Hi guys, just a few more days left before the application deadline (it will close on March 5th http://about.bestseller.com/jobs/job-search/international-business-trainee-2017-144792) and I know that ‘now’ is the last hesitation about “should I?” Yes, you should! And I am going to give you some reasons.
On Tuesday evening all of the IBT’s had a dinner and 3 hours chatting with Anders Holch Povlsen, CEO and owner of BESTSELLER. During this time we had the opportunity to tell him, one by one, what we felt were the strengths and opportunities of the business as well as providing suggestions about things we would like to change within the organization, in addition to all the questions that we had. It was a great chance to hear all of the explanations and to have all of the comments from the ultimate responsible of the company, aside from getting to know him better, and we will meet him again before summer.
Personally, I received some comments from other people in the organization expressing how lucky we were to have this occasion, which made me think about all the special treatment when being an IBT. In addition to that, I have received some questions from people applying for the program so I thought it would be a good idea to write down what can you expect from the program:
- Work. You will work as a regular employee, with the same working hours. Besides that, expect to be challenged or take the first step and try to challenge your manager too! Everyone will listen to your ideas and support you to perform them, if there a problem you will receive constructive feedback.
- School periods. During the two year program, there are 4 school periods (between 1-3 weeks) where you will learn about the whole value chain. Even if is it not directly related to your job, it is a great chance to learn more about the business. For example, in the first school period, right after we arrived in Denmark, we learnt about Retail and went to Germany for 10 days to work in the stores and learn their operations, including being a part of an interesting competition that took place between all the IBT’s groups. At the end of March/beginning of April we will have our second school period (stay tuned for the post), where we will learn about production and will go to China for one week to visit the Suppliers. We are really excited about that! The not (that) funny part that is related with each school period, is that we have to write an academic report and you will be evaluated and provided with feedback.
- Manager & Coach. You will have a Manager and a Coach, ready to help you and making sure that everything is all right. I have status meetings with my manager every month to explore new challenges and to check how my tasks are being performed, but I am more than welcome to approach them any time with more suggestions. Besides that, it’s habitual to have “catch up coffees” with my lovely Coach Vicky, just to check that I am fine and that everything is ok. Her role as a Coach is to be my first contact just in case I am not happy with something or I have a new idea, although we also work together in different projects. Being experienced in working abroad for some years, do you know how good does it feel?!
- Stationing. The second year you can go to up to two different destinations. This placement will depend on your role, your brand and the needs of the business. There could be the case where it makes more sense for you to stay or just go to one place, there are other people that even the first year travel a lot, but as I said, it depends on each person, be patient and you will eventually know where that will be. In my case, my second destination will be LONDON!!! I will have an interesting project there for some months and I could not be more excited 🙂
- Accommodation. The IBT’s are divided in two groups and their location depends on the brand or department that they work for: Brande or Aarhus. In any case, everyone lives in the same building and shares an apartment with one of their fellows IBT. If you have ever lived in a dormitory you can recognize dinner meetings, movie nights and endless chit-chats.
- Salary. As my friend Anna said in a prior post (highly recommended http://bestseller-ibt.com/2017/02/20/reality-check-dealing-with-expat-challenges/ ), Denmark is expensive and the salary is not huge so don’t expect to party like Jay-Z. You will be able to have everything that you need, eventually save some money and be able to do some trips here and there, what else can you ask for? In addition, the IBT team pays for two trips a year to your home country, pretty good, right?
- Friends. What I call “pack of friends”. You have the opportunity to get into a place with, in my case, 21 other people who all have the same purpose. It makes things waaaaay easier. Even though we all like each other a lot, and we are always looking forward to meeting up and doing new things, it is only natural that we tend to make groups, as is human nature we get closer to some people more than others. In my case I have what we called “Little Ohana” (Ohana means family in the Hawaiian culture), and we have some traditions like eating pancakes which Hannah, my adorable flat mate, prepare for us on Fridays, before we go to Burger Shack (best burgers in the city) and watch a movie afterwards in one of our rooms. Ok, we don’t have the most healthy Fridays, but we love it and we do a lot of sport the rest of the week 🙂
So here my notes, I hope you can find it useful. Remember that you can always leave a comment if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer.
Good luck to everyone!!