Going international – shared blog post
In our second rotation, the four of us went abroad to take up new positions in Falck’s offices in London, Hamburg, Maasvlakte-Rotterdam and Perth.
During our time abroad, we all worked on individual country-specific business projects and gained experience working closely with the local colleagues and stakeholders. The international rotation is a good way to gain insights into the different areas of Falck and get an understanding of the local operations.
Read more about our individual experiences below:
Hugh – Falck Rettungsdienst GmbH, Germany
For my second rotation I spent 8 months working with our Falck colleagues in Hamburg. Falck employs around 2300 employees in Germany, mainly in Ambulance and Patient Transport Services. My project in Hamburg was to identify and introduce new initiatives to make Falck an even more attractive place to have a career. The German economy is extremely strong and jobseekers have a large choice of different job opportunities to choose between. I therefore worked heavily on engaging with our employees before creating & communicating relevant career development options so that they can see a clear road-map for their career in emergency medical services.
Falck has a unique offer to our employees of being able to work in a business where we make a real difference to people’s lives, but it is important that we also harness the personal ambitions of our employees to develop their own skills and careers. The new career path and extra development opportunities – which are designed to highlight the opportunities that Falck can offer as a global operator of EMS services – are now up and running in the business.
Of course, starting a new job in a new country always comes with a steep learning curve. However, my colleagues in Germany were extremely welcoming, very patient (sometimes amused) with my basic German skills and I settled in right away. On the personal side of things it was also a valuable opportunity to spend some time getting to know the city of Hamburg. It really is a great place to live for a few months, especially over the summer when you get to appreciate all the green open spaces and waterways that the city has to offer. Towards the end of my rotation I also got a taste of the city’s famous Christmas Markets. It is a great place which I would recommend to anyone!
Rasmus – Falck Safety Services, Netherlands
On my second rotation of the Falckoner graduate programme, I was working with Falck Safety Services (FSS) in the Netherlands. FSS provides safety training for primarily oil & gas, maritime and wind industries, being a world leader with presence in 21 countries.
I worked within a global task force, which has the responsibility to develop FSS’ business on a global scale. This involves improving our market position by developing the customer portfolio and shaping the division’s approach to a specific industry. My primary tasks were to investigate and propose strategic improvements to our current strategy as well as support the team with quantitative analysis on an ad hoc basis.
The rotation provided me with the opportunity to experience our offerings up close (literally from my office window), and engage with customers and stakeholder to understand who they are and why they want to collaborate with Falck.
Since the main offices of FSS NL are located far out in Rotterdam harbor, currently being the sixth largest port in the world, I was living in the city of Rotterdam (about 40 km commute). The vast activity in the harbor has attracted a lot of foreign nationalities making it very easy to integrate. Furthermore, the relatively short distance and reasonably priced flights, made it possible for my girlfriend, family and friends to come and visit.
Helene – Falck Emergency, Australia
In the second rotation of my graduate position with Falck, I worked at our Australian head office in Perth. Falck Australia provides medical, security and emergency services to large operational sites and projects in the mining and construction sectors across Australia and Papua New Guinea. In Australia, Falck specialises in the establishment and operation of comprehensive remote area medical- and emergency response services.
As the business in Australia has grown and today counts four regional offices in addition to the office in Perth, a series of efficiency projects has been initiated. As part of Falck Australia’s organisational efficiency programme, there was a need for a more lean and efficient national procurement system. The main purpose of the project was to optimise the current procurement process and implement a new electronic system that would bring efficiency gains to the business.
In my position as project manager, I was leading the procurement optimisation process and was responsible for implementing a new requisition system across Falck’s four regional offices in Australia. My main deliverables for the project were to develop and customise a new web-based purchase order system together with the external software developer. I was also responsible for building knowledge and capabilities internally through hands on training with our operational staff and develop training material, and update business procedures.
The scope of the project allowed me to get a good understanding of Falck’s operations in Australia and work closely with management and all administrative functions in Perth. It also gave me the opportunity to visits to our offices in Brisbane and Melbourne to train our field staff and explore bits of the East-cost of Australia.
Caroline – Falck Medical Services, United Kingdom
During my second rotation, I was stationed in London, where I worked in Falck’s UK Ambulance business. Falck provides emergency ambulance services and patient transport services in a number of areas across the UK. I was tasked with the design and implementation of a performance management framework. Quite an interesting challenge, as I was given full responsibility for the project from scratch, which meant that it was up to me to define and scope the project and its deliverables, to determine the approach, and to carry it through. I was very happy to be able to draw on my learnings from the first rotation, having worked alongside some very skilled project managers. I also got a chance to flex my (rookie) change management muscles, while helping the organization adopt a rather new way of working.
During my stay, I referred directly to the local CEO, and was part of the management team. This gave me a unique understanding of the bigger picture, and insight into what it entails to run an operational business. Furthermore, I made a point of involving colleagues from various roles and levels across the business during the design of the performance management approach. This both ensured a solution that was designed to work for the people using it, and gave me a great opportunity to understand the business and its strengths and challenges from multiple perspectives.
And hey, who wouldn’t want to spend some portion of their life living in London?