Simon from Hilti: I wanted to work for a rated global employer with an international work environment

  • Jönköping International Business School: Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics with a major in Business Administration
  • Gothenburg University School of Business, Economics & Law: Master of Science in Management
  • IMD Business School: Hilti Outperformer Program
  • Current rotation: Project lead in Controlling and Reporting for Hilti META, based in Dubai, UAE

How did you end up at the Graduate Programme / when and where did you first hear about it?

I had always known that I wanted to do a global graduate program, because I have an international background and therefore, international aspirations. I love working in international environments, with different people from different backgrounds. Additionally, I felt that a graduate program where one would do rotations in different locations and different divisions, was the best way to kick-start my career. There is no greater path to learning and understanding a business and its cross-functional operations, than a graduate program. It was a relative who recommended that I look into roles at Hilti, due to their fantastic reputation and through that, I found the program.


➔  Hiring!  Hilti are hiring graduates right now. Click here for more details on the programme.


What attracted you to the company?

At first it was the reputation Hilti has as an employer, where they routinely rank high in ratings for employee satisfaction, that to me was important. It is also a global company with offices and business all around the world, with highly diverse teams, which was also a key criterion for me. Finally, it was within an industry that I like and find interesting, meaning I have a lot of passion for our products and innovations and truly enjoying working towards achieving Hilti’s targets. As I did more research into the program, I realized that it is the most interesting and engaging graduate program I had ever seen. The Outperformer Program takes you to at least 2 countries outside your own, you get go to IMD business school, do business travelling, truly contribute to large projects, where you also have ownership and take part in a CSR project, building houses in Bosnia. It met and exceeded all expectations I had for a graduate program.

Why did you want to join a graduate program?

When you leave university, you have a mound of textbook and conceptual knowledge, complimented with case studies and presentation skills, but what you do not have, or at least I did not, is a true understanding of how a large business works. How do the divisions communicate, how do they prioritize, how do they plan and execute across divisions and across borders. A graduate program gives you the opportunity to take all your university knowledge and put it up against a real-life learning journey, that is intense, engaging, but hugely rewarding. By moving between divisions, you see and understand different parts of the business, what drives them, how they make decisions and execute on them; and you bring that with you and apply it, everyday going forward in your career. Quite simply, your toolbox gets filled with 10 years of tools in just 2 years.


➔  Hiring!  Hilti are hiring graduates right now. Click here for more details on the programme.


What has surprised you the most about working at the company?

My first surprise was just how true to the marketing and program promises, the experience has been so far. The company and the program have lived up to or exceeded its reputation and it has been an amazing and fun learning journey with all the other graduates. What has also surprised me, is just how willing people are you get you onboard, give you ownership of tasks and set ambitious, but realistic expectations for you to achieve.

The Outperformer Program takes you to at least 2 countries outside your own, you get go to IMD business school and much more
Simon, Hilti Outperformer Graduate

Biggest challenge as a graduate so far?

The biggest challenge will depend on who you are as a person, different personalities find different challenges. For me, the biggest challenge has been building relationships personally and professionally quickly, when moving to different countries and divisions. To give an example, during my just three months in Dubai, I have worked with Finance, Engineering, Product Marketing, Strategic Marketing and Sales, across 9 different countries spread through the Middle East and Africa. Adapting to local customs, cultures, processes and so on, on top of completing your project is difficult and challenges my introverted personality. However, this is also what makes it such an important learning experience.


Advice to other applicants?

Envision where you want to go in your career, what gives you energy and brings out your passion. A graduate program is a learning journey unlike most others, so approach it ready to learn, ready to contribute and ready to experience all that it has to offer. Looking at my time in Hilti, I can say that it is has been a privilege to be in this program and I have experienced many things I never thought I would, never forget to enjoy the journey along the way!


➔  Hiring!  Hilti are hiring graduates right now. Click here for more details on the programme.