Learning as a Graduate: The hunt for knowledge.

Hi there! If you are reading this, you are probably considering a future within one of Arla’s graduate programs. You are probably in the last months of your education, or pretty fresh out of university. Either way, you are probably pretty fed up with lectures, exams, and stuffing your brain full of theoretical knowledge. I know I was.

My name is David, and I am a Production Management graduate currently on my first rotation, working at Stockholm dairy. I graduated Lund University in the summer of 2022, and even though I had a diploma in my hand, the learning wasn’t over. However, learning at university and learning as a graduate is radically different. Let me tell you why.

At university, learning starts with you signing up for a course. Either because it’s mandatory, or because you think the topic is relevant for you. The professor has the course planned, you sit through lessons, you do some exercises, read the literature, maybe there is a group project, and it wraps up with an exam to see if the information stuck. The whole process is pretty lengthy, and most of the course contents you never use again.

As a graduate, the learning starts when you realize that you need to learn something new in order to deliver in your project. Identifying what you don’t know is the first step of getting the relevant knowledge. There is no professor that knows what you need to learn, you have to realize this yourself. Once you know what you want to learn, the hunt for knowledge begins. Luckily the hunt is not difficult, because Arla has a huge internal library of knowledge available to all employees, and you have a ton of great colleagues that are always happy to help you grow. And don’t forget about Google, YouTube, and even your old university textbooks, they might well hold the answer to your problems!

Once you have hunted down enough knowledge, and you have learned what you needed to learn, the next step is not an exam. The next step is to apply your new knowledge in the project, and see your new knowledge transform into real value for Arla, which is way more rewarding than even a top grade on an exam!

You’ll be surprised at how fast this process is with all the tools and colleagues available to you, and how good it feels to be able to learn and deliver real value at the same time. For me this is the best part of being a graduate, you are being paid to grow, and by growing you create value for Arla and the farmer owners.

I hope to see you at Arla in the future, but before I go I want to give you two tips for making it to the graduate program, and then making it within the program.

  1. Google is your friend!
  2. Learning starts with you realizing what you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to reflect on what you are missing, only then can you go out and get it!

David Bergman

PM Graduate

Period: 2022 – 2024

David Bergman