Interview with Yannick van Ballaer, Global Business Processes Graduate at Novo Nordisk

Yannik graduated only a year ago, but he already has big plans ahead. Currently living and working in Copenhagen as Global Business Processes Graduate at Novo Nordisk, he now moves to Princeton in May for 8 months.

 The Cems Club ask him….

Yannik, how is Copenhagen like?

Copenhagen is a very young and dynamic city that constantly invests in making itself more livable, green, and attractive to internationals. Everybody speaks perfect English and the city offers a great combination between nightlife and cultural sites. 

How is this the company like? Do you like your job?

Amazing company in an industry that is constantly changing and where you need to be able to change your mindset at a moment's notice. Work-life balance is priority 1 and allows you to combine work with hobbies and self-development. 

If you would have to describe CEMS in one sentence, what would it be?

The CEMS program acts as the perfect springboard vaulting you into incredible experiences, interesting learnings, and a lifelong group of internationally-minded friends. 

What was your best experience at NOVA?

NOVA isn't always #1 on people's university list, yet I think it should be. With the many group assignments and with its new campus, the university promotes activities outside of the traditional classroom setting, resulting in much more well-rounded graduates. NOVA graduates are typically very well equipped to handle anything that school, society or jobs will throw at you.

Where did you go in exchange?

WU (Vienna School of Economics and Business)

What would you recommend every CEMSie?

Invest time into building and maintaining your CEMSie network! We don't often think about it but CEMSies are spread out in so many companies all over the world. Effectively leveraging these allows you to meet so many new people and often gets you a foot in the door when looking for jobs after the program. One of my colleagues told me on day 1 "Networking is one of the core value-adding activities that employees can bring. As soon as you stop networking, I believe the company should fire you". As rough as that may sound, I completely agree with that statement. Just purely knowledge-sharing with people from other companies and industries brings so much knowledge with which you can solve problems and prove yourself. As CEMSies most of us love to talk about ourselves and what we do, so if there is one thing I would recommend it is to just be bold and reach out to interesting people and ask how they got to do what they do.

What is your greatest achievement? 

Tough question and as a recent graduate I don't feel like I have reached that one big achievement yet. However, I do feel proud about my ability to constantly adapt and be able to move around to new destinations and jobs. We are young and not yet bound to one career or one city, so I am really trying to exploit on that and take on as many different activities and challenges as I can. 

What would be the last thing you would like to tell us?

Don't just limit yourself to the traditional companies that we get pushed to through CEMS [think of consulting ;)] but really look around. There are so many companies and positions out there that we never think about but that allow you to take on much more responsibility from the get-go. Again, using your network to explore what is out there is key in this.