Halfway through the Nordic Graduate Program at Schneider Electric

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Co-authored by Yasemin Yavari and Camilla Pedersen

Almost 5 months ago, we (Camilla and Yasemin) started in Schneider Electric’s Graduate Program together with 16 other graduates from the Nordics.

So far, the Nordic Graduate Program has been a unique experience both educationally and socially. In 5 months, we have been exposed to different departments, sites, cultures and lived together for six weeks in beautiful Copenhagen for our onboarding. We wanted to shed some light on the experience since the recruitment for 2022 has commenced.

Introduction to the Nordic Graduate Program

First, you might wonder, how is Schneider’s Graduate Program composed?

The Nordic Graduate Program consists of graduates from all over the Nordics. This year, we are 18 graduates: 3 from Finland, 5 from Sweden, 6 from Denmark, and 4 from Norway from a variety of disciplines, both technically and commercially. For our onboarding, we all met and lived together for 6 weeks, which we will explain much more about later in this article.

The duration is approximately one year, and we are assigned to a position in the company from day 1. We are deep diving into Schneider through our onboarding weeks, several learning immersions, field experience, and progress reviews, while assigned our permanent role – all to learn new elements and implement them into our roles as we go.

This structure allows us to gain exposure to several areas of Schneider Electric for us to decide which department and role to be enrolled in after the program. In this way, the program is more fluid allowing us to experience technical and commercial roles regardless of our educational background in a fast-track program.

6 weeks of onboarding in Copenhagen

For me (Camilla), Copenhagen was such a nice city to learn about Schneider Electric. I had studied for my Master’s degree in Denmark, I was looking forward to spending 6 weeks in Copenhagen again. Before we left Norway, I got to meet the other three graduates from Norway and some of the members of the Norwegian organization including a brief introduction of the graduate program in Denmark.

My (Yasemin’s) experience was a bit different. I had already been part of Schneider for two years; first a student job and a full-time position in the Marketing and Communication department. I applied for the Graduate program to gain a holistic view of the company with the aim of getting closer to the business itself, focusing on the customers by understanding how our solutions create value for them. I already lived in Copenhagen in an apartment, however, still chose to move to the hotel for six weeks to get the full experience. To be honest, it felt like being on an exchange program again!

During the first days, we had a brief introduction to Schneider and did team building, which was a session of sheep herding. A fun way to interact with each other, where we really had to work as a team and connect the way of communicating to a normal day at work.

Through the learnings, knowledge sharing sessions, and training at the office, we got a deep dive into the company, the business units and met multiple employees, presenting Schneider Electric from different angles.

In addition, we were also trained in presentation skills and consultative selling. We had the chance to go on off-site customer visits to experience Schneider solutions in real-world settings and to visit some of our own R&D factories both in Sweden and Denmark.

We all (18 graduates) lived at the same place at a hotel, where we socialized after work as well. During our free afternoons, we would go out and explore Copenhagen, eat dinner together and do different activities such as paddle tennis, running, board games, creative workshops, and shopping.

To summarize, this graduate program is a great way to build a wider network by engaging with other graduates and colleagues that have been in the organization for multiple years, people from different fields such as Business, Marketing, and Solution Architects, to mention some.

Our current role at Schneider Electric

Camilla, technical background (Tender Engineering in Digital Energy)

After I got back to Norway from our onboarding in Copenhagen the four of us decided to develop our network even further and scheduled meetings with our colleagues in Norway, a great way to learn about the different positions and their tasks in a normal workday.

Until now I have been learning about my department in Digital Energy, and briefly started with the training for Tender Engineering that focuses on energy efficiency in Buildings.

As a Tender Engineer, I will do calculations of solutions in different projects. I am now learning about our products, software tools that I will use in my position, and what kind of projects I will be involved in. I am starting to get more responsibilities, which motivates me. Although I have a background in Sustainable Energy with a focus on wind energy, I can use some of my knowledge, in addition, to learning every day about automation in buildings.

Yasemin, commercial background (Digital Sales Enablement in Industrial Automation)

After six intense onboarding weeks in Copenhagen, I was ready to start my new role in Industrial Automation. Overall, this department is responsible for automated solutions towards smarter and more efficient manufacturing.

Being a marketer for three years at Schneider already, I had basic knowledge of the business unit, however in my new role I get closer to our customers, project managing our customer cases. I am combining my Marketing and Communication background with new technical knowledge when learning a lot more about our smart solutions and customer relationship management to create effective case studies and testimonials. Also, I can leverage my network from the Graduate program across the Nordics to quickly gain access to certain information for better and faster processes.

Every second week, the graduates meet up on a call to catch up and have a virtual coffee together. To keep our connections and share our journey.

Sustainability Workshop in Stockholm

After seven weeks back in our own countries, we all met again for two days in Stockholm for a Sustainability Hackathon.

First, we played the game “Climate Fresk”, where we worked together in groups to understand the scientific bases underlying climate change. This gave us the possibility to train and facilitate the “Climate Fresk” workshop for other employees to raise climate science awareness as well.

The following day, a new sustainability challenge was given, where we in groups had to discuss how Schneider Electric can market our sustainability story in relation to our core offer of energy efficiency. Two intense and interesting days being together again.

What’s to come in 2022?

Going forward, 2022 has many exciting learnings and off-site activities coming up for us. Just to highlight a few, we are going to the Netherlands and France to get more insights on our solutions in our R&D centers and get up to speed on how our products are developed.

In June, we will finish the Graduate program, and together with our line manager, mentor, and the Zone HR VP, we will decide in which direction to go in the company, since the possibilities are endless.

Ready to apply for the next round?

Maybe you got inspired to pursue a career at Schneider Electric? You can follow the link here and make sure to apply for the next Nordic graduate program before May 2022. www.se.com/students 

To apply to all other jobs at Schneider Electric, visit www.se.com/careers

Feel free to reach out to Camilla for technical questions, and Yasemin for the commercial track if you’re interested to hear more 😊  You can also view a day in the life in the graduate program on our Instagram page!

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