Balancing digital innovation and Olympic dreams

Novo Nordisk intern and competitive swimmer, Anton Ipsen, started off 2020 by beating the Danish record in 800-metre freestyle.

Anton Ipsen, an intern in the Digital Innovation Department at Novo Nordisk and competitive swimmer

Anton Ipsen, an intern in the Digital Innovation Department at Novo Nordisk and competitive swimmer.


We got the chance to talk to him about what this win means to him, his dream of competing – once again – in the Olympics and his current role as an intern in the Digital Innovation Department here at Novo Nordisk. Keep reading to see our Q&A with him:

1. Can you tell me more about the swimming record you set and what it means to you?

The Olympic year is always something special for every athlete in an Olympic sport. Everyone knows that there’s more on the line that year, and it is soon time to perform at the biggest stage.

This naturally creates not only excitement, but also has the side effect of causing nervousness and pressure.

By starting 2020 with swimming a huge personal best and setting a Danish Record by a large margin was a confidence booster to say the least. It will likewise act as a springboard for the rigid training that has to be done during the year, leading up to both qualification and the Olympics itself.

2. Can you tell me more about your dream to compete in the Olympics?

I was privileged to represent Denmark at the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, I was not completely satisfied with the end results, and opted to go for four more years in pursuit of placing into an Olympic Final.

These last four years I have worked hard to not only represent Denmark at my 2nd Olympics, but more so to chase those Olympic medals!

3. Can you tell me about your internship in Novo Nordisk?

I am currently an intern in the Digital Innovation department in Global Development in Søborg.

In the department we strive to come up with new and innovative solutions to existing work processes, to increase digitalization and efficiency.

It has been a pure joy being an intern here, having learned lots about the complicated world of Pharma but also about the intricacy of working in a large company.

However, talking and getting mentored by smart, kind and innovative colleagues at Novo Nordisk has been the biggest experience - without a doubt.

4. Has Novo Nordisk supported your Olympic dreams?

I have been fortunate to be working under Toke Folke Christensen, who has from day one not only enabled me to work on challenging and interesting projects, but also allowed me to pursue this dream of the Olympics by allowing me the flexibility that word class athletics sometimes demands.

This could for instance be, to be allowed to work from both training camps and competitions around the world. The key to succeeding in this constellation is mutual trust and communication.

In this way, I have gotten the absolute best of both worlds, and I’m so thankful to have been given this opportunity to work at a place like Novo Nordisk. In my mind, Novo Nordisk is a place of well-managed inclusivity that allows employees to succeed and thrive.