What Makes Our Industry Interesting?

Hey everyone! My name is Abed, and I am a first year Global Diagnostic Business Graduate. In this blog post I will share my personal reflections on what I believe makes the Hearing Healthcare industry an (extremely!) awesome industry.

I guess that for most Master students and recent graduates, pursuing the ‘right’ first job is a consuming task that requires a lot of effort and reflection. Everyone has their own unique sets of requirements to be met and questions to be answered. At least, that is what I experienced myself one year ago. Much like a world-class chef who knows the true importance of selecting and mixing just the right ingredients to make a dish reach its fullest potential, I figured that I also had to contemplate on the necessary mix of “ingredients” that forms an ideal industry. So, here they are… Bon appétit!

1. Purpose
Today, my work revolves around an important human sense. A sense that enables us to socialize, communicate and stay connected to the outside world. A sense that allows us to capture all the sounds that we are surrounded by every day: a good song on the radio, the soothing construction work outside your bedroom at 6am, the laughter of a close relative or friend – all of which is making our lives richer. The entire reason our industry exists is very much tied to the strong desire for enabling this vital sense to work, and thereby improve the quality of life for people with a hearing loss. What is really humbling is the fact that you experience people around you doing their outmost to contribute to this noble mission. So, if making a positive impact on people’s lives resonates with your own beliefs, I would say that we are off to a good start already.

2. Passion
Coming from a study background in Business and Information Management, I was actively on the hunt for an industry that would speak to my passion for technology in general and digital. To put it simply, I am a sucker for tech and I enjoy following new trends in this area. Well, working in MedTech today fulfills exactly that need! In this industry, you are instantly exposed to cutting-edge technologies, and sometimes you even take part in important discussions about technological trends that can shape the future of our industry. Here, it is about utilizing technologies in the best possible ways to help people around the world, and that motivates me.

3. Progress
Of course our industry is regulated in many ways since we deal with medical devices, and often, such regulated environments can create bottlenecks for rapid innovation. However, I have noticed that despite the regulations, our industry is still characterized by short innovation cycles and many new introductions. There is a wide consensus that if you want to ensure your existence tomorrow, you need to be at the forefront of innovation and do something extraordinary today. This attitude is quite inspiring to say the least…

Summing up, I believe that the intersection between health and technology – combined with an urge to innovate and constantly push boundaries, are some of the ingredients that makes the Hearing Healthcare Industry the ideal industry to be part of!

Now, I could conclude with a few comments on what sets the industry leader, William Demant, apart from the others… but we will save that for some other time 😉

Best of luck with the recruitment process! Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.

Abed Kreidly
abkr@dgs.com

abed

The Rotations of a Global Diagnostic Business Graduate

My name is Julius, and I am one of the two Global Diagnostic Business Graduates who started in September this year. I thought it might be interesting for prospective Graduates to see an example of the rotations in this Graduate Programme track, so that is what this blog post will be about.

Instead of choosing a completely different place to work for each rotation, the rotations are somewhat fixed from the beginning for Global Diagnostic Business Graduates. This does not mean that you do not have a voice in deciding your rotations, but you are presented with a much more tangible model for your rotations, which will most likely take place in foreign countries. As a Global Diagnostic Business Graduate, you become part of a main functional area, within which your rotations are organized. What this area will be depends on your background, profile, interests as well as the business needs. I come with a background in manufacturing, and now work with different aspects of Diagnostics Operation that match my profile and capabilities. My rotations have been planned as follows:

1st rotation, Documentation Department, Middelfart (Denmark)
My first rotation takes place in Middelfart, where the headquarter of all Diagnostic Business is located. Here I am part of the daily work of the Documentation Department and get to know their working-procedures, IT, processes for the introduction of new products, regulatory, assembly procedures, production methods, configuration of units and much more. Essentially, I gain knowledge about all processes connected to the production and products. Until now, it has been an extremely interesting journey. I gain knowledge about relevant topics in a short time, I work on projects that require me to learn about the details while pursuing the project, and I communicate with different departments, both in Denmark and abroad – all to reach a common goal. The idea with this rotation is for me to gain a profound base-knowledge about the products and their production. Three months into this rotation, I have traveled to Poland twice, to get introduced to the production and to participate in a workshop regarding my second rotation. Moreover, I have been to Germany to learn about 3D printing and to be part of a 3D Prototyping Project for the production in Middelfart.

2nd rotation, ‘New Factory Project’, Mierzyn (Poland)
The production of all Diagnostics Products, except prototypes and small-scale production of units, takes place in the city of Mierzyn in Poland – just a few kilometers from the Polish-German border. This is where I will spend my second rotation. In the coming years, we will open a new factory, housing a state-of-the-art low volume, high mix production. I will live in Poland for around six months, and I will work with analyzing the current production processes and flow, improving the processes and translate them into a new and innovative production layout, which will be introduced in the new factory. A task which is both highly complicated and highly interesting.

3rd rotation, Logistics, Minneapolis (USA):
The United States is a big market for the diagnostic business. The strategy for the United States also includes a versatile set-up of logistic partners and vendors. I will go to Minneapolis for my third rotation, with the overall purpose of gaining a deeper understanding of the logistics and to work on related projects. The details for that rotation will be determined when we get closer.

4th rotation, Production, China:
My last rotation will take place in China. Currently, the company is exploring whether a China-based assembly/production of sub-assemblies for the Chinese market will have a business benefit. My task there will be to analyze the market and regulations for China-based productions and help to determine what kind of set-up that will make sense for that market. Also here the details for the rotation will be determined when we get closer.

As you can see, I will relocate every sixth months. I think this is highly interesting, and it gives me defined tasks that deepen my understanding of the company. It is important to stress that no rotations are the same for Graduates in the Global Diagnostics Business track. However, regardless the rotations, everyone can expect a lot of travelling, learning and communication between all branches of the business.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Julius Born
jubn@dgs.com
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How is this Graduate Programme Different?

Hi, Veronika here.

If you’ve read though the previous blog posts, you could have learned about the company, its culture, the fun selection process and the exciting introductory activities of the program through the observant eyes and ears of my curious peers.

At this point, we’ve hopefully piqued your interest, yet you might be wondering how the William Demant Graduate Programme is different from others.

First, different programs choose a variety of structures and lengths. However, many consist of only 2-3 rotations or are confined to one department, where Graduates rotate on several projects. William Demant’s CEO has been with the company for more than 20 years and started himself in a position similar to ours, leaving his mark throughout William Demant’s value chain as his career progressed. The Graduate Programme is highly regarded by the management, which believes exposure to diverse departments, projects and our global teams best equips the Graduates for fruitful careers and yields greater business benefits from the new synergies created from the holistic overview. Therefore, it consists of 4 six-month rotations in diverse parts of the international organization.

To give you an example, as a Business Graduate, I am currently sitting in the Holding section of the group with the top management working on CSR, internal global IT projects and exploring themes of circular economy and diversity. My next rotations, however, might take me to strategic projects in Operations, International Sales or Business Development abroad, as well as in Denmark. The Graduate Programme is truly holistic and global.

Next, my fellow Graduates have described how the first weeks are filled with exciting and insightful introductory courses and meetings. However, the biggest learnings and professional growth are integrated in your daily life. The projects Graduates work on, or even drive, are challenging and complex, not only at an entry level. You work alongside the management and they welcome you as a sparring partner who brings fresh perspectives. It was quite an experience to present for an hour to the CEO, CFO and other top executives twice during the first three months at the job. Every Graduate reports to at least a Senior Manager, therefore the amount of knowledge transfer throughout the two years is invaluable.

Furthermore, the program is not large in numbers of Graduates William Demant hires. For a very good reason. It remains agile. Graduates are in open dialogue about where their wants and the company’s needs overlap, meaning, you have a say in where the journey can take you. Your voice matters. However, it also allows the company to adjust the program from year-to-year. Such as, the General Business track has changed to a Digital Business starting from 2019, which remains highly relevant for business students, but also opens opportunities for graduates from other fields. Hence, whether you pursued business, IT, or UX, you’re qualified to apply.

As a result of the valuable skills Graduates gain, the far-reaching overview of the complex business and not large numbers of Graduates, William Demant welcomes new Graduates as permanent employees after they finish the Programme.

If you need more reasons to apply or would like to ask anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Good luck,

Veronika
veho@dgs.com
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Being New at William Demant

Hi, my name is Benedikte, and I am one of the General Business Graduates who started in September 2018. As we speak, I have worked 2 months at William Demant, so who better to tell you more about what it is like being new here, than someone who is still somewhat new.

William Demant has more than 13,000 employees worldwide and 1,300 of those work in the HQ at Kongebakken. You could imagine it being quite overwhelming starting your career at company of that size, but let that rest in your imagination: All new employees at William Demant are part of an extensive onboarding program, which includes a mentor and introductions to the different business functions, preventing you from getting lost both mentally and physically when entering the William Demant world.

One of the best things about the onboarding program at William Demant is the mentor program. I am in the fortunate position to have two mentors, as my “primary” mentor is in China on his third Graduate Progamme rotation. We meet or call every second week and I can ask them about everything, big or small, from good advice about the Graduate Programme and my own career development, to where the best coffee is or where in the office you find bananas after 15:00.

Being a new employee at William Demant is a bit special when you join the Graduate Program. I would say that you start in quite a privileged situation, as you on your first day of work see at least 11 familiar faces – the other Graduates. Through daily breakfasts, weekly lunches, the Graduate introduction week, and Friday bars, the other Graduates become your friends and everyday support system. When starting your first full-time job at a large company where everything is new, it always helps seeing familiar faces in the crowd and being able to talk to someone who is in the exact same position as yourself. This year we are 12 graduates who are situated in 8 different business functions, but there are already more than 40 current and former Graduates at the company. It is thus quite likely that if you have a problem that neither your friends nor your mentor(s) can solve, someone else in the Graduate Programme has faced the problem themselves, heard about it, or knows who to talk to it about.

To sum it up, a year-younger-me would never have expected to transition into working life this smoothly. The culture is very down-to-earth and people always meet you with a smile. As we as graduates are going to be “new” to four different departments of the business in the short time span of two years, it is comforting knowing that there is a great culture and system in place to make us feel welcome in the new organization from day 1.

Please, do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions!

Benedikte Løje Nielsen
benn@audika.dk

Benedikte

My Experience with the Recruitment Process 2018

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.

Alessandro Nolli,
aeno@dgs.com

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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 William Demant. The main difference I experienced in this regard lies in the importance these presentations are ascribed in William Demant. While in France, such presentations were given by mid-level managers. At William 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 William 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 William 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 William 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. William 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 the William Demant 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 William 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!

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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 the William Demant Graduate Programme.

The purpose of the introduction program is to bring a group of diverse new employees together as a unit. William 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 William 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 William 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 William 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 William 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