Graduates blog

Tips and tricks for your first few weeks as an F15®

Hello everyone and welcome, dear F15s to Arla Foods. There will be a lot of learnings in your first rotation but maybe you could benefit from some of mine, especially in your first few weeks. So here goes.


Introductions: Get to know your team, not only your team but the teams sitting around yours on your floor. Everyone is very welcoming and definitely very interested in getting to know the new F15s, so do not hold back and go introduce yourselves. You can always start with the basic, ‘Hi, I am the new F15® working for team name….’ and I guarantee that the conversation will get going.

Look beyond F15®: The F15® family is always here to support you, be it socially for an impromptu get together or professionally in terms of advice from your colleagues. But, it is very important to look beyond the F15® family and connect and network with people outside the group as well. Let your network be holistic. Move outside of your F15® comfort zone and allow the world of opportunities to open up for you.


Project brief
: You will get one or more project briefs during your first or second week. Trust me when I say – take your time to understand the brief. If anything on the brief is unclear, don’t hesitate to talk to your manager on it. This will benefit you in two ways. One, it will of course help you plan your project better and allow you not to waste time on doing work that was actually not required to be done in the first place and two, your manager will know your intentions of working towards a fit-for-purpose high quality deliverable.

First meetings: Make sure that you are prepared for all the meetings that you organise. Don’t walk into a meeting with ‘let’s see where it goes’ attitude because that would waste both your and the attendees time. Have a clear plan, agenda and objective for every meeting you hold. Be clear about what you need to get out of the meeting. Having said that, it is of course possible for you to be unsure from the get go about what you actually need from the attendees during your first meetings. In that case, make this clear to the attendee and create a meeting agenda where you work together to move towards clarity.

Plan, plan and then plan some more: PLAN your projects. Create a resource and time schedule. Of course in the first few weeks you will have limited resources and clarity to create a full blown plan BUT do not underestimate the power of a good plan and remember that a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow (George S. Patton). Planning your project will help you to front load the information that you will need and would also give yourself and your manager more confidence about you being on track for delivering high quality results.

ONE Arla: It is important to keep in mind that you are joining a matrix organisation. More often than not, you will depend on others in the company to deliver in order for you to deliver on your own project. Don’t hesitate to ask for the information you need. Everyone is here to create the future of dairy by bringing health and inspiration to the world, naturally AND together. So, make full use of the fact that you are working in a matrix organisation and let it work to your advantage.

Finally, remember that you were selected as an F15® from the thousands who applied for a reason. So don’t doubt yourself or your abilities. Have the best first rotation and WELCOME to Arla Foods.

Harshita Goel

Position: F15® 2016 Team 
Periode: 2016
Location: Denmark/China
Department: 1st Rotation: Marketing & Innovation, Aarhus, Denmark. 2nd Rotation: contract Manufacturing & Joint Ventures, Denmark/China 

Harshita Goel