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Written by Vincent Stöber
This month, September 2022, marks five years of living in Denmark for me. And I figured it is the fitting occasion to share my hacks of working in Denmark as an international.
After studying my university degrees in Denmark, I needed to start a career - and I wanted to stay in Denmark after graduation.
I now have my own company; Access Tyskland, a strategy consultancy that helps Danish businesses to enter the German market.
But let us return to the beginnings in 2017: I came to Aarhus to study my bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management & Communication at Aarhus BSS. The beginnings were actually trickier than I expected. As a newly arrived student from Germany, even landing a first student job turned out to be a real challenge, trying to be seen as on par with a crowd of native Danish applicants for Danish jobs in Danish companies.
With some persistence I found my way into the Danish job market and landed first one, then a second student job in companies based in Denmark.
As time passed, great (student) job opportunities at The Brew Company and later the Lego Group made me better understand my edge on the Danish job market. I realized that landing a job in Denmark is not about replicating a Dane's CV but about embracing where you are different as an international.
However, I first found my true place in Danish work life after founding my own company. Embracing my own difference to Danes enabled me to focus on the advantages that my German background brings to the table.
By using your international background to your advantage, you might be able to find your competitive edge sooner than you imagine.
To me, it was very helpful to experience a couple of Danish companies from the inside as a student employee, thus gaining a better understanding of Danish work culture, build myself a network, etc. It made me understand the Danish system better but also made me aware of the business opportunities that my German background has given me.
Using my international background to develop my business idea and founding my own company in Denmark was the smart way to avoid trying to be seen as on par with native Danish applicants. By using your international background to your advantage, you might be able to find your competitive edge sooner than you imagine.
My tip for fellow international graduates in Denmark: Find your place where your foreign background turns into a competitive advantage, where Danes need your unique eyes and mind to understand the matter at hand.