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What You Expect From a Company (Given Your Foreign Background) vs. What You Get

Hi! My name is Nino Garcia, and I started the Graduate Programme as a Business Graduate in September this year. I’m originally from France, and only moved to Denmark because of this job opportunity. As a foreigner in a Danish company, I’ve noticed some interesting differences that I would like to share with you in this blog post.

Many companies talk about intangible benefits and underline their unique work culture when presenting themselves. However, they often fail at providing concrete examples – so what does it mean?

Let´s take an average company in an average country – given my background, France would probably be the best match. During your first days in this company, you would receive some trainings and be given a couple of presentations about the company, its structure, its values, etc. This was very different in Demant. The main difference I experienced in this regard lies in the importance these presentations are ascribed in Demant. While in France, such presentations were given by mid-level managers. At Demant they were given by top management, including the CFO and the CEO. This time investment from the latter conveys a feeling of inclusion and proximity. It also reflects the very flat hierarchy within the company, meaning that all collaborators sit next to each other in open spaces, and everyone will queue at the coffee machine. Not even the CEO has his own office. These simple facts can look commonplace for Danish people, but they are not when coming from abroad.

Making you feel well at work is a characteristic of Danish workplaces and especially of Demant. Beyond the flat hierarchy I previously mentioned, many facilities are made available to support your well-being at work. The readers who will have the opportunity to enter the Demant building will see how its architecture makes it very light inside – even if it is (from time to time) dark and rainy outside. During one of the initial presentations, a Vice President even declared that she gets goosebumps every time she enters the building! The contrast is striking when comparing with one of my previous offices, in which fake lights had been installed in underground rooms to imitate natural light… The environment around the Demant office – which is very green – also contributes to this feeling.

Within the building, many efforts are made to ensure high employee satisfaction. A classic example is the food, from free breakfast in the morning to the excellent lunch. Demant´s canteen, which has been voted one of the best in Denmark, features a very high-quality all-you-can-eat lunch with more options that you can possibly try, no matter how healthy your appetite. Additional food and drinks are also available all day long. Moreover, the presence of a fully-equipped gym is a nice service to enjoy after work and a great way to socialize with coworkers. Many more options are available – to be discovered once you´ve join the company

Let me know if you have any questions.

Nino Garcia
nnga@dgs.com

Nino

 

Being New to Denmark

My name is Cecilia Rodriguez. I started the Graduate Programme in the Engineering track in September 2018, which is the reason I moved to Denmark. I was born and raised in my beloved Mexico where I lived for 22 years of my life. This is however not the first time I live in a foreign country; I have lived one year in Germany and six months in the USA. However, I must admit that this was the first time that I decided to live in a foreign country without really knowing much about it, and without having an idea of a return date.

Before deciding to move to Denmark, I had only been here for a day and a half, I hadn´t read much about it and I didn´t really know anybody who had lived in the country, so I couldn’t really get a reference. Yes, I know it doesn´t really sound like a smart decision, but I fell in love with the company and with the Graduate Programme and I also knew the company was willing to make the settling-in process as smooth as possible (which they did!). So, even with the many uncertainties, my answer to Denmark was yes.

And yes, of course, let´s face it, things could have gone very badly, but (spoiler alert!!) fortunately, they didn´t. After having made my decision, but before actually moving, I started to read about Denmark. To my surprise, I began to find all this cool stuff about Denmark being one of the happiest countries in the world, having great health care, people who love their job, and so on.

As a result of my research, I had very high expectations. And when I moved to Copenhagen, these expectations were actually exceeded.

The first thing I did when I arrived to Copenhagen (after receiving the keys to my apartment), was to go to the International House to get all my documentation in place. That same day, I received my CPR number and I opened a bank account, which was very easy to do. When this was done, my exploration of the city began. It was very nice to see that people were very kind and always willing to help. It has also been a great advantage that almost no matter where you go, people speak English and don´t mind to do so. As a food lover, it is also great that you can find food from all around the world. You don´t have to go from store to store looking for what you want, as even in the most common stores such as Netto and Føtex, you can find a lot of international food (and yes, even from Mexico!!). I also really like that Copenhagen has activities for all kind of interests, here you can find your interest shaped in the form of a club, an organization, a restaurant, a bar or one of the many other different activities the city offers.

Starting a life in Denmark has been full of surprises (the good kind) and new friends, and it has been easier than I could have imagined.

This year, 9 out of 12 graduates are international, which also makes being new to Denmark a lot easier, as you are not alone.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Cecilia Rodriguez
rcec@oticon.com 

cec

The Introduction Week in Poland for Engineering and Operations Graduates

Hi! My name is Nicolai, and I am one of the two Engineering Graduates that joined this year. In this post, I would like to tell you about my 4th week in Demant’s Graduate Programme.

In the last week of September, it has become a tradition for new Engineering and Operations Graduates to go on a week-long field trip to the production facilities in Poland, which are run by the Demant company DGS.

In the outskirts of the Polish city of Szczecin, there is a little village called Mierzyn, and in the outskirts of Mierzyn, the factory arises in a very calm urban-rural area, only 2 hours from Berlin. This is where most parts for our hearing instruments are manufactured, assembled, tested and prepared for production, in collaboration with R&D teams in Denmark. The facility also includes prototyping labs and a huge distribution center, so definitely an Engineering and Operations wonderland.

All the activities and tours around the facility were planned and tailored to us Engineering and Operations Graduates. The engineers responsible for showing us around were very welcoming and excited about showing what their daily work looks like, and especially how quality is minutiously ensured in each step. If you have seen the ‘How It’s Made’ documentaries from Discovery Channel, I truly felt like I was in one of these.

Step by step, we learnt how our hearing instruments are made, and how the whole support system around the devices interacts in each phase of the development, but also during logistics and repairs. Most of these steps are carried out at the factory in Mierzyn: from incoming orders and customer support, 3D scanning and 3D printing of the custom hearing aids, to injection moulding of plastic parts, assembling, tests and returns from the customers. This was a good way to clearly see the bigger picture of the extensive architecture of the hearing devices that we are working with.

As an engineer, not being close to the production can sometimes be frustrating. It is important to understand how good design for manufacturing is only possible through communication between manufacturers and developers. Even though it is possible to make prototypes at the headquarter in Denmark, it is always a very different situation when a device goes into mass production, which is the specialty of the factory in Mierzyn. Luckily, the facilities in Poland are not too far away from Copenhagen, and now that we have also experienced the production first-hand, it is easier to follow their processes and requirements.

One of the highlights of the trip was when we had to assemble our own In-The-Ear hearing aid. This was not an easy task. Fitting all the electronic components into the device and making sure it looked good and neat was quite challenging. Especially soldering by looking through a microscope seemed much easier when our Polish colleagues were doing it. Let us just say that it did not go at all as fast when we were trying. But in the end, after many hours of assembling, each of us had a functional personal hearing aid. Great success!

file6 (002)   file51.jpeg

All in all, this was a nice way to end our first month in the Graduate Programme, now even better prepared to meet the challenges of our first rotation.

Take care, and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

Nicolai Domingo Nielsen
ncni@oticon.com

nico

The Introduction Program

My name is Nicholas Ali, and I started in September as one of the new Global Finance Graduates. In this blog post, I would like to tell you about my first two weeks in Demant’s Graduate Programme.

The purpose of the introduction program is to bring a group of diverse new employees together as a unit. Demant’s two-week introduction program for all new graduates did just that. We started with two days in our respective teams, where we were introduced to our new team members and coworkers for the first rotation. We were brought to multiple meetings where heads of various departments joined, introduced themselves and their teams, and explained what their objectives are to familiarize us with opportunities we might have throughout our two-year journey.

After these first couple of days with each of our teams, we spent the next week and a half together in the graduate group, taking part in exciting team-building exercises. Being that our group is quite diverse, it was fantastic having the opportunity to share our life experiences with one another. Not only did this bring us closer as colleagues, it also allowed us to gain a better understanding of who each of us are, why we have been driven toward the Demant path, and what we plan to accomplish during these two years and onward. As the first week of the introduction program drew to a close, it was clear to tell that any initial skepticism of spending so much time together had passed as we quickly united. The first week ended late into the night with partying, drinks and games as we celebrated our arrival into the program.

Recuperating over the weekend, the second week involved a lot of travel. Starting Monday, we all packed our bags and took a trip over to Middelfart where we were introduced to Interacoustics – a company in the Demant group that produces diagnostic instruments. We spent the day with the team who introduced us to the various departments and their advanced technology facilities. After going our separate ways Monday night, we joined together once again the next morning for a two-day road and ferry trip to Poland, where Demant has one of their biggest offices and production facility. This was a great opportunity to get to know my new colleagues even better, as we blasted our favorite tunes while flying down the Autobahn! Our first destination in Poland was a beautiful city-centric hotel just in the heart of Stettin’s main park. Once settled into our rooms we went to a nice Thai restaurant and had a delicious meal. We then walked over to a local bar and rounded off the day with a couple of cocktails.

The next morning, we toured the Stettin offices and were given presentations about who they are and the important roles each of their departments play for Demant as a whole. After our tour we then took a short drive over to their production facility. One of my personal favorites during this tour was witnessing how quickly our automated production could create precise pieces nearly invisible to the eye. This was a great opportunity for us to receive a detailed in-person overview of how we produce our one-in-a-kind hearing aids. Once the tour ended, we then began our journey home to Denmark.

The next morning concluded our two-week introduction with the incorporation of a day-long team building exercise with LEGO, which tested the foundation of whom we have grown to become. We were able to conclude that this is not just a team we work with, but also a family that each of us are able to rely on either in times of duress or to come together to celebrate our accomplishments. The camaraderie and respect built within each of us is shown every day, from having breakfast together in the mornings to assisting each other in various tasks. All of this could not have been done without the help of our two-week introduction program and the incredible graduate staff and alumni that made it all happen.

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Let me know if you have any questions!

Nicholas Ali

Nick photo

nial@dgs.com

From 1100 Candidates to 12

An online case competition, video interviews, personality and aptitude tests, a full-day assessment center and a final interview – that’s what the 12 new additions to the Demant Graduate Family have been through to get to us.

We’re so happy with the new members of our family, and we’re proud to say that the 2018 group is the most diverse in our Graduate Programme’s history in terms of experience, educational background, nationality and personality.

A warm welcome to Abed, Alessandro, Alexander, Benedikte, Danique, Giulia, Julius, Nick, Nicolai, Nino, Rosa and Veronika – we can’t wait to have you join in September!

Assessment Center – Be Yourself, Have Fun and Give it Your Best Shot

Assessment Center, Assessment Day, Recruitment Day, etc… It goes by many names, and many companies use such an event to evaluate candidates, when quite a large number of similar positions need to be filled. At Demant we use Assessment Centers to see how potential employees perform in different real-life scenarios and how they work with other people.

Continue reading → Assessment Center – Be Yourself, Have Fun and Give it Your Best Shot

An Unexpected Outcome of the Recruitment Process

My name is Mads, and I’m a Business Consultant in Demant, not a graduate. Now, some of you might be wondering why I’m writing this post on the Graduate Blog then, but there’s a good reason for that. Last year, I went through all the steps of the recruitment process for the Graduate Programme, which resulted in me joining Demant in August.

Continue reading → An Unexpected Outcome of the Recruitment Process