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Networking 101: Do’s and Don’t’s

Category: International Operations Business | (2) comments

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

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

Top 5 Do’s

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

Top 5 Don’ts

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

 

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

 

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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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More than a job – the Global Marketing Graduate Programme!

Category: Global Marketing Uncategorized | (1) comments

Hi Everyone!

I want to give you an introduction to the Global Marketing Programme: what does the program look like? What could the first rotation look like? What happens outside of work?

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(That’s some of us on a training a couple of weeks ago)

The Global Marketing Graduate Programme

As you can read on the programme page, the global marketing programme is a two-year programme consisting of three 8-month rotations. The specific scope of the individual journey depends of course on both personal preferences and Novo Nordisk’s business need, but some parts are the same across the programme:

  1. Intro to the corporate life: the programme starts in a marketing function in HQ in Copenhagen for the first 8 months, e.g. working in a brand team for one of Novo Nordisk’s products or being part of digital marketing
  2. International experience: 8 months in either an affiliate or a regional office somewhere around the globe, e.g. working in a local brand team, supporting an affiliate’s product launch or improving your marketing analytics skills in commercial excellence
  3. Applying your learnings in a real world setting: 8 months in sales! This is what differentiates the Global Marketing programme from other business programmes. This is the bricks-and-mortar of the industry, where you are as close to the market and as close to the patient as it gets. Also, this rotation will be in a third country around the globe, the only requirement being that you are fluent in the local language.

My first 3 months in insulin marketing

I started my first rotation in a department called the “Insulin Marketing Project Office”. I know, you are probably as clueless as I was when I first read the name. What does “project office” mean? What does it have to do with marketing? So… Novo Nordisk’s insulin marketing department is structured in brand teams focusing on the respective brands. In order to facilitate knowledge sharing between the brand teams and to run cross-brand strategic analyses and tasks, they created the “project office”. We are therefore working very closely with the brands on running cross-brand projects, consolidating the budgets and facilitating communication between the brand teams. I could not be happier about being part of this team for my first rotation: it gives me the perfect overview of the different brands, the portfolio and current top priorities. Also, I am excited to work with insulin products for the first rotation, since that’s what they started out with in the very beginning (which is not to say that working with other products is less exciting, there is actually going on a lot of exciting stuff outside of insulin).

When I don’t work…

It would be misleading to only cover job-related topics here. When you sign a graduate contract, there is so much more coming with it than solely the job. Since the other graduates start the exact same day, everyone pretty much goes through the same (or similar) experience in the beginning. You could see us as a small family :-) I’m also living together with one of the other graduates (her name is Francesca and she’s writing amazing posts on this blog as well, make sure to give it a read), and we are spending a lot of time together. Also, she is working in a very different part of the organisation than I am, so that it is super interesting to hear what is going on in her job. Apart from that we are also (trying to) learn Danish right now, which is a lot of fun.

I hope that this sheds some initial light on what the life as a graduate looks like and I am excited to share more of my journey with you during the next few months. If you have a suggestion for future posts: feel free to leave a comment in the section below!

All the best from Copenhagen,

Claudia

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