That was the reality when 15 top students from nine different nations spent a whole day in Lyngby competing for five vacant positions in the MITAS graduate programme 2016.
As a part of the selection process - and as a supplement to the traditional job interview - the candidates were divided into smaller groups and asked to collaborate on a joint recommendation on a complicated technical issue.
The group work exercise was thoroughly monitored by corporate senior engineers like Ib Larsen, Jacob Johansen, Jacob Andersen Hansen, Gunnar Bjørnsson and Henrik Stadsgaard.
"This is a new initiative that we are very confident about. We expect our MITAS graduates to possess the ability to have both professional and personal impact in a group discussion, but also the skills to involve the entire group thereby ensuring the best result. The group exercise gives us valuable insight into the students' abilities in these areas. It is also an opportunity to involve more internal stakeholders thereby giving them the opportunity to impact the selection," Ib Larsen says.
Luiza Almeida is a Brazilian born Naval Architect and one of the lucky few to get through the needle's eye to the final test, the so called MITAS Assessment Day, 31 March.
She fully understands the background to the group exercise, even though she admits that is a rather awkward situation.
"It is the flexibility, the versatility and the many challenges that makes the MITAS programme so attractive to me. And in this context the ability to involve actively in a group project is of course hugely important. So I can easily see the background for this exercise," Luiza says.
The MITAS Assessment Day is developed to ensure that Maersk Drilling pick the most dedicated and best qualified engineers.
MITAS is a two-year acceleration programme, which will prepare the chosen candidates to various engineering roles within Maersk Drilling. The candidates will meet fascinating technical challenges along the way with assignments both onshore and offshore - and they will develop a business mindset.
Prior to the Assessment Day, the 15 candidates had been carefully selected based on assessments, initial technical screenings and HR and technical Skype-interviews.
"By spending a whole day with the group of candidates we get a unique opportunity to see behind the facade and we get a comparison basis to make our selection from. The MITAS programme is full of exciting and unconventional challenges, so the candidates should not be surprised that assessment day is just the same," says recruitment specialist Tinna Randbaek Nielsen.
During the MITAS Assessment Day the candidates attended a traditional job interview and they got an introduction to the programmes from Head of Engineering & Projects – and a former MITAS graduate - Jacob Johansen. Moreover the 15 candidates got the opportunity to meet and discuss with a batch of current or former MITAS Engineers in Maersk Drilling.
Out of the 15 MITAS candidates three come from Danish universities. Another three come from Delft University in Holland while the rest is enrolled in universities from Singapore to Scotland.
The programme got 1891 applications and the candidate pool that was invited for the first technical screenings represented 30 nationalities and 40 different universities.
As a new initiative the Recruitment Team this year launched an ambitious Facebook campaign to target the newly graduated engineers where they spend a great deal of their time – on social media. As part of the recruitment campaign a MITAS Video was created. The social media campaign reached 55.000 individuals and paved the way for 32.000 clicks on the video.
The recruiting process is still pending. The selected candidates will be notified this week.