Leon joins coveted Arla F15® Graduate Programme

22 December 2022

Leon Keanu Fleischer was one of only 10 young people to earn a position in the highly sought-after Arla F15® Graduate programme.

After applying, preparing vigorously, going through cognitive tests, group work exercises and interviews, Leon Keanu Fleischer finally got the news that he had earned a spot in the spring.

After graduating from the Public Management and Social Development programme at SDC in 2021, Leon worked for 1½ years in the German public sector, but as time went by, he felt a growing desire to explore the private sector.

I don’t know my strengths within a corporate setting, so the opportunity to work with business aspects even without having a “pure” business education and going to different international locations while working in different functions was very attractive to me,’ says Leon Keanu Fleischer.

The F15 Programme is a two-year programme, where graduates work eight months in three different business functions and locations around the world.

Leon is now four months into his first 8-month job rotation in the Diversity & Inclusion team at the Arla headquarter in Aarhus, where he pushes initiatives across all core HR processes, such as supporting a diverse pipeline of talents and ensuring equal opportunities across the employee lifecycle.

A fast-track for Arla’s future leaders

The graduate programme was started for the purpose of creating a framework for giving determined young people the competences and values we appreciate in leaders at Arla and a fast-track into leadership,’ explains Karen Olsen Wosylus, who is Graduate Programme Lead.

Teams from all corners of the global organisation can offer up projects and apply for an F15 graduate and the rotations are then chosen based on the needs of the business and the preferences of the graduate. We send graduates to different locations, because we want them to experience different cultures, teams, markets and give them an understanding of the big picture and the values that pervade Arla. The graduates we look for don’t have specific educational backgrounds, but as profiles they are adaptable, ambitious, able to think outside the box and want to challenge the way things are,’ says Karen Olsen Wosylus.

Application deadline for the F15 Programme is January 10.

Demonstrating the Arla values

At Arla there is a set of values that all employees are encouraged to use in their work - Lead – Sense – Create. A key element in Leon Keanu Fleischer’s application process was demonstrating how he had previously used similar values when he initiated the Wednesday Lunch Lottery, when he was a student.

When we first got to China, there was an introduction week, where all the students got to know each other through a range of activities. I sensed that my co-students liked it and wanted to continue to build friendships across nationalities and academics, but there was a social hurdle. So, I decided to lead a group of students that wanted to change this. Finally, we created a system where interested students could sign up and be randomly matched with each other for lunch every Wednesday,’ explains Leon Keanu Fleischer.

Watch a video on the Wednesday Lunch Lottery on youtube

As a next step, Leon will be working as a Category Development Manager in Sales and Marketing in the Netherlands, and he also hopes to go to Arla’s Beijing office at some point – either as an F15 graduate or after completing the programme.