Starting the PMGP journey: Life at site

Hi! My name is Gabriella and I’m a Production Management Graduate in the batch 2022. Currently I’m located at Arla’s production site in Linköping, Sweden for my first rotation and today I want to tell you a bit more about my start in the program.

I think that most graduates experience a lot of different feelings during the first months in the program. Just going through the application process can be a roller-coaster of emotions, one moment I was nervous for an interview and the next I was filled with excitement for the adventure laying ahead. Believe me, almost everybody feels the same! Once the introduction week got closer,  something that really calmed me down was to start this journey together with my fellow graduates, everyone as eager to learn and kick-start their Arla journey.

Time for your second first day!

For us the first training week took place in the headquarters located in Aarhus, where we got to learn more about Arla’s core business and meet lots of inspiring people. Once we gotten a bit more used to life at headquarters it was suddenly time for us PMGPs to leave Aarhus and get ready for our second first day at work. I remember saying a temporary goodbye to all the new contacts I´ve tied during the training week and sitting on the train home reflecting over all new insights and knowledge. Then, just a few days later I was standing outside the building of Linköping dairy ready to once again kick-start my working life. I can only speak for myself, but from day one I have felt very welcomed at my site. I’ve realised how much you can learn from people just by being curious and ask lots of questions. There’s so many experts out there that gladly share their own Arla journey if you just ask friendly! I hope and believe that this mindset and curiosity is something that will follow me through my future Arla career as well.

Gradually preparing you for the future

As a PMGP you´re normally located at two different production sites during the program, where one of them is your “home site” that you´ll spend your first and last rotation at, the later rotation being more focused on leadership. One of the strengths with the program is that I feel how it´s gradually preparing me for the third rotation and eventually the off-boarding process. Both in terms of the training weeks with a heavy focus on leadership and personal development, but also through the time I get to spend during my first rotation just getting to know my colleagues and the daily business. This have really helped me to feel at home and build a foundation for my third rotation.

The best of both worlds

According to me you really get the best of both worlds when being a PMGP. It’s a unique chance to see and be part of solving complex challenges that can occur in the daily business on site. This gives you a broad understanding for the chain from milk intake to finished product. At the same time I feel a close connection to our headquarter, other central offices and business functions. We have continuous check-ins with different central functions, and we’ve already been on our first business trip to Herning (that my fellow PMGP Kira been writing about here on the blog!).

I really like life at site! It’s a broad mix of people with so much expertise and experience within the dairy industry. I like how it’s helping me to understand the business from different angles and it gives me time to get deep into the core of the production. I would say that everyone can find a suitable position on site. It doesn’t matter whether you´re interested in people management, project lead or process equipment and pipes (like me, I still find myself very fascinated being out in the production looking at all the big tanks).

A great network

As I earlier mentioned, the feeling of starting the Arla journey together with my fellow graduates was a truly amazing experience. Even though I’m not working at the same site as the graduates of batch 2022, they’re a great support and gives a forum to share knowledge and thoughts in. And the best part? The graduate network is constantly growing! I’m still surprised how many colleagues in different positions that have started out just as me, a Graduate.

Gabriella Andersson

PMGP graduate

Period: 2022-2024