Bright future ahead – Summer University starts at Nortal

by Tatjana Tasan, Nortal’s Chief People Officer

It is that time of a year again when hundreds of well-educated, aspiring minds leave university with highly sought after STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and math) looking for a place to start their careers. To help them, Nortal’s Summer University opened its doors this morning to 51 young professionals.

These bright young minds are not on the hunt for just any kind of post, they want to find THE post – where their skillset matters just as much as their personality, where their hunger for learning and self-development will be nurtured and where they can start seeing the impact of their work on clients, their team, the company and why not society.

 – what kind of work do I want to do, and why; is it in sync with my values and beliefs, and what do I want to be known for?

Work is an integral part of life today, you don’t park it for the night and return the next day to get back out on the track; work gives meaning, the impact created through your work does make a difference to many of the players in your life – the right role simply has to fit.

Like a tailor-made suit is not created in one fitting session, THE post is not usually found at first sight. A lot of students and graduates are looking for a post where they can test out their hopes and dreams and their assumptions, do some trials and then decide whether or not the suit fits, or the post is right. It is the foundation of their career, and should reflect their lifestyle. What would be more helpful than a post where they can safely custom fit their role, and enjoy the confidence placed in them that they will be doing well? This is where Nortal’s Summer University comes in.

This program, in place since 2006, has been instrumental to growing and grooming the brightest graduates into well-rounded professionals, respected by their communities and peers, and most importantly as wonderful people to be surrounded and inspired by every day. Some of our partners today – the top 5% performers of the company – joined us through our Summer University program as developers, QA specialists or analysts – today, they are leaders in their domain and looked up to by their teams and newcomers alike, and some of them just celebrated their 10th year at Nortal.

So how does it work? We run a large, inspiring and highly interactive engagement campaign with top schools, universities, student representative bodies and specialist communities, and we show what it’s like to work at Nortal – we invite students to career fairs, test days, a training week full of learning, easy access to alumnae, insights into live projects and customer cases, how our teams work, how we drive innovation and prototypes, they enjoy the many networking opportunities and, above all, the fun with likeminded people!

After all the years of hard work in school and university, it is now time to start building a personal brand.

Nortal is uniquely positioned to offer bright talent a wide array of roles, paired with a thorough tutoring and mentoring scheme and a tailored onboarding plan fit for the abilities and aspirations of these new colleagues. Any new addition is immediately fully immersed into their respective teams; there is no such thing as ‘he/she is the one collecting printouts or bringing the coffee’. And obviously, they get to enjoy or company-wide benefits and events. They can attend conferences, join one of our many sports initiatives, after-hours snooker, barbecues or Sweet Friday’s, just to name a few. And if they fancy a sauna after work, there is one in most of our offices.

These are not just words or cheap corporate social responsibility (CSR). Yes, we work exceptionally hard and often long hours, too. And we embrace work as part of life, so we celebrate it. In fact, while I am writing this blog post, we are heading out to one of our popular offsite summer events in Estonia, and the bus tour is already fun in itself. We have food, candy and plenty of liquid vitamins in stock, and once we arrive the outdoors agenda is promising to be full of games, sports and a good time!

But seriously, does this really work? Yes, it does. We at Nortal firmly believe in the Summer University program as one of the fundamental enablers of our continued growth and success, we believe that giving people a post in a company they cherish and that cherishes their skills will unleash their potential and drive engagement to the fullest – which in turn drives customer engagement and the delivery of meaningful impact through everyone’s work. Let alone the many new ideas brought straight from academia, the refreshing naivety of ‘Why not?’ and the sheer endless appetite for innovation and creating breakthrough solutions at brainstorming or hackathon events that quickly turn into better offerings for our customers. And the circle closes; happy customers are paying customers.

Numbers please. With pleasure! For this year’s intake, we received a whopping 1,126 applications from three countries and five cities – that is more than double last year; actually, it is more than double our current size. After a thorough admission process including assessment centers with interviews, group work and technical test assignments, we are very pleased to welcome 43 new colleagues fresh from university to Nortal starting from June 2017, up from 15 intakes last year!

Nortal is uniquely positioned to offer bright talent a wide array of roles.

No illusions, it takes a village to grow a child, and it takes an entire organization to pull the forces to deliver a high quality program like this. My special thanks go to the stellar leadership team that has courageously been investing in future talent early on, the highly dedicated People Services team that manages the program end-to-end, the super smart and never-tired 40+ colleagues who act as trainers, mentors, tutors (every graduate gets one tutor!), and the many silent helpers who make this program run so smoothly. This is #teamwork at its best.

We are eagerly opening Nortal’s doors to 2017 graduates this Monday, and we will make sure they can confidently say ‘Yes, this suit fits me well’. And since after the game is before the game, we are already planning our next year’s Summer University. And we will be expanding the professional tracks and the reach across more countries and cities for 2018. As I said in the beginning: Bright future ahead.