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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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