Companies love graduates

A talent programme can lead you towards a job and teach you something about thinking commercially.

Danfoss is doing it. Grundfos, Hoffmann and Aalborg Portland are doing it. The same is true for Danske Bank, NNIT and many other corporations – they have talent programmes aimed at young graduates. A graduate programme is an opportunity for newly qualified candidates, who can see themselves in a 1-2 year course with a large business.

This is your opportunity to visit the different branches of the corporation, nationally and internationally. International companies are adamant about you visiting foreign offices, thus gaining a global, transversal business understanding.

“Many companies are crazy about graduate programmes,” says Jeanette Louise Rasmussen, who is a business manager at the recruitment agency, Capax. “Perhaps it is due to the fact that they need to attract young employees since many current employees are older and will be leaving the business soon. Then it is all about transferring their knowledge on to new generations of specialists and young employees who are able to think across the boundaries of the organizational structures and departments.” Other than securing a generational shift, it is important for companies to invite new talents with new knowledge and new skills on board. Just think about Mobile Pay – this is known knowledge used in product development that is now used for optimizing money transfers between Danes.

Companies seek broadly
Jeanette Louise Rasmussen does not think that you, as a recent graduate, should be daunted by the many demands listed in the job advertisements:”The companies do not always realize which needs ought to be covered, so it is not crucial to them where you come from. It could be an IT-university, a business school or a technical educational institution.” Graduate advertisements function as any other job advertisement. You need to focus on the aspects where you have some qualifications to offer: Do you have some qualities that might help the company into the next decade? Which skills do you have that can help the organization with its global mindset?

“As a graduate, you learn to think business across the “silos” where the individual employees find themselves,” Jeanette Louise Rasmussen continues, alluding to the fact that new employees are often lulled into thinking like the other employees in a certain department rather than thinking about the company as a whole. During a graduate course, you will typically work at at least four different places within two years, thus gaining a deep understanding of the challenges of the company. And that applies internationally too.

Where are the Danish students?
Capax started hosting so-called graduate-camps in collaboration with DSE, and they want more Danish students to get on the band wagon. Jeanette Louise Rasmussen finds that it is in fact foreign students in Denmark, who wish to become graduates. Also, it is a more profound tradition to delve into the corporate world at career oriented educational institutions such as CBS and other management institutions.

“As an engineer, you need to ask why you would want to educate yourself further in a business now that you have already spent three or five years on education? To them I would answer that a graduate programme is a unique opportunity to be nursed as a new employee while gaining a helicopter perspective of the company. You will get a mentor, a development plan AND you will get paid and usually be given a job guarantee! You may consider it a gift that comes with the potential for great personal and professional progression.”

Jeanette Louise Rasmussen stresses how you will automatically gain a comprehensive network by moving through the company. On the other hand, Jeanette is not trying to pull the wool over your eyes; although everyone can apply for the graduate programme, not everyone will get it. Good grades and a clear cut motivation for how you might help the company, will greatly improve your chances.

“Companies spend long picking the best candidates. It is a bonus if you have spent time abroad during your studies. If so, you demonstrate mobility and a cultural outlook. If you can say that you have been working with people from other cultures, that is a plus too. Your motivation needs to be sincere, and you MUST practice presentation techniques. The people who gain a footing in the labour market of tomorrow are the ones who are able to communicate knowledge that might not otherwise be easily understood. I believe it is a question of practice – it is not something reserved for the extroverted. You can easily be an introvert and still convey your technical knowledge, you just need to practice!”

Capax and DSE hosted graduate-camps in Aalborg in the autumn of 2017 and in Lyngby in the spring of 2018.