F15 Graduate

Elmira Gardashova

I am coming from St. Petersburg, Russia, where I completed studies in Finance and International Management along with exchange semesters in Italy and Portugal. To be very transparent, I never thought of moving to Scandinavia, but when I saw F15 program description with an opportunity to work in three different functions in three different locations – this sounded like a dream. On top of that, I absolutely love Arla Natura cheese we are selling in Russia, so joining Arla seemed to be a good option as a next step after the university. I applied, and luckily got in! My Arla journey started in Investment Office in Aarhus, then I got chance to move to sunny Dubai to work in regional consumer marketing covering cooking cheese, and then I came back to Aarhus and joined MICS finance team (where MICS stands for marketing, innovation, communication and sustainability ;) ).


How has the F15 Programme helped you grow your career?

After the university, I was not 100% sure what I want to do in terms of my career – work solely in finance or do something else, so it was great to be able to try different things. After working both in finance and marketing, I understood that I would like to do something in between: support other functions from finance perspective. Besides, F15 programme helps to develop both hard skills and soft skills, and even though there is still so much to learn, I can definitely say that you do notice progress and get a super steep learning curve.



What has been your biggest challenge during the F15 Programme?

Biggest challenge for me was having to start almost from scratch every 8 months: you move to the new country, join new team, report to the new manager, work in the new function, have to find new social circle, and… you know that you are going to leave soon. It makes you grow A LOT, but also requires lots of energy. At the same time, maybe this is the biggest benefit as well – learning all the time, getting to know new people and new cultures and getting knowledge about different parts of the company.

What’s your next step?

After the program I was lucky enough to get an offer to stay in my team from the third rotation – MICS Finance. Currently I am working as a finance business partner for our global cheese brand team – Castello, and also supporting several sustainability projects. I found my dream job (for now), and F15 programme definitely was one of the key enablers.

Learn more about our F15 Graduate Programme