Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I was a part of the Software Developer track in BEC. It was a 6-month graduate programme back when I started two years ago but now it has changed to one-year duration.
I have since continued in a software developer role in BEC. I’m from Odense and I graduated from SDU (University of Southern Denmark) with a Master’s in Theoretical Physics. There were a few programming elements in the degree, but besides that, I had no software development experience.
My interest in IT started late in my studies. The first time I stumbled upon graduate programmes was at a career fair at the SDU – and I really liked the ones about IT. Graduate programmes were a great opportunity to get more experience than in a usual entry-level position.
I noted that BEC had a shorter programme and I really liked that – the idea that you did not have to commit for two whole years and that you had the same terms on the contract when you start as when you finish. This was especially reassuring as I came from another area of study, so it made it less “dangerous” to commit. At that time, I was still not 100% sure that I was making the right choice.
Was it then the only programme you applied for?
Yes, it actually was! I got super lucky there. I started with applying for another BEC track, for Business Intelligence, but was recommended to also apply for the software track which was very fortunate as I was more interested in working in that department.
Can you tell us a bit more about what you experience as a software graduate at BEC?
First, there are some weeks of pretty intense education. Here we are primarily just the team of graduates that are all hired at the same time. In the first few days, there are a couple of introductions and afterward, there is a bit less than a month where we are taught the backend languages.
After that, you are assigned to a team and get to spend some time with them. You are a part of the whole team’s tasks and processes. My team has been very helpful from the start. Throughout the programme you also get together for some smaller courses. You get the opportunity to do volunteer rotations, as well – you can spend three months visiting another department.
The time as a graduate ends as you attend a hackathon focused on creating business value and you graduate with the group you started with, which is a nice and fun experience.
Throughout the programme, I got to know everyone, and as they are spread out over different teams, this gives you a really broad network. Thanks to this, you’re basically able to communicate with anyone, as if you've been an employee for ages.
What’s the process after the programme?
Well, I continued as a software developer. You have the same terms as before – this means that you continue on the same contract but just without the programme parts.
Throughout the programme, I managed to learn a lot. I got to know everyone, and as they are spread out over different teams, this gave me a really broad network.
Furthermore, I liked the fact that I was guaranteed a position afterward. I imagine it can be quite demotivating to use one or two years on something that you are not sure that you will get.
What do you feel you obtained by being part of the graduate programme?
I don’t think it’s a secret that the average employee age in BEC is quite high. But the average age has become considerably lower and we have also grown with around 400 people since I started. The number of graduates is also growing – last year, BEC had 12 graduates and only one or two on the Business Intelligence track. This year, there are 22 graduates and about half of them will be Business Analysts.
Generally, there is a really good chance that when you’re a graduate, you just have a few more things to chat with the rest of the employees about and they often know who you are. The network you get through the graduate programme is really great and you’re basically able to communicate with anyone as if you’ve been an employee for ages.
Besides that, it should also be noted that we have had some nice opportunities for giving feedback and input throughout the programme. I personally feel like BEC has really embraced our feedback and it was also visible at the end of our programme.
If you have an interest in these kinds of programming languages and you are a fast learner, just go for it. Just take me as an example - I come from quite a different education, but I am tech-savvy and I was very curious about the developer role. So if you find the area exciting, then you’re also able to learn it.
What type of people would you recommend to apply for a programme like this?
If you have an interest in these kinds of programming languages and you are a fast learner, just go for it. Just take me as an example – I come from quite a different education, but I am tech-savvy and I was very curious about the developer role. So if you find the area exciting, then you’re also able to learn it. The programme is great for people who can crack the code – and then look forward to the next challenge.
Furthermore, BEC has been really good at ensuring that we keep developing and it does not just stop when the programme is over. Instead, they give you the chance to add even more to your development, both the personal one and in terms of learning new skills and technologies.
You definitely shouldn’t be frightened by inexperience.
Any advice at the end?
Apply! At BEC or just any graduate programme. At BEC, the application opens on February 15 and you have a month to put it in. If all goes well, you can start at the beginning of August.
It really is a great opportunity. Personal development, great leaders, and lots of nice people. If the interest and lust for learning are there – then there is almost nothing you can’t do. Remember these two things!