Hi again! My name is Alessandro, and I am currently on my first rotation of the Graduate Programme. Now that the application process for the 2019 Graduate Programme is finally open, I will use this blog post to tell you about my personal experience with the Graduate Programme recruitment process last year.
The real recruitment process for me actually started in Madrid Barajas, on the mobile stairway of an evening airplane directed to Copenhagen, when a randomly-encountered university classmate from Budapest asked me: “Hey Alessandro! Have you also applied for William Demant´s Graduate Programme?”. At least, this is my favorite version of the story…
The other truth is that I had earlier analyzed the Graduate Programme and what it had to offer very thoroughly – yet still postponing the application time after time (ah, Madrid…). Indeed, after slowly starting the application to the Programme, I tried to park it in the back of my mind, not thinking too much about it. There were still many uncertainties and unanswered questions, but this very unexpected question from my classmate intrigued me to the point of doubting its randomness: maybe this was meant to be. As I came home to Denmark, I finished my application and hoped for the best.
Hence, after sending my application (CV, cover letter, transcripts) and going through a 5-week-long recruitment process (screening, an online case competition, a video interview, an assessment center, analytical and personality tests, and a final interview), I got the position as Business Graduate.
I will not spend much of your time elaborating on all the steps of the journey, but I will draw from a few experiences that helped me say, “yes, this is the company I would love to work for”. Indeed, my main suggestion is to take the recruitment process as an invaluable chance to figure out whether you fit into the company´s culture and vice versa. Provided that many candidates will have similar rock-hard fundamentals in their CVs as a starting point, remember that intrinsic motivation and personality (!) drive success in the recruitment process.
In this regard, to me the most important step of the process was the online case competition. During the competition, I strived to solve an innovation case for the company, together with 200 other candidates – whose names, backgrounds and profiles were hidden. Not only did this experience make me realize how cutting the technological edge here at William Demant already is (being part of a group of innovation frontrunners in hearing healthcare sounds exciting, doesn´t it?), but it also exposed me very directly to the Scandinavian team-based working culture. I cannot help but smile when remembering that moment during the assessment center where I could identify an engineer I had closely collaborated with in the online case competition, just by the way she was handling an analytical task! Hilarious.
Excited by the case competition, I hoped to proceed to the next step in the process so I could learn more about the company. Luckily, I was shortly after invited to the assessment center at the headquarters. Introducing myself with an elevator pitch at the beginning of the day, I did not talk about career and life goals, past successes, certifications or GPAs: I preferred using an original metaphor, displaying in 60 seconds how my non-working personality pieced together with the image I had of the company´s way of doing things. The feedback I received was positive and coherent.
Even though we were all roasted after an entire day of observations, tests and evaluations, I left with a positive vibe. But you know just as well as I do that there are a lot of exciting Graduate Programmes out there, and as the devil is in the details, I still needed to get a few things straight to find out whether William Demant and I would be a good fit (and I’m sure William Demant did too).
As a final step, I dared to take my curious and challenging approach up to the very final interview. And differently from what happened with other graduate programmes to which I had applied, this was met with interest by the interviewers, who were open for discussion and interested in my perspective. Curiosity and the desire to challenge the status quo were considered a source of value. That´s when I knew it for sure: it was meant to be.
To conclude, I hope you can grasp the underlying message in my personal story. As tough and competitive as it may seem, the recruitment process at William Demant is designed to be a 360° tool for capturing young talent from all over the world – based on core previous achievements just as much as on personal potential. In a few words: If you are running for one of the Graduate positions, don´t forget to add the whole you to the recipe and to consider the process a rewarding journey into discovering what drives you.
Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions.