Published January 2018 by Natasha Mudgal
(Seriously) Good Growth: Arla believes in growth, in becoming bigger, better, stronger, just like any other business in the world. So you must wonder what sets us apart? Arla is a farmer-owned dairy cooperative, with a mission to secure the highest value for our farmers’ milk while creating opportunities for their growth. Our strategy places an enormous focus not just on growth, but “Good Growth” driven by caring for our farmers, customers, consumers and the planet, and making a commitment to produce products that are both healthy and natural. For me, this translates into knowing that everything I do at work contributes to a good cause.
Daredevil Attitude: “What’s the worst that can happen?”, said Julia, one of my host managers, as I peered at her expecting her to critique a document I was about to share with some of the most senior managers at Arla in MENA (fantastic exposure as a graduate). At Arla, I find that I am empowered to take ownership for my projects. It is natural for mistakes to occur along the way, but it is key that we learn from these mistakes. My managers are extremely supportive and this translates into valuable backing, when required, to come up with solutions. I am given full control of my projects, allowing me to unleash my entrepreneurial prowess and develop myself in the process.
Collaboration Celebration: Arla invests reasonable time and effort in identifying the right candidates for different functions within the organisation. For me, this translates into being surrounded by some of the brightest minds in the industry who are approachable, always willing to help and working passionately towards achieving the same mission. Arla follows a matrix organisational structure promoting synergies between different global and local teams. In my role, I am often in touch with other markets and find them equally engaged and driven towards driving what is best for Arla.
Balancing Act: Expecting a long-awaited family visit and afraid you’ll be stuck at the office all day? Worried about missing the doctor’s appointment that you had scheduled months in advance? With Arla, you don’t have to as you are provided the liberty to utilize flexible work arrangements like remote working and flextime so long as you continue to deliver great results.
Cultural Melting-pot: Denmark, Russia, Germany, UK, Philippines, Bulgaria, Egypt, Italy – just to name a few countries that are represented through my colleagues at the regional office in Dubai. Arla fosters a diverse work environment with employees from various nationalities and backgrounds, leading to the creation of enhanced quality work owing to broad global perspectives. From a social standpoint, apart from the added benefit of interesting lunch-time conversations, it also teaches you to be more flexible and open to new outlooks.
Do what you do (but better): Arla has a strong training agenda which motivates employees to not only develop themselves but others too. In my short time here, I have already witnessed this through trainings initiated by HR and functional teams (both local & global). As part of the MENA Graduate Programme, I have a five-fold training agenda that spans the entirety of the program allowing me to gain knowledge and expertise to excel in my role and produce fantastic results.
Triple S (Strong, Support System): An added benefit of the MENA Graduate Programme is exposure to a structured Mentor Programme, which offers a platform for knowledge-sharing and development through regular interaction with a senior manager at Arla. My mentor, Safi, has proven to be an invaluable, powerhouse of information who encourages me to think about my short and long-term plans and supports me in the preparation to achieve them. He helps me to increase self-awareness by reflecting on acquired skills, which in turn helps me to be more focused in my role.
If you are a student finishing your degree in 2018 and are looking for a challenging and life-changing opportunity – then this is exactly what Arla’s MENA Graduate Programme has to offer!