Usman Afaq Zarar (23)

Master in industrial economics and technology management at NTNU


What did you work with at Orkla this summer?

I was a part of their Big Data and Analytics team. I gained experience in dealing with cost and sales data. I would mainly assess how profitability is affected by changes in the price of the input factor such as the price of the raw materials, so when we buy things and it becomes more expensive or cheaper, how does that affect the products we produce and sell. So started collecting and preparing data and finding the relevant information for the project. We got quite a lot of help on that so not all our time was spent on data collection. Then, we had to find out what we wanted to get out of this project and set some limitations. I got to work with visual analysis in Power BI and low code app development in Power Apps.

What was a typical day like as a Summer Intern?

We had a daily stand up which involved a 20 minute meeting where we explain what we have done that day and what we will do until the next meeting. This was our check-in with the leader and we also got help from other colleagues if necessary. Apart from that, we were quite free to plan our day ourselves. We also had a coach who was available the entire summer and who helped us a lot.

What was the most exciting thing about working in Orkla?

It was very fun to analyze the type of data that we were working with. It was also exciting to look at the cost price for a Grandiosa or how much the stores buy the products from us for example when they have campaigns or similar.

Why did you apply to Orkla?

Orkla is a large company with many different opportunities. I think it is exciting that everything happens within the company, and is therefore different than large consulting companies where you are working for a client and not following every step of the process. In Orkla you are more involved with the entire process and follow every step of the way. There are also many opportunities for internal transfers if you want to try something new in the company.

What did you like best about the internship?

The people. I had a coach who was fun and joked around a lot. There are also many great leaders with different leadership styles that complemented each other well.

What is one thing that you take with you from the internship?

I had no relevant subjects or previous experience with data analytics. However now, I have received a good understanding for what such a position and career is about and that there are lots of different jobs within this field of work.

What advice would you give to this years applicants?

IT’s case assignment was a little different than the others because we had to do this individually. Here, it is important to show as much as possible from your thought process. Show everything that you have even though it is just in a Word document, because it gives an impression that you have done a lot.

Which Orkla value is the most important for you?

Trustworthy, because it is such a large company like Orkla, then it is important that they take social responsibility and is a company one can trust.