1. Please give a brief description of the current job you hold: What do you do and what are your responsibilities?
I am a Trainee at Carlsberg Supply Company, based nearby Zurich (CH). We are a central group function, managing the global supply chain of Carlsberg, with 4 main functions: Procurement, Logistics & Planning, Manufacturing and Finance. As a trainee, I will rotate in 3 of these functions for 6 months each. There are about 150 people in the office, with 30+ nationalities. Since we support and direct the local companies globally, there’s a lot of travelling and cross-border work.
My activities at work are quite varied: even within one rotation, I handle radically different projects. My first rotation was in Finance, where the main project was to analyze the impact of commodity price fluctuations on our costs of goods sold (COGS).
I have just started my second rotation now, in Procurement. The team developed a Total Cost optimization model and my main job is to roll it out across all countries in Western Europe, including training, IT implementation and “buy-in” from local planners. Aside from this, I am working on a couple of tenders for packaging materials.
2. How did your International Business education at SSE help your future career?
My current job is rather technical and very supply-oriented, so it is pretty different from my SSE studies. In terms of technical knowledge, I rely a lot more on my previous work experience (also in SCM) and I also will take some specific courses and certifications.
However, a key learning from SSE is the general business insight: from day one at my job I could follow many discussions across different departments, thanks to having spent a lot of time in school analysing different cases, industries, and topics. This is very helpful and it gives me an advantage compared to people with who have a stronger technical background, but lack this acumen.
Soft skills are another big advantage, coming from SSE. I learned to make great presentations, learned to think more strategically, and learned how to be organised and efficient. Many of these are “hygiene factors”, but being able to behave professionally is fundamental, especially when interacting with senior people. My office is also extremely international, both in terms of colleagues and markets we serve so having studied International Business was a great help as it taught me to interact with different cultures and think beyond borders.