Period: 2022 – 2024
Hello, potential graduates! I hope all is well with you. I’ve been offered to write a piece for the blog, so here I am, ready to give you an overview of a typical week in my current rotation.
For context, I joined the F15 program three months ago in September 2022 as a Jr. Innovation and Category Manager for Arla Pro with a focus on the business unit we refer to as ‘Flexitarian’. After some great weeks with introductions, I am now settling into my role and gradually getting into higher-level work. Therefore, this is my attempt at making it clear what I am doing as a graduate in Arla.
Let’s get started, shall we?
08:30 - 09:00 // Mornings
I wake up around 07:45 in the morning, and either slowly settle into my home office, or get myself ready to take the tram to Arla’s Innovation Centre, where my team is based. After arriving, I usually grab a coffee and connect my PC to a free desk.
On average, I’ll do two days from home and three days on-site, but we have the flexibility to structure this ourselves. All teams are different and some have other guidelines. However, Thursdays I am always in the office as my team and I have breakfast together, which is one of my favorite parts of the week.
The first 30 minutes are normally spent checking new emails, Teams' messages or handling minor administrative tasks. I’ve tried structuring my mornings by addressing the creative tasks first, but I’ve learned that my brain does not operate that way.
09:00 - 12:00 // Before lunch
Since we try not to schedule meetings before 9, they typically start now. We do a mixture of face-to-face and virtual meetings – even walk-and-talks outside in the refreshing air, if possible, as my team is half Danish/half internationally-based.
If I have no meetings, I will usually start with my least-challenging tasks, which can be anything from preparing a PowerPoint, searching for photos, or collecting insights etc. For me, I get the most satisfaction out of checking things off from my list because when these are out of the way, I can focus on the more difficult tasks later, which is probably the opposite structure than most, but I’ve found this is how I’m most productive.
12:00 – 12:30 // Lunch
Arguably, the best part of the day. If I am not sitting with my team, I will sit with other current or past graduates as we have a quite close-knit network.
12:30 – 16:30 // After lunch
Post lunch is the most energetic part of my day as food really gets my brain working. I am a major fan of time-blocking in my calendar in order to prioritize ‘deep work.’ Each week, I select one or two key projects to really focus on – currently, it’s a sustainability story for Flexitarian and building a new Centre of Excellence.
When I’m engaged in a task that requires my complete focus, I try to avoid all sensory interruptions by turning my phone to silent and putting my sound-proof headphones on with some repetitive EDM music to get me into a state of flow.
At the end of the week, I usually plan for the upcoming week. This involves creating a list of things that need to be completed and time-blocking my week, because if it’s not in my calendar, it won’t get done. So, this is essential for me. That said, it's also important to notice that my week changes depending on the period and projects.
No later than 16:30, I call it a day.
I always find it so interesting to hear about others' work and how they go about their work activities – these were some surface-level experiences from my first months of working in Arla.
With all this being said, if you are interested in knowing more about the life of a graduate, I run the Instagram page @f15_life on the side, where I thoroughly enjoy posting about the journey.
Your friend, Helene.