The International Graduate Programme – a two-year professional development opportunity across the Group’s various departments and subsidiaries – recently welcomed two new colleagues on their journey towards a successful career with Scandinavian Tobacco Group.
Already five years since the first position was appointed in the Group, the Programme has provided successful applicants the opportunity to gain unique insight into product development, value chain and tactical strategic matters, while developing their international network and experience.
Despite having diverse backgrounds and experiences, both Dominique Nikerle-Uhthoff and Maren Bakkejord Hansen share a common interest in developing their talents and were eager to learn about the Group’s sales, marketing and supply chain divisions when they joined the Programme.
Maren: “A great opportunity to learn about a business from different points of view.”
Maren is of Norwegian origin and has been living in Denmark since 2010. A recent university graduate from Copenhagen Business School, she completed her Master in International Marketing & Management after studying abroad in Australia and France.“I am passionate about exploring new cultures and new places, and meeting new people,” she says, “My personal interests fit well with the Graduate Programme, in that you have the opportunity to explore the different departments, network and travel abroad.”
With almost three years of prior experience in marketing for a Danish food manufacturing company, Maren was looking for an opportunity to get out of her comfort zone and flex her skills beyond the formative training she received.“I saw it as a great opportunity to learn about a business from different points of view,” she says, “from a marketing perspective, I think it’s important to have a solid understanding of the sales side because that’s closely linked to the market.”
There is always a steep learning curve when adjusting to a different industry, thus International Graduates are given ample support by their adoptive departments during their rotations.“People are really eager to teach me about how the different departments work,” she says; “That’s what I’m expecting from a graduate position and it has lived up to those expectations – it’s going to be very exciting!”
Dominique: “It is exactly what I had always wanted to do.”
With all her experience working and studying abroad in Europe and the United States, the International Graduate Programme was a perfect fit for Dominique. “It was the only graduate programme I applied for, as it requires previous working experience – either internships or having worked as a student assistant – so I felt that I would start at a higher level,” Dominique says.
After obtaining her Bachelor degree in Culture & Business from the University of Mannheim in her native Germany, Dominique moved to New York to work for the biggest German enterprise software company as part of her master’s programme in Economics & Business Administration at the University of Southern Denmark. In the interim, she developed a broad skillset in marketing and project management during the several internships she held across various industries.
“I have a passion for brands and how they’re managed; how you can shape consumer perceptions and drive their choices by very specific strategic decisions that you make,” Dominique says; “I’ve never worked in this industry before and the brand management that I’ve done was on a different level, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Challenge, responsibility and team dynamic are the driving forces behind what motivates Dominique. “Being involved in all these really big strategic decisions, I feel like I can contribute to the overall success of the company and actually make a difference,” she says. “I’m part of a super dynamic and brilliant team, and I feel really good about myself that I was chosen because they were also looking for someone that would make a good fit.”
According to Dominique, her work environment allows her to succeed in her new role. “Not only through the Graduate Programme but also through the company culture where the hierarchies are flat – you can walk into the CEO's office if you needed to,” she says. “The culture is really supporting of who am I am, which enables me to thrive even more than I probably would somewhere else.”
During the time she will be part of the Programme, Dominique will learn industry specific aspects while collaborating with the markets and different subsidiaries all over the world.“For the next two years, I can really figure out what it is that I’m good at, where my skillset fits in and, at the same time, build a network,” she says; “it is exactly what I had always wanted to do.”
Prospective candidates interested in applying for the International Graduate Programme are encouraged to visit our career page for more information. The next round of recruitments will begin February 2016.