Q&A with Jakob, one of our Operations graduates

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your background and what track you are in the Programme?
My name is Jakob and I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Philosophy and a Master of Science in Economics and Supply Chain Management, both from CBS. Parallel to my studies, I have worked mostly within Supply Chain Management, both in Strategic Procurement and Supply Chain Analytics. I am a part of the Global Operations track from the 2022 batch, meaning that I will finish the graduate programme in September this year. Up until now I have worked with strategic sourcing, product launches, production planning, final distribution as well as with our IT system landscape and the underlying infrastructure of our operations.


What brought you to the Programme? How and why did you decide to join Demant with the Graduate Programme?
I decided to join the Graduate Programme at Demant as I have, strived to gain a holistic understanding of Supply Chain Management and Operations, especially in my first employment, as well as gaining hands-on experience across the entire value chain. In general, I have always sought for multiple angles to any subject to enable a better general understanding of the task at hand, ultimately to improve the quality of the actions required for a certain outcome. I applied for Demant’s Graduate Programme because the Operations track offered the full package in terms of getting practical knowledge across the entire company’s supply chain thus in my view standing out in the market of Graduate Programmes. That was the biggest reason why I initially applied.


How do you think going through the Programme affected your personal life and how have you been able to balance both?
Being an Operations Graduate, and a graduate in general, you need to apply yourself to gain all the benefits that are offered to you, meaning that there is high trust in competencies as well as you’re being given significant responsibility. I see this as a main driver in terms of the Graduate Programme in Demant. Moreover, there is a great focus on the person and the balance that needs to be in order to be able to thrive and I believe there is a big awareness in Demant in general around this. So, recently, when I became a father again, I had the opportunity to benefit from the paternity leave policy that we have here in the company. The time off was very valuable to me privately and coming back into work was like I never left the building, and I had no feeling of missing out on valuable work-related knowledge that I couldn’t quickly catch up on or felt like I was losing any insights on projects that I was doing. In general, I have only experienced a great flexibility in balancing deadlines at work, with my family life, for whom I wish to be as present as possible. The general flexibility that I meet here at Demant is something that I appreciate a lot.


What would you say are the pros and cons of being a Graduate?
I think it is difficult to say a con that doesn’t have an implied pro in it, but of course being continuously introduced to new stakeholders due to the rotational nature of the programme, also means that you continuously need to prove yourself and continuously meet the high expectations of what you are able to bring into projects. This can be exhausting at times and having 3-4 rotations where at each rotation you meet at least +20 stakeholders, that builds up to a significant number of people that you need to prove yourself to. But I believe the benefits outweigh the cons. It might be a steep learning curve at the start of each rotation, however the long-term benefits of having that network when you transition into your fix position, is both very important and very valuable.


You are almost at the end of your Programme, what would you say has been your favourite part of the Programme?
The extensive introduction to the company has definitely been a favourite part of mine. We had the extensive two-week introduction, going from the initial research done at Eriksholm Research Centre, through to high volume production to our central distribution centre in Poland to see where the shipments are prepared for our customers. This built an understanding of the company before being assigned your daily tasks, giving your daily work life a purpose and a deeper of understanding of what value Demant brings to its end-users. Also, being exposed to a lot of stakeholders, the professional network you create within the organization is unique for the Graduate Programme and gives immense value in my day-to-day work life, not only during the Programme but also beyond that when going into my fixed position.


What are the next steps for you in your career?
That’s a good question. Currently expectations are being aligned regarding my fixed position starting from September, so the next short-term step in my career is to finish my last rotation as Business Process Manager in an ongoing ERP implementation and after that, have a smooth transitioning into my fixed position. In this position, my ambition is to utilize the knowledge that I have gained and continuing expanding my knowledge all while creating value for the business.


Do you think it will be different for you, going from a Graduate Programme position to a fixed position?
Yea, I do. Even though graduates are given a lot of responsibility, we are not necessarily given a lot of ownership as we rotate and change teams and projects after some months during the programme. So, the biggest change will be that in my area of responsibility, I expect to grow even more, and I believe I will be even more able to take ownership of the tasks that I am assigned. So, the biggest change will definitely be increased ownership of the projects that I am going to be assigned to.


Do you have any tips for the new graduates starting the Programme in September?
I think I have many tips, but I will try to keep it short. The best advice that I was given when starting the Programme was threefold. First, to be certain and explicit of one’s own ambitions, so why you are joining the graduate programme and what you would like to learn, and which directions you would like to go in terms of which areas you can rotate in. Secondly, trust one’s own ability and legitimacy to positively impact the business, actually believing that what you come forward with is something that will improve the projects that you are assigned to. And finally, which is equally as important as the first two, being flexible and open towards the business needs, as these areas are often the ones where the most responsibility and exposure is situated. So essentially, understanding yourself, understanding the business and then trying to balance it into a mutual beneficial relationship.


So, in general, you feel like you are able to balance everything: your family, your work life and social life?
Yea, I think so. How we have structured the work in Demant is beneficial in terms of having flexibility in meeting your personal needs outside of the company, whether that being your family, seeing your friends or having a hobby. I definitely see the Graduate Programme as a good way to enter your work life in terms of having a well-balanced approach to life in general. Late hours are sometimes needed when deadlines are approaching or unforeseen circumstances arise, but being flexible goes both ways in Demant and my experience is that there is an outspoken understanding of this. So, I believe there is a very good relation between balancing your private life and your work life.



About the author

Jakob J. Fischer Rosenvinge
Operations Graduate