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Nokia's graduates at the Great Wall

BEIJING, China – Our global graduates have recently returned from Academy Week, an in-depth training package within Nokia’s graduate program. This year they were sent to Beijing, to experience the trends and culture of one of the world’s most progressive markets.

Meet a group of our 2011 global graduates: Anna Bask (Finland), Nakul Kakkar (US), Tugba Seckin (UK), Apurva Prakash (India), Nicolas Neubauer (Germany), Lindsay Conant (US), Lu Zhang (China). 

These graduates were employed into full-time roles via our annual graduate program, which is conducted on our careers website.

Our ‘Nokia Global Graduate Program’ was designed to help people develop skills and make connections to prepare them for a rewarding career with Nokia.

Welcome back everyone! So we hear that you got to hear from some of our leaders across a number of functions, has this helped you to gain a broader understanding of our business?

Lu: “We got to meet highly influential people from different business functions such as Smart Devices, Mobile Phones, Supply Chain Management, NRC (Nokia Research Centre) and HR; to better understand their individual strategies.  It helped us gain a stronger understanding of the challenges we face and how they can be addressed though active collaboration.”   

Tugba adds: “Being new to Nokia, it was important for us to build up an impression of the business as a whole, rather than just focus on our own working areas.”

You also got to visit one of our Beijing Nokia factories and the Nokia testing lab, what did you see?

Lindsay: “The factory and lab tours were awesome! In the lab, the testing engineer showed us how Nokia phones go through a gruelling testing process, how well our products withstand extreme conditions (Nokia is from Finland after all!) and stand up to some seriously heavy handling; such as dropping our phones to the ground (after about 50 drops, the phone was still intact).  In the factory, we saw all the production and assembly lines in action, learning what goes into making a Nokia device.”

Nokia team


In November 2011, Nokia Research Centre celebrated 25 years of innovation and we heard you were all taken on a special tour of the NRC onsite lab at Tsinghua University.  What did you learn?

Anna:Tsinghua University is one of the best engineering schools in China. We got to hear from two seniors in Computer Science research, who talked about using mathematics to explain and analyse people’s online social behaviour.  It was really nice to network with the students, too, and learn about some of the world-class research being done and how they are tackling key technical challenges.  We were really impressed by the novelty of their ideas, the rigorous data gathering and the analysis being carried out.” 

What was the most interesting thing you learnt about the mobile market in China?

Apurva: “We learnt about the state-controlled decisions that impact the telcos market in China.  There are three main operators in China, all of which are Government owned. The result is that each operator is driven purely by government-led 5-year plans rather than business logic.”

“China is full of challenges for Nokia but lots of opportunities for us too,’ Anna smiles.”

We heard you had the chance to participate in some team-building exercises, like the Nokia Cultural Connections game, tell us more?

Nakul: “This was a pretty funny board game!  This game helped us gain more knowledge about cultural differences, different religions and learn more about how Nokia supports diversity within the business.

Lindsay adds: “Sometimes, we didn’t even know about all the key cultural differences in our own countries.  The game involved rolling the dice, moving round the board and answering a series of questions.  The aim was to make it to the globe in the centre.

What were your personal highlights from your Beijing adventure?

Tugba: “Definitely climbing the Great Wall of China in the snow!  It was windy, snowing and the temperature was sub-zero, but we didn’t let this dampen our spirits and we trekked up the slippery slopes to reach the summit. We made it to the top, because we’re learning to be contenders,” Tugba laughs. 

Lu: “Another highlight was being able to develop our global networks and making lasting friendships from this adventure. Every day we got to exchange ideas, support each other and learn – and have fun together.”

Graduates in China

Any pearls of wisdom that you would be willing to share with future graduates, who are interested in Nokia?

Nicolas:  “The Nokia Global Graduate Program is great.  It’s fast paced, well-designed, and tailored for different functions and different people.  It comes with all the benefits of ‘having a real job’, but on top of that, you get a real insight into the strategic issues and the global scale of a huge company.”

Nakul: “If you join, our top tip would be network, network, and network; within the business and with your fellow graduates. The more people you know, the easier your job gets.” 

Apurva nods in agreement: “If you like working in a dynamic work environment, embrace diversity, and thrive on challenges then Nokia is the place to be.”