How did you start at the ISS Group Graduate Program? Where did you first hear about it?
Magdalena: I found the application online while I was looking for different graduate positions in Copenhagen connected to finance, as it was a big part of my education, and then I did further research into the program and the company.
Daniel: It was actually one of my friends who works with ISS Denmark from whom I heard a lot about the finance graduate program at ISS Group where Magdalena and I are both employed. He encouraged me to look into the program – and apply.
What attracted you to ISS Group?
Daniel: My friend told me that there are a lot of job opportunities and a lot of mobility within the company. Even though you start at one place, there are a lot of chances for you to go to either another country or another position. It’s great because you don’t have to plan too much about what you’re going to do after your program. You know that there will be a lot of possibilities for you at the end of it.
Magdalena: I heard good things about the company before. Plus, the service industry as opposed to different industries is very much people-oriented, so it means it’s very dynamic, and it changes a lot. ISS is a big-list company with a big tradition, and I think it’s interesting to work with an established organization.
There are a lot of job opportunities and a lot of mobility within ISS. Even though you start at one place, there are a lot of chances for you to go to either another country or another position. You know that there will be a lot of possibilities for you at the end of your graduate program.
Why did you want to join a graduate program?
Magdalena: It was very important for me to do a graduate program. Firstly, I wasn’t really sure in which direction I want to go, and the graduate program gives you an opportunity to try different roles and see what is it that you actually like. At the same time, I think it’s a big investment for whatever I will decide to do afterward, as I have a better understanding of how different functions within the company are influencing each other.
Daniel: I was definitely attracted by the global reach of the specific graduate program and the possibility to take a year abroad at the end of the program. But the basis was the same – I wasn’t really sure what type of job I would like to go for, and afraid that I would sit in a job where I had to do repetitive work, day in and day out. I thought that gaining a lot of knowledge about different finance functions would be a great way to start.
What has surprised you the most about working at ISS Group?
Daniel: It was how close we actually are to the top management. We interact with the CFO and CEO every day, and that is very unique to ISS Group. I was also surprised about all of the responsibility you get from the get-go. It’s your own responsibility to grab that opportunity to show yourself to the management as well. For example, after two months, I had already made an analysis with a senior colleague, and then we had to present that to the CFO.
Magdalena: You are very independent from the very beginning of every role that you get. You might think you would just be an intern who’s there to look at what’s happening, but you get the responsibility. It is challenging at times, but it is very nice as well because it makes you more motivated. You feel that you are needed and that you are developing your skills. And, of course, we cannot forget how good the food is here at HQ.
What has been your biggest challenge as a graduate?
Magdalena: Even if you are a person that likes it, you are changing all the time, so the moment you start feeling comfortable in your assignments and with your team, you’re moving on and starting all over again with a new team, assignments, and even systems. We are constantly in that beginner state of mind that sometimes can feel uncomfortable. But I think it also teaches you flexibility and how to adapt, and that’s very beneficial for our future.
Daniel: If I should mention another specific challenge, it was when I started in internal audit, and I had to make an audit in Germany. You just got into a new role, you just learned about the objectives 14 days ago – and then you have to challenge a lot of colleagues who have been working in the field for 25-30 years on their processes. You’re definitely put right into the assignments.
It was very important for me to do a graduate program. Firstly, I wasn't really sure in which direction I want to go, and the graduate program gives you an opportunity to try different roles and see what is it that you actually like. At the same time, I think it's a big investment for whatever I will decide to do afterward, as I have a better understanding of how different functions within the company are influencing each other.
How do you see your future with ISS Group?
Daniel: We will be going abroad for our last rotation, and that’s a big step that we have to look forward to now. I still have this rotation and another one left. You need some time to think about what you thought was the most exciting team for you and where you performed best.
Magdalena: If we look back on what the previous graduates do who are now in their permanent positions, it differs. Some stayed abroad, some of them are here in a more specialist role or a management position. It very much depends on your own potential and how you shape your career from here.
Do you have any advice for other applicants?
Daniel: You should definitely be eager to learn – you have to learn a lot of things before you can do it yourself, and that’s what you’re doing throughout the graduate program. You should also be ready to expand your network really fast, because as a finance graduate, you rotate a lot and talk with a lot of new people.
Magdalena: Be very proactive, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and to go out and say what you want.