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Being great, good and bad at your job – in one week

You want to be challenged, you want to prove yourself, you want to impress, you want to learn… We want it all. As it turns out, my summer here at Arla gives me the chance to both improve what I’m good at, as well as trying my wings in completely new fields.

Three days a week I spend at the Corporate Responsibility department. My biggest interest is sustainability and I study a master in environmental technology and energy systems, so as you hear I’m definitely in the right place. Here, my job is to look at the environmental assessments Arla is doing of its contract manufacturers and joint ventures, and create a questionnaire that can be used for Arla sites in developing markets. I get to talk to interesting people all around Arla, and they in turn take an interest in the results of my work. I have a lot of freedom to and get to be creative (yes, even with a questionnaire). It really puts my strengths to work!

The other two days of the week, I am out on deep water. My background is in mechanical engineering, but together with three other summer interns I’m doing an innovation project about a digital marketing platform. They are business people and say things like “customer journey”, “omnichannel” and “focus groups”, which are completely new things to me. I realise how much my education has shaped me – I never ask “does the customer want this?” or “how can we make money out of this idea?” like they do. It’s both scary and fantastic, because although I feel like I’m totally lost in this new world and can’t contribute, I’m also learning a lot from my colleagues and bringing in a perspective they don’t have.

If I got to do only one of these two jobs, it would not have been as much fun as it is now. In the beginning of the week I work in my comfort zone with something I know I enjoy. In the end of the week, I stretch that comfort zone and challenge myself. Are you considering the Summer Internship Programme but think that you are not the right type of person or that you don’t know enough?

Think again, because being different is your strength here and meeting people that are different from you is one of the most fun parts.

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