It is difficult to wrap my head around, but I am already on the fourth month of my six-month rotation in Sydney, Australia…I am Oliver, the Commercial Excellence graduate from 2022, and, in the following sections, you will read more about my experience and reflections on having a rotation abroad and being a temporary Aussie. Spoiler alert: IT’S GREAT!
Local experience in a global company
My rotation in Sydney conveniently coincided with a sales project between AU/NZ wholesale and Commercial Excellence in DK. This meant that from the day, I stepped into the Macquarie office (15km from Sydney CBD), I had an idea of my work tasks and how to move forward. This removed some of the expected uncertainty around works tasks and settling into a new team etc. I believe this was a good way to be introduced to the local company and all the nice colleagues even though everything is new.
I am reporting to James, the Managing Director of Wholesale in Australia and New Zealand. I really enjoy working with and learning from James and the rest of the wholesale team. From the beginning, James has had my development in mind and involved me in processes and work that I would not have been exposed to working from Denmark.
Due to the sales project, I have both been involved in producing and developing best practices and strategies but also in implementing and integrating said practices and strategies. It has been a healthy experience to be involved in the work that is required in the implementation phase in local markets. Furthermore, I also produce day-to-day analytical support to James or any of the four National Sales Managers. I am grateful for the responsibility I am given and to have the opportunity to work with our great wholesale team.
A personal highlight from my work must be the opportunity I had to follow our sales managers in Wellington (NZ) and Melbourne (AU). I consider this a unique opportunity to gain first-hand insights from our customers and sales managers – Putting down notes on why our customers choose to work with us, but also how we can continue to develop the relationships.
Settling in as a “Sydneysider”
I live in North Sydney, just a 5-minute walk down to the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the ferry to CBD, and a 40-min commute to the office (great public transportation though). I sometimes must remind myself of how lucky I am to be able to have an evening run across the bridge to the Opera House, to live in a city with a busy CBD but also beaches and incredible national parks. I try to find a good balance between being a tourist travelling the country, and being an Aussie that finds it normal to greet wildlife and go surfing in the weekends. Needless to say, Sydney has become one of my favourite cities!
While Australia is far from hills and fields of Denmark, it has been easy to settle in. A big reason for this is how nice and polite the Aussies and Kiwis are – makes you realise how reserved you can be as a Dane 😊. I have met some nice new people to spend my evenings and weekends with, but I also spend time with colleagues – we have been to dinners, went bowling, tried padel tennis, regular tennis and what have you.
As you might have guessed, I can highly recommend taking a rotation abroad during the graduate programme. Of course, it requires some work and open-mindedness but being transparent and open about your reflections gets you quite far. Then, you will learn that it is an incredible learning experience to become close with our markets and business, and a unique opportunity to challenge what you think you might know before working closely with the local offices. Should you have any questions or doubts, please feel free to reach out to me.
A big thank you to James, Patrick, Carolin and all the others involved that made this possible.
In case of questions about the Graduate Programme or about the Commercial Excellence track specifically, please feel free reach out.