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Christian Jepsen
Master in Marketing
Christian Jepsen, 27 years old, from Randers, Denmark.
First rotation: Danish Crown Professional in Randers, Denmark.

Why did you apply for the Danish Crown Graduate Programme?

I think you really enjoy seeing a large company from many different angles, as you get a lot of useful knowledge which will be beneficial both during and after the programme. Also, the training that we get during the programme, such as project management etc. ensure that we have a steep learning curve, which I also think is a great asset. At the same time, I had a great desire to work abroad in the short term, but also in the long term. The combination of having to work abroad in a rotation, and that Danish Crown is an international company that works in a lot of markets, is really good.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

It varies quite a lot as I am involved in a few different projects, in general there is never a dull day and it is a step learning curve in a fast-paced environment. Currently I am involved in our fast-food operations working with the familiar brands, such as Steff Houlberg and Gøl in relation to the hot dog stands across Denmark. There, among other things, I have been out with the sales force to visit our customers and get an hands-on experience with the market we operate in and our business model. Further, I have being interviewing some of our customers to get an understanding of their perspective working with Danish Crown Professionals, to see if we can do something internally to improve our customer relationship.  Another project I am involved in, is Dyrbar.dk where we are looking into forecast analysis, ensuring that we can meet customer demands by managing our inventory even better in the future. 

What is the best project or task you have worked with so far?

I've had a steep learning curve in the fast food project. There have been many people involved, both internally within the organization and but also externally in the market with wholesalers, our customers and end users. There, I had to navigate among many stakeholders, and it has been exciting to work with.

What was it like being a new employee at Danish Crown?

It has been great to get into Danish Crown. During the first week all of us new graduates where together at the head office in Randers, before going into our individual positions. We had an introduction to various parts of Danish Crown, along with team building exercises, factory and farm visits. I really think it created a strong foundation for going into our rotations with a bit of know how and a sense of familiarity to the business, which made me feel more confident going into my first rotation, in Danish Crown professionals. Of course, there were many things to get used to, but I felt more comfortable because we had got that introduction before. My colleagues at Danish Crown Foods have been good at welcoming me, where I have been onboard well.

Tell us something that others might not know about you.

I have never had one so full a freezer and fridge as I have had since I started working at Danish Crown. If I go to bed hungry, it's my own fault.

Gustav Winding
Master in International Business
Gustav Winding, 28 years old, from Aarhus, Denmark.
First rotation: Danish Crown Pork in Randers, Denmark

Why did you apply for the Danish Crown Graduate Programme?

I knew Danish Crown have a very global and international perspective and that has always appealed to me. I have travelled a lot myself and lived in Chicago, USA, for two years, so I think the global outlook is very interesting. Further, I think the opportunity to work in different business units to get as many insights in the organization as possible was beneficial. Lastly, I think management/leadership is a great fit for me, so when I saw Danish Crown’s Graduate Programme was aimed at future leaders, it was an obvious combination and decision.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I usually catch up with my colleagues to make sure we are aligned and that everyone is good to go with all their tasks. Further, we have a great relationship, so we also catch up on the personal level. Afterwards, I continue with my tasks and projects which could include desk research, meetings or presentations. I work both on my own projects, but also together with other colleagues – e.g. in USA or London, which is very interesting. I think one of the important things is to be able to structure your tasks and time, during both the day and the week, to progress in the best way possible.

What is the best project or task you have worked with so far?

I have from the beginning been involved in a lot of different and interesting projects. My first project was on dry ham and how we could optimize and incorporate the product in our new strategy by turning it into a value-add product. Further, I am involved in projects in both US and China, which again illustrates the global organization we are working within. In the US we are optimizing the commercial/marketing strategy and in China we are looking into the African Swine Fewer and how the business can benefit from it in the best way possible.

What was it like being a new employee at Danish Crown?

It’s been exciting. I could feel from the beginning, that the Graduate Programme is a top priority in the group. It has been very professional, and I have really enjoyed the process. On my first day there was a clear onboarding plan for me, and I got introduced to all important and relevant processes and people. Further, all the graduates had the first week together which really created a great relationship.

Tell us something that others might not know about you.

There is a carton called Gurli Gris (Peppa Pig), where one of the other characters is called Gustav Gris. In my childhood I have always been teased and called Gustav Gris, so for me to end up in Danish Crown and more specific in our Danish Crown Pork business unit is pretty much on point.

Hannah Griesshammer
Master in International Marketing
Hannah Griesshammer, 27 years old, from Bayreuth, Germany.
First rotation: Danish Crown Beef in Holsted, Denmark.

Why did you apply for the Danish Crown Graduate Programme?

I thought it sounded very exciting with the sustainability journey that Danish Crown is on. I felt there was a lot to move and change in the business, and that attracted me. Also, it was a leadership programme, I felt that was a strong point. And there are a lot of business units so you can get experience with a many different areas of work during the time of the Graduate Programme.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

That’s difficult to say. No day is the same. I do some tasks which are marketing related and sometimes I must summarize some concepts as a text or USP’s. I have also drawn a floorplan for Fair Stand. I’ve done a lot of Excel I do a lot of quantitative data analysis, I did a financial strategy follow up. I look at new product development, and how successful they are. I’ve actually created a dashboard for that now.

What is the best project or task you have worked with so far?

I like one where I had to help to develop a concept for the German market and afterwards, we made some material for that. But I also liked one where we looked at sustainability and how we can improve in Danish Crown Beef on that.

What was it like to be a new employee at Danish Crown?

People were very welcoming, and I remember in the first introduction week we had a meeting and there was a sales director from Danish Crown Beef and he said, “I know that Hannah is also here today”, so they knew I was coming to Danish Crown Beef, and they were looking forward to that. That was very nice. Some spoke German to me. It has been very nice.

Tell us something that others might not know about you.

I’m fluent in five language. German, English, Spanish, French and Danish. And I can speak some Swedish and I can read Korean, but I don’t speak Korean.

Julie Wulff
Master in International Business
Julie Wulff, 26 years old, from Aarhus, Denmark.
First rotation: Danish Crown Foods in Randers, Denmark.

Why did you apply for the Danish Crown Graduate Programme?

I didn't quite know what I wanted to do after my studies, but I think Danish Crown's graduate programme is a great opportunity to try out several positions within one company. It is also very appealing to me that Danish Crown is a large international company and that we are sent out in at least one rotation abroad.

In addition, I find the food industry very interesting, and Danish Crown covers the whole chain – both production, slaughtering, processing and sales.

Finally, the sustainability agenda is also a big motivator for me. I think it is both challenging and exciting to try and work on sustainability in an industry that is known to many as a climate sinner.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I usually have many different projects that I juggle between. I'm in meetings, I sit with some analysis assignments, I work on packaging material and I coordinate projects with colleagues from different departments. So, my days rarely look completely the same.

What is the best project or task you have worked with so far?

We have a big project where we are reducing our number of items to optimize our assortment. We are doing this throughout the company, but the project I'm working on is to reduce our bacon items in foodservice within Europe. It is exciting because there are so many stakeholders involved. What does Italy want from bacon? What does Germany want, etc. Everybody wants customized products, and no one wants to reduce their number of items, but we must reduce in order to reduce our complexity and lower the costs. It's very exciting to be a part of.

What was it like being a new employee at Danish Crown?

It's been good. The first week, all of us graduates were gathered in Randers at the headquarters, where we were introduced to all parts of the business. It created a good bond between us, so even though we are now in different units in different countries, we talk on Skype every month and I feel like we can really share experiences and help each other.

The second week, we started in our respective business units, and then we basically started from scratch again. There is of course a lot to learn, but my colleagues here in Foods have really taken good care of me and they all helped me get started, so it has been nice being a new employee at Danish Crown.

Tell us something that others might not know about you.

I've lived in six different countries (and hopefully more to come). I have lived in Denmark, of course, but also Italy, Thailand, Cyprus, England and Hong Kong.

Kristoffer Lauge Jørgensen
Master in Finance & International Business
Kristoffer Lauge Jørgensen, 27 years old, from Strib, Denmark.
First rotation: Sokolow in Kolo and in Sokolow Podlaski, Poland.

Why did you apply for the Danish Crown Graduate Programme?

There were several reasons. First, the programme is tailored to one's background rather than being tucked into a box. You get the opportunity to develop in different business units, where the tasks and projects are many and different. The opportunity to go abroad was also very attractive.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

My work day is a little different than many of the other graduates, because I have my production rotation. My day begins with my arrival at 07:00 and at 07:30 we taste products from the day before. It varies a bit, but it's typically 10-15 products we taste. Tatar, carpaccio, sausages, etc.

Then I start my project, which is to optimize a packaging line at the factory. Part of what I do is observe the lines and figure out where we can improve the package line. To keep track of these improvements and the development, I am working on an Excel tool, which also help me make data-driven decisions.

What is the best project or task you have worked with so far?

Working with the optimization of the package line has been exciting. This requires an overview of the production and the many buttons you can turn on. I'm now going to move inside Poland, where I'm going to the headquarters in Sokolow Podlaski for the last four months.

What was it like being a new employee at Danish Crown?

When I started, the first week was in Randers, where we had a great introduction to the company and to each other in the graduate group. The most important thing was to get a good togetherness in the group because we can use each other a lot through the programme.

In Poland I got an introduction to many people and to the products. It is all foreign, so there is of course a little extra start-up time when it takes place in Poland. There are language barriers among some staff who are not good at English, but there are also several who are good at English, so they help translate when needed.

Tell us something that others might not know about you.

For many years I played handball at a slightly high level. Then I broke my hand for a workout and so I had to take a break and come back again. But about two weeks after I returned, I broke the same hand again. This time on roller skates. Two months after I returned a second time, I broke the same hand again, this time skiing. So there went my handball career…

Simone Egense Fejring
Master in IT, Communication and Organization
Simone Egense Fejring, 26 years old, from Hvilsager, Denmark.
First rotation: Danish Crown Group Global IT, in Randers, Denmark.

Why did you apply for the Danish Crown Graduate Programme?

I applied because I have a bachelor's degree in International Business Communication and a master's degree in IT, Communication and Organization. Both educations can be used for many different things, and there are many directions to go after graduation. I didn't quite know where I was best and what type of position, I enjoy most so I researched various graduate programs. There, I think Danish Crown's graduate programme appealed to me because it has a general focus on leadership and because you didn't have to choose a specific direction from the start. You get around different business units and you go abroad. I think it is very exciting with all these various opportunities.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Since I started, I have been part of a large project in Danish Crown where we must implement our global SAP template in Sokołów. I am working on this for the eight months I am in this business unit, so I do not have many different projects. I am part of the project management where I am the Business Project Manager. My focus is on change management. There are going to be some major changes, and I need to support employee adoption and minimize resistance to the changes required by the project.

What is the best project or task you have worked with so far?

I joined Global IT when the project started, so I have been involved from the start and helped plan everything from the start. Therefore, I have been part of lot of meetings, a lot of project planning, a lot of trips to Poland and generally had a lot of influence. It has been tremendously exciting to be juggling with so many people involved in this project.

What was it like being a new employee at Danish Crown?

It has been good. People have been very welcoming. Even though I will only be in my current business unit for eight months, people have taken me in completely. I have been given a lot of responsibility and attended all meetings, so I have really gained ownership of the project and feel very appreciated.

Tell us something that others might not know about you.

I have a great love for birds and especially chickens. When I was a kid, I grew up in the countryside where we had chickens. I had a pet chicken called Snowball. It was very tame and would come running when I called its name. I would also give it a bath and dry it with my hairdryer afterwards.

Tom Hunt
Agricultural Business Management
Tom Hunt, 25 years old, from Bristol, England.
First rotation: Danish Crown UK in Bugle, England.

Why did you apply for the Danish Crown Graduate Programme?

I was already in the Tulip Limited Graduate Programme. At the British universities you don’t hear much about international graduate programs. So, when I started in the Tulip Limited graduate programme, we looked in to the parent company, Danish Crown. I kept asking questions to know more about the company.

It was very interesting, and when the Tulip Limited graduate programme began to lose focus in 2019 and stopped, I got to move to Danish Crowns graduate programme instead.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I’m in my production rotation right now, so typically I get in to the factory early and get an understanding of what the plan for the day is. Now it is Christmas time, so we are very busy. I help facilitate the Christmas production. It’s primarily cured gammon we are doing for the major retailers. So, I’m in the factory helping delivering meat for Christmas.

My main other project is about training the staff.

What is the best project or task you have worked with so far?

The most interesting project so far has been helping the site to deliver Christmas. The volume in our site increases massively during the run-up Christmas. We increase our throughput of legs from 80,000 to 110,000 per week, it has been a steep learning curve for my skills in production and a great experience.

What was it like to be a new employee at Danish Crown?

I knew a thing or two about Danish Crown beforehand, but it was very different from Tulip Limited. I felt very appreciated and valued. Especially when we visited the headquarters in our introduction week. From the receptionist to the CEO, everyone was warm and welcoming us.

Tell us something that others might not know about you.

When I was 16, I went to Zambia to help with a rebuilding project of a school. The problem was the school was very remote, so we had to trek through forest, dessert and grassland to get to the school, so we could help at the school. That was a big experience for a 16 old kid. We had to fish in a local river and that was our dinner.