What exactly does a graduate do? | Arla
Students & Graduates Blog

What exactly does a graduate do?

My name is Rasmus and you’re reading my first ever blog post! I’m currently on my first rotation as a Production Management Graduate at the Denmark Protein site, in western Jutland, Denmark. I would like to share with you my answers to the three questions I recall having before I started working as a graduate: What will I be doing? What are the advantages of being a graduate? And, what is the hardest part about being a graduate?

What exactly does a graduate do - is a question you will get asked a lot! The first few months it will be difficult to answer, since you are working on understanding it yourself, getting introduced to the site, your coworkers, their projects as well as gathering knowledge about the important areas of your own project. In that period my answer was “I’m working with Lean”.

Luckily, having moved on to the next part of the project stage, I can tell you my project is: The performance management structure of the site, supporting team-leaders and managers in making the safety, progress and challenges of their areas visual to their teams.

Obviously, this means that the next question usually goes something like “So, what does that mean?” to which the easiest answer is “I’m working with Lean”.

What are the advantages of being a graduate?
Reading through the other graduate blogs the pattern is quite clear.  A lot of opportunity is presented to you as a graduate! Being in charge of important projects from day one, having the privilege of guidance from a mentor, or the backup from senior people at your workplace, to being able to jump into projects that catches your interest. In other entry level positions some of these advantages might also be present, so what makes being a graduate really stand out?

The cohort!

Quite simply, the biggest advantage of being a graduate is the fact that you are started off on your journey at the same time as several other people. This means you are instantly part of a network, where you can ask any question you might have. Now you might be thinking you would just ask your coworkers, but a lot of times the questions that are brought up in the group are things that might feel too small, big or too weird to ask them. However, chances are one of your co-graduates were just in the exact same position and already have an answer. If not, then surely they know someone who does.

What is the hardest part about being a graduate?
When deciding to apply for a graduate position, one of the things I found very interesting was the rotations. The rotations mean working on different sites or in multiple departments, even countries. Rotating also means everyone, including yourself, know you will be leaving or moving on “soon”. This makes achieving a sense of completely belonging difficult. Thankfully, you have your cohort and the rest of the graduate network to tell you that this is a very normal feeling, which goes away as soon as you get into a more permanent position.

This being said, rotations is still one of my favorite parts about being a graduate, since it enables me to see more of the company, experience the work culture in another country and meet even more of my great coworkers!

Rasmus Hagen Frederiksen

Danish

Position: Production Management Graduate
Period: 2017
Location: Videbæk, DK (1st Rotation)
Department: Denmark Protein