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Five Lessons I Learned as an International Young Graduate

For Michael and Sihan, current employees of Daikin Europe, the International Young Graduate Programme was more than a stepping stone to launch their career. It was an opportunity to gain exposure in the field and gain valuable experience for their professional development. 

We asked Michael and Sihan to share with us the top 5 lessons they learned during their time in the programme and their advice for future recruits!

Be open minded

Be open minded

Sihan: One of the advantages of the programme is you have an opportunity to work in various departments at Daikin Europe. Keeping an open mind is important because in the end, if you to get to know the ins and outs of each department, you will learn more about the company and how to collaborate with other teams.

Michael: Being open minded is also essential for problem solving. When I started the programme, I would often use my own ideas to tackle an issue straight on. But I soon figured out this was just tunnel vision. I learned when I take the time to get advice from colleagues, I could gain the right insight to come back and propose an even better solution.

Have a global mindset 

Sihan: Daikin Europe is a very international group. With seven factories and twenty sales divisions spread across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, there is a good chance you have an opportunity to work with colleagues and teams outside your headquarter.

Michael: If you look at a Daikin product from a global standpoint, it will also prepare you to think strategically. For example, the strategies you plan or propose to colleagues could influence the company not just within your region, but also worldwide. Working with colleagues of different nationalities and cultures will prepare you to work in an international organisation.

Have a global mindset
Build your network

Build your network

Michael: Your network is key. You should be a team player and be open to learning from colleagues with more experience. By building an internal network from various departments, you will find the right people to collaborate with for future projects.

Sihan: Networking is one of the most essential things to put you on the right track for success. Internal networking can accelerate the efficiency and quality of your work, while external networking, (building connections with suppliers, dealers and distributors), can help you expand business opportunities.

Challenge conventional thinking

Michael: During your traineeship you may face many challenges that you are not prepared for. Don’t be afraid of these challenges. Instead, see them as an opportunity to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Analyse the problem, start discussions with others and use your imagination. The last point is one I want to stress the most because proposing a standard solution is easy. It’s when you dare to dream big you can offer more value to a company and create lasting effects.

Sihan: No matter if it’s in sales or manufacturing, Daikin Europe needs you to have a dynamic mind and a long-term view. From my experience in the European Procurement Centre (EPC), I learned thinking outside the box was essential to finding the right solution for each Daikin factory. Its these types of assignments that can challenge you to think differently to devise smart strategies.


Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Sihan: Be confident, not everyone is perfect. When you start your traineeship, no one expects you to know everything about every product for every department. That’s why asking questions is an essential first step to start learning. When I worked in Daikin Applied, I knew absolutely nothing about chillers, but I learned quickly because I dared to ask questions and learn from my mistakes. This was a great lesson because now I’m confident in my knowledge of these products when talking to suppliers and professionals.

Michael: In your professional career, you should view mistakes as part of your professional development. During the first part of my traineeship, I remember I made a mistake in a calculation, and I was so afraid of the repercussions. I handled the solution by communicating what happened to the relevant parties and worked with them to solve the problem. In the end, no one was angry, no one got hurt, and the world didn’t stop. My advice: Do not be afraid to admit your mistakes; talk openly with your colleagues and use it as a learning experience.

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