5 Insights on Supermarket Juggernaut Lidl’s Graduate Programme

Christian Lidl graduate

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I did my bachelor’s at Aarhus University, where I studied Economics and Business Administration. Afterwards I did my master’s in Strategy, Organization and Leadership from Aarhus University as well, spending a semester on exchange in Oslo. I have been with Lidl for a bit more than four years now, starting my career in the company’s graduate programme as an International Human Resource Graduate in 2016. Currently I am working as a project manager within HR Development.


What attracted you to the company and their graduate programme?

It was actually a friend of mine that made me aware of the programme and I got interested when I started to look into it. 

I found the opportunities to obtain leadership responsibility from the beginning attractive and at the same time I knew it could be a good start to my career.
Christian, former HR Graduate and current HR Project Manager at Lidl

It was quite clearly a well-developed programme and that was something I was looking for. Finally, the international rotation as well as specifically Germany as the destination were influential factors too. 


What did a typical day look like?

It might be a cliché, but only when I was in Germany on the three months German language rotation, I had typical days, but otherwise it was not the case in the graduate programme. The proactivity you had to assume, made you take decisions that constantly moved you into new waters. Especially the time spent in the stores involved many different days, one day you would perhaps focus on KPI’s and another day it was about conducting interviews as part of the hiring process of new staff. 


What has been the most exciting project you have worked on?

When I was in Germany in the headquarter, I was part of an exciting marketing project that was focused around a kids’ universe, where I was part of a team that marketed the universe. The time I had spent in the stores made developing the project easier, because you have a better understanding of your customers and how we can tailor the project accordingly. Furthermore, I was part of a project within a talent management program, where I was a key user and later project manager.


What has been the biggest challenge as a graduate?

I think the biggest challenge comes in the beginning and in the end of the programme, when you start and when you stop. Here you firstly need to adapt to being a graduate, which can be challenging, since you need to take in and learn a lot in every rotation. It was also my first full-time position, so taking the step from the university into the job market is simply challenging. Finally, if you continue working at Lidl you need to adapt back into a steadier position again after your programme finishes and it takes some time too.


What has been a thing that has surprised you about the programme?

How fast time flies – the rotation setup makes you try many new things, which fastens the graduate experience. The time I had spent in the stores made the development of the project easier, because you have a better understanding of your customers and how we can tailor the project accordingly. You can get so much out of this programme, and that is why I want to recommend current and future graduates to enjoy it to the fullest and take advantage of this unique opportunity.