For a number of years, Novo Nordisk’s Danish headquarters has supported a project that looks at talent in a new way - striving to include those who slip through the net of ordinary recruitment processes.
If you met Alvin Moustgaard on the street, you would struggle to notice anything out of the ordinary about him. Courteous, well-spoken and extremely bright, you wouldn’t guess that he has lived with an autism diagnosis since the age of 10.
“My mother knew that something was wrong from an early age,” he says. “I was often frustrated and angry, and I would take this out on my younger brother. Later, when I attended public school for the eighth and ninth grades, I began having real problems – losing my patience and my focus when others were not on the same page as I was.”
Alvin’s impatience grew as he progressed to high school. Scaling up to a broader curriculum and greater number of classmates was a real challenge, and he eventually dropped out, opting instead for ‘efterskole’ – a special 10th-grade boarding school programme where he could take the time to gather his thoughts when things became too much for him.
Despite his struggles, he continued his education, studying English Literature at the University of Copenhagen, but lost his motivation one year short of earning a bachelor’s degree.
“I was tired and had lost my spark, so I took a leave of absence in order to be able to rejoin the programme later,” he explains - although this is no longer his plan. Instead, he has spent the past two-and-a-half years working at Novo Nordisk’s offices in Søborg, Denmark, where he deals with the administrative aspects of clinical trials - a job he really enjoys.