Hello hello! I’m Lucile Vanin and I am an F15 graduate from the 2023 batch. It's hard to believe, but I've already been with Arla for a month, though it feels like I just embarked on this journey. As I reach this “one-month milestone”, it's time for some reflection, and I'd like to share a few insights from my journey so far.
My journey at Arla started in the best possible way. The first 7 days, the F15s kicked the month off with a training week, which was held together with the PM Graduates. Looking back, it was probably one of the most challenging yet enjoyable aspects of my journey. Here are three key insights I would like to share with you:
First, a training week can actually be really (really) fun. Our program director, Karen, along with Frida and Mia, organized engaging activities to immerse us in Arla's culture. Picture 18 fresh graduates racing around the office for an Arla treasure hunt or creating rap songs for the "best song" competition. While our music careers might not take off, we had plenty of laughs.
Second, I have been truly impressed by the openness, warmth, and support of our colleagues involved in the training week. For some of our training activities, we had to reach out to Arla stakeholders. Each time we met someone new, they were not only eager to share their experiences but also showed a genuine interest in getting to know us better. Arla truly has a “people-centric” culture.
Third, it offered a glimpse of what the next two years have in store. I got to explore the full scope of what "the world is your oyster" really means. The opportunities at Arla seem boundless, which is both intimidating and exciting. You may not know where your next rotation will take you, but it's a unique chance to delve into new topics and working cultures.
After a week of training, the "real work" began. I delved into my role as the project lead for creating Arla's animal welfare strategy. While the project's initial scope seemed clear, most of my time has been devoted to understanding what's expected of me. How did I tackle this? Well, I initiated one-on-one meetings with department leads and colleagues within ASC (our Agricultural, Sustainability, and Communications function). The goal was to introduce myself, elucidate my project's "mission," and discuss if and how they should be involved.
Initially, I felt a sense of guilt about spending so much time on these conversations instead of making headway with the animal welfare strategy. However, I soon realized that understanding how other departments view animal welfare is crucial for scoping my project properly. This journey has taught me a lot about stakeholder management and aligning goals with departments that may have different priorities. And I guess this is just the tip of the iceberg, in a company with over 20,000 employees? It's an ongoing learning experience, and I feel pretty grateful to have such supportive colleagues. Whether I am reaching out for guidance on how to properly turn on my second screen (steep technological learning curve when you are starting from quite low), or to ask about somatic cells count (you can now ask me), I know I can always reach out for help.
Do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions on my journey so far! As a now “proud” Arla employee, I would be happy to share mine.