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3-Rs: Steps I did before that 1st interview

Category: International Operations Business | (20) comments

In this post, I am going to share the steps I took to get to that first interview. Having zero background in the industry I wanted to learn more about the history of Novo Nordisk’s, and how the company operates around the world and in my country. Hence, I made it a point to understand what I was getting myself into, by maximizing the available resources and using the techniques that were taught to me by a good friend and mentor from my graduate school in Boston, Rose Keating. To keep it simple I would like to call these steps the “3-R Process” which means Research, Reach-out, and Review.  

  1. Research

One of the obvious sources for information would be the company’s website, www.novonordisk.com. I spent a considerable amount of time reading each hyperlink on the website trying to understand the company and its culture. In addition, I was also reading a lot of blogs like what you are probably doing now and watching videos that were available on Novo Nordisk’s YouTube account. I was fortunate that around January in 2015, the 2014 Annual Report came out and it was available online as a PDF. It contained the company’s performance review and overview of the company’s global financial information. Moreover, I also subscribed to the Graduate Programme’s Facebook page  and followed Novo Nordisk’s LinkedIn  account to keep myself updated. I did not limit myself to those sources; I also randomly searched “Novo Nordisk” to see news clippings and articles about the company, its challenges, and its responses to those challenges. Most importantly, I made sure to write down all the things that I didn’t understand so I could follow up on those to satisfy my curiosity.

  1. Reach-out

In relation to the things that I wanted to understand, I simply reached out to several individuals for clarification. The first person I contacted was the Graduate Programme’s FB page moderator.  As I had little knowledge of the position’s functions and everyday life, I sent a message asking if there was already an IO Business Graduate from the Philippines that I could consult. The moderator said that there was none, however, an IO Business Graduate from Malaysia was in his 3rd rotation and another Global Finance Graduate from Denmark were presently in the Philippines. I exchanged several emails with them while I was abroad and they agreed to meet me once I got home to the Philippines. Another person I reached out to was the Danish General Manager in the Philippines whom I found through LinkedIn. The reason why I wanted to talk to him was that I wanted to understand how the company was doing in the Philippines and its challenges in the local market. This was the most challenging part because in my culture, we rarely speak or hold conversations with people in such a position, especially foreigners. However, at the back of my mind, I was really determined to get the first interview and eventually get the position. I messaged him nervously saying that I wanted to talk to him about Novo Nordisk in the Philippines and surprisingly, he replied within less than 24 hours, agreeing to answer my questions.

I was very impressed and amazed by how open they were in answering my questions and concerns. I appreciated how they allowed me to do informational interviews with them. The fact that it was easy to reach out to them also spoke a lot about the company’s culture and the people. I realized that those simple gestures were glimpses of the learning and growth potential opportunities that I wanted to have as an applicant.

  1. Review

I kept a small journal detailing each and every important insight throughout my research and preparation. So as not to put my efforts in vain, I constantly reviewed all the information that I obtained and updated them as I got more familiarized with the company. This journal proved to be helpful throughout the process because it really calmed my nerves knowing that I knew my facts and figures. In addition, all the informational interviews gave me an idea on what I was getting myself into, and it helped me narrow down my priorities.

That sums up my 3-R Process!

Thank you very much for reading and I hope this post will be helpful as you go along in your journey. Research, reach out, and review!

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