How is it to start in a graduate program? Graduateships sat down to talk with Fabrizio, who is currently part of the Digital Transformation Team at Vestas as graduate, helping the company to introduce the future way of working powered by a new industry-leading digital platform across the global Service organisation.
Coming with an educational background that includes a double-degree from University of Pavia and German University of Hohenheim, combined with experience from airline giant Lufthansa, Fabrizio has succeed to synthesize a fitting formula for one of the top graduate programmes in Denmark.
His employment at Vestas started a mere year ago, but has involved plenty of new experiences, he says.
Onboarding at Vestas is a holistic approach, which starts before your first day in the programme. The company helped Fabrizio moving to Denmark and getting set up. They went as far as assigning a consultant helping him to interact with public entities, finding housing and getting settled in.
In general, it’s easy to come to Denmark, everybody speaks English, bureaucracy is digitalized and Vestas was very helpful.
The graduate programme at Vestas is one of the most sought after graduate schemes. More than 2.000 applicants competed this year for a spot, making it a competitive programme to get into.
The Vestas’ graduate is currently on his second rotation, working on a project in Aarhus. He is more than happy in the company and hopes to prolong his career at Vestas.
– I would like to stay at Vestas after the programme. It is not that I plan too much, I feel it only delimitates the options at hand, which there are plenty of here.
It makes me confident I get to work within something I like in the future too. Hopefully, I can someday become a manager here, and be part of developing a team of talented people.
When looking back at his start at Vestas, it is clear that there was plenty of new knowledge to acquire relatively fast, but also that a lot of support available.
– It’s a process of coming up and running. You get involved from day 1 into the core life of Vestas. The onboarding process lasted at least a week, but you continuously have support from both a buddy and a mentor. A buddy will supply you with the most important knowledge on the go, while you learn from the activities you participate in as well.
Fabrizio indicates that the industry is more complex than he thought, and the first weeks were therefore also about understanding windmills as well as Vestas in general. He met his stakeholders, which essentially are parties in your assignment, and prepared them for his project.
The company was also keen on showing the new graduate around on company facilities, why the newly graduate saw factories and plants based in Ringkøbing, Hammel and Lem. The tour was of high value, contributing to the overview of the company that Fabrizio obtained in his first 30 days, as he got to “see where the magic happens”, as he put it.
This period was however also part of his first time in Denmark at all. Therefore, it was important to get to know the city of Aarhus as well.
– There is a great international network in Aarhus. You can join many organizations, sports clubs and the like. You need a bit of courage, but you will get to know people quickly.
But at Vestas there is a social vibe as well, for example the Friday bar, which is a good way to network. It is organized by an organization inside the company, which arrange a number of events like wine tasting and restaurant visits. In general, the Vestas graduate network is cohesive, and you learn the others as friends outside of work too.
Fabrizio was surprised to find the level of interaction from managers to the graduate programme, which he didn’t experience at Lufthansa.
– Lufthansa was more tough, there were not many chances to get to know people. Here it is much easier. The attention from managers to the graduate programme is high, they are very interested in developing the talent. Therefore, they also make sure you as a graduate experience a lot of different tasks, visiting factories and exposure to top management, which makes your first 30 days overwhelming but extremely fun and meaningful.
After that phase you are independent, and it is up to you decide which people you need to connect with for your tasks.
On whether there are some things that Fabrizio would have liked to known before starting his time at Vestas, or other types of preparation, there are a few things.
– How to structure and cooperate around your tasks is something you learn as you work, so if you come with some working experience you will better settle in. Furthermore, even if it is not required for you know about wind turbines or similar technical stuff, getting a deeper knowledge of both the products and the industry will help you. However, everyone around you is willing to support in that matter.
Talking about which professional and personal skills that are needed to succeed in Vestas, the starting point is the values of Vestas, Fabrizio says.
He highlights that it requires desire to learn, being humble and being prepared to learn as much as possible. Furthermore, it’s important to possess the social skills it takes to work in a team.
– Collaboration with your colleagues is essential. When you’re in the right team, there are no stupid questions, because in order to maximize learning, you need to ask all the questions. And then it is important you have a passion to drive you forward. From the moment you wake up, you chase your personal and professional purposes, trying to improve yourself and the company every day while being conscious about it.
The important parts of a graduate program for Fabrizio is closely connected to those values. Three pillars of a good programme comes to his mind. These are elements to look for in any graduate programme you want to apply to.
Core pillars of a graduate programme:
– HR, also called people and culture – it is the starting point for your journey in the hiring process and are supportive and engaging here at Vestas. You need an established and structured department to manage a good program.
– Secondly, is your team – starting with the manager that is involved and wants to develop you, and teammates that can support you and rely on you.
– Lastly, yourself – prove you can swim by yourself. After you have learned you need to work more independently and show your value. It’s time for you to shine.
Finally, a thanks to Fabrizio for participating and as well to Vestas for willingly facilitating the interview. Best of luck with your remaining program.
1. How much do you sleep?
8 hours a day
2. Favourite Book?
Start With Why – Simon Sinek
3. Do you believe in god?
4. Do you feel lucky?
5. Best piece of advice for talents?
Allow yourself to fall down and come back standing as fast as possible
6. Do you meditate?
Yes, while I do sport. Then I can connect what might seem unrelated
7. Who are people you admire?
Barack Obama and my grandfather
8. What is your superpower?
9. Best and worst habit?
Best: being structured. Worst: I drink too much coffee and getting involved in too many things at once.
10. If you could learn any new skill what would it be?
Playing an instrument, the guitar.
Follow Graduateships on our website or social media channels to find the 2020/2021 graduate guide publication in the autumn of 2020.