud to tell my friends and family where I work, don’t you?

I hope this post provided you with some useful food for thought. Please reach out if you have questions and I look forward to sharing with you my upcoming adventures. Stay tuned!!

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Rotation in USA or why it is so awesome to be a Global Procurement Graduate

Category: Global Procurement | (0) comments

You might have already seen a post from Klaus in the beginning of this year about his experiences and learnings from the rotation abroad. Now I would like to share with you my personal experience while rotating abroad.

The majority of you can probably relate to living overseas, since you may already have had the opportunity of studying abroad.  I myself studied in Sweden and Australia,  but working full time in another country is a whole different story!

I am located in the US affiliate in Princeton, New Jersey. The work life and culture is very different from what I was used to in Denmark. Of course, I was prepared and read a lot about the American culture (note: I have never been to the US before). However, one thing reading about it, and another thing is experiencing it in reality. There are no Friday breakfasts with my colleagues in the office, no jeans are allowed, lunches are usually arranged in the nearby restaurants, and even no cakes! These were the things I noticed during my first week of being in the States that were different to what I was used to in Denmark. After being here for over 3 months now,  I can say that people here put a lot of emphasis on efficiency and work here is very dynamic, which I learned I like very much. It is important to remember that graduate rotations is not only about you learning new cultures, new business practices and processes, but it is to also about taking an opportunity to learn about yourself. After being here for over 3 months I can say for sure I know much more about myself, what I am capable of and what type of job I would like to have in the future.

So what is my role in my third rotation? I am a part of a Category Management team in Procurement and Business Services department which provides procurement support function to the rest of the organisation. Rotation in this team is slightly different from my second rotation, where my responsibilities were less fixed. I was fortunate to receive my own area of responsibility within Sales & Marketing – fulfillment category. This category refers to everything a company does between receiving an order from a customer and placing the product in the customer’s hands.  I became a “CEO” of the category, where I am leading the tender process, supplier selection and evaluation and the category strategy development. I can say for sure I am being challenged and stretched, and I love it.

The team here puts a lot of effort into continuous development where I see a lot of opportunities to learn about new procurement practices and most importantly contribute my own novel suggestions to the team development. This aspect of my job – ability to learn from different teams across the organisation- is invaluable to my development as a  Global Procurement Graduate and as Klaus pointed out: “very difficult to accomplish in a permanent position without the rotational structure“.

So if you would like to take one this fantastic journey as well, apply for Global Procurement Graduate position before January 10. It is a great springboard for launching a life-changing career at a global pharmaceutical company. The programme is designed to provide comprehensive knowledge of the Novo Nordisk Procurement value chain and a solid understanding of our business. In procurement, that currently manages multiple billions of spend every year across the value chain, you will develop your skills within category management, supplier strategies, negotiation, sourcing processes, procurement systems and project and change management. So if you hold a recent master’s degree in Finance, Economics, Business Administration, Supply Chain Management or Engineering and have finished at the top of your class apply now and become a part of the fantastic team!

 

 

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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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Novo Nordisk graduate or management consultant?

Category: Global Finance | (12) comments

Dear reader,

Not that long ago, I was in your shoes, trying to decide where to pursue a professional career following graduation. Many talented young people are drawn towards management consulting because of the steep learning curve, varying challenges and I could keep going with the worn-out generic list of motivations you would quote in an interview. It is, however, also because many people basically don’t have a clue what they want to do with their life so having great exit ops seems like the obvious strategy. This was at least true for me about six months ago.

Since a lot of the people considering the Novo Nordisk global finance graduate programme are also considering management consulting, I would like to share my perspectives and reflections on the similarities and differences between the two paths that might help you make a more conscious and informed decision as to where you want to begin your professional career.

In general, you can think of the graduate programme as having a consultant role anchored in one single industry. Novo Nordisk is a huge company operating worldwide with more than 40,000 employees; there are basically enough projects to satisfy everyone – even Marty Kaan. The projects can vary from the establishment of a new plant in Iran and acquiring an insulin manufacturer in Brazil to making a market analysis of a sub-segment of the diabetes market. You will still become the Excel Wizard and PowerPoint God that you are destined to be and even have the chance to acquire the same “consultant toolbox” by working on supervised projects. Especially, if you choose to have a rotation in our in-house consultant department, FLIRcon, consisting of graduates and former consultants from top tier consultancies.

You will become the expert consultants “claim” to be, and even obtain an operational perspective through your understanding of the entire value chain enabling you to deliver results and value to the business on a whole different level. You will not only get to solve the challenging tasks but actually also see the fruits of your hard work materialise. You will, however, not obtain the same cross-industry understanding of what works and what doesn’t, but you will get phenomenal business knowledge within the pharmaceutical industry.

Consultancies often advertise that senior management exposure will accelerate your career as you “get to learn from the best” and leech on the experiences, which is hard to argue against. Although, it might take a while before actually sitting at the table as a junior consultant, you will be thrown to the lions almost immediately in Novo Nordisk. I met the CFO of the company within the first week of the programme and have prepared presentations to both Jesper Brandgaard (CFO) and Lars Rebien Sørensen (CEO) during my first three months; and this comes in addition to regularly interacting with people on CVP and SVP level.

By now, you would hopefully agree that regardless of being a Novo Nordisk graduate or management consultant you will be given amazing development opportunities functioning as a decision-facilitator who drives a lot of impact. If you want to end up in a market-leading, global company with an average top line growth rate of more than 10 percent over the last decade; you don’t have to take a detour to consulting – actually, in Novo Nordisk, spending two years as a graduate will historically accelerate your career more than being a top-notch consultant for two years. As a talented and driven individual, you will most likely take great pleasure in your job regardless of the title as long as you are given the opportunity to fulfil your potential through challenging work and coaching from experienced and bright people. The only aspect that differs, is how you reach your potential – in that context, Novo Nordisk was the best fit for me.

 

I highly encourage you to start a discussion in the comment section if you want my perspectives on specific matters related to the graduate programme and management consulting.

 

I wish you all the best,

Nicolai

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Why I joined despite having no background in pharmaceuticals

Category: International Operations Business | (4) comments

“Why don’t you try applying in the pharmaceutical industry?,” I was asked in one of the networking events I attended in May 2014. Little did I know then, that question would have a big factor in my life. I never pictured myself to be working in the pharmaceutical industry because it was very foreign to me until that very faithful Saturday night.

During the last few months of business school, I was really active in attending networking events hoping to get valuable connections and of course, eating free food! Although networking events were really challenging for me because I came from a reserved culture, I needed to do what I had to do. I was an unemployed business student with my graduation looming so I felt extremely pressured. I’m certain that most of you can relate to that feeling too.

So here I was with my plate full of cocktail food (yes, free food is always good!), going around the hall and doing my 30 second elevator spiel to new acquaintances. I was doing that until my classmate grabbed me and introduced me to this executive who said she worked for a global pharmaceutical company. As I was very curious and interested, I asked her what she does and if she had a prior background in medicine. She said that to be in this industry, you don’t necessarily need a science or medicine background because the companies would teach you what you needed to know and train you with tools once you are in your business role. With those words, I got more curious so I asked her more questions. One of my questions was “if there’s one thing that she likes the most in this industry, what would it be?” and she said that she’s passionate about making an impact on the lives of people and this business directly does that. Once again, those words raised my interest because I also want to do something that would benefit peoples’ lives. As usual in networking events, I also told her about my background and what I wanted after I graduate. That’s when she asked me the question that changed my life’s direction.

As I was trying to sleep that night and reflecting on that question, I was browsing several companies and job openings in the pharmaceutical industry. It was my first time to look at the industry. Three phrases stood out in one of the job search engines; Novo Nordisk. Business Graduate Programme. In The Philippines.

It was one of those eureka moments and I immediately went out of my bed to read about the company and the programme’s requirements. After researching a bit and reading the blogs, I was really impressed and it swept me off my feet. I knew right there and then that I wanted this position. I really wanted to be part of a global company with the right ethical standards, where I could also grow and learn as an individual. The International Operation Business Programme provided me with all of that. I didn’t wait for the next day to submit all the required documents, I was that excited, despite the deadline being 2 months away!

In my next post, I will share the next steps that I took to get to that first interview. Stay tuned.

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