15 amazing months have soon passed. They have been filled with new friendships, laughter, challenges and so much more. I have talked to the other graduate trainees and summarized what we have enjoyed the most, what challenges that have been the toughest and what we have learned. As a bonus, you’ll also get a sneak peak at some of our favorite pictures from fun times with “the gang”!
We are so grateful for the opportunity to get to know Lantmännen through the graduate trainee program. All the people that have taken their time to tell us about their work and business areas – from our owners and members to specialists in flour to CEOs. It is really a rare opportunity, we have indeed experienced the work “from field to fork” which is so often mentioned at Lantmännen. This broad perspective and knowledge we have gained is really helping us to see broader synergies within the Lantmannen Group and understand the links between the different businesses.
One learning, that is also a challenge, has been to always be new at a place. A new department with new colleagues, a new way of working and maybe even a new city or country. However, this has also made us grow and learn more about ourselves. What is the first impression of me and what do I want it to be? What kind of tasks do I enjoy the most? What kind of manager do I prefer to work with? What kind of leader would I like to be? How important are small gestures and symbolic actions? How much can one person affect the culture at a work place? Do I prefer a lot of travelling in my job? etc. Oh, about travelling, just look at all the places we have visited during the graduate trainee program in the picture below! (link for more details: http://j.mp/1HEmgTF)
Places within Lantmännen that one or more of us have visited during the graduate trainee program. In addition to these places we have also made external visits to university job fair days, customer visits, visits to our Lantmännen members and owners, to food fairs in Amsterdam and Brussels and even a production in Soulahti!
Another challenge we have had is to do a project within an area you know nothing about. That’s a major difference between university and work – at uni we used to find the answers ourselves by doing research, calculating and thinking on our own. One thing we noticed when we started working is that a lot of knowledge can be found within Lantmännen, you just need to locate it. Therefore it is more important to find the right person to talk to and thus networking becomes important.
Another of our biggest learnings is that you can affect your working situation a lot more than you think – and it’s all depending on yourself and how you choose to act. We have had a saying within the graduate trainee group “Ta mandat!” (preferably said in a broad Danish accent), which translates to “Take mandate!”. By that we mean that you should take initiatives instead of waiting for directions and thus go in the direction you believe in. We have really felt that we have gotten responsibility from day one on our projects. Of course it’s also possible to affect your own career development by taking a coffee with someone that interests you.
Going through all the challenges has never been a lonely experience. The graduate trainee program is well established with full support all the way up to the CEO and we have had a lot of support within our graduate trainee group as well. We have all been in the same situation with similar challenges. We have shared our experiences with each other, helped each other and had many, many fun moments together.
Let us end this post with some pictures to show you how great the relationship between us trainees has become!