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International Talent Conference 2019 - Matchmaking, responsible leadership and food for thought

International Talent Conference 2019 - Matchmaking, responsible leadership and food for thought

On Friday 24th of May, 250 highly-skilled international students from well over 60 countries were warmly welcomed at Novo Nordisk corporate headquarters, where they attended the annual talent conference organized by Copenhagen Capacity. The talented international Master’s students and graduates had a chance to talk to company representatives of Novo Nordisk, Danfoss, MAN Energy Solutions, Coloplast, GN Store Nord, Bayer, FMC and LEO Pharma.

Besides the workshops on CV and application letter Do’s and Dont’s and how to properly approach the companies by addressing their core values, there was a number of interesting discussions on Danish culture and panel debates on responsible leadership. Anthropologist Dennis Nørmark talked about dangers of pseudo-work and how important trust, open dialogue, low power distance and empowerment of employees is. The advantages of working in Denmark include prioritization of meaningful work, as well as high productivity and low working hours which enable the greatly valued work-life balance. To illustrate, he mentioned a research which shows that 70 % of Danes would choose to work, even if they were economically independent, as they enjoy and find meaning in what they do.

The highlight of the day was the royal visit from HRH Prince Joachim and Sofie Carsten Nielsen, former Minister of Research, Innovation and Higher Education. They talked about the importance of attracting global talents and retaining them in Denmark and emphasized the value that international students bring to the Danish society: new perspectives, cultural awareness and global competencies, creativity, but also hard skills that the Danish industry needs. While HRH Prince Joachim shared stories and inspiring advice to the young people by engaging his personal experience of studying and working abroad, Sofie Carsten Nielsen mentioned that international students are not just good business for Denmark by contributing to the state budget with an average of 300.000 DKK, but that they enrich the Danish universities by creating innovation.

We asked the students that attended the talent conference to hear their impressions.

Tereza Faitova from SDU mentioned that having a chance to talk to the company representatives directly and get the insight on their working environment and their values were very important. She added that talking to so many motivated peers who face the same troubles, but are willing to go an extra mile to pursue a career in Denmark was very inspirational. She found Dennis Nørmark’s presentation about the time waste caused by fixed working hours and lack of employees' motivation an eye opener. Finally, the tips and tricks that former international students and now well-established young professional shared were very useful and she expressed that she is fueled with new energy to be patient and persistent during the job search.

Elisa and Petra from Aalborg University appreciated the possibility to network and enjoyed the workshops and discussions on Danish working culture, working and learning mindset and responsible leadership, which they described as great food for thought.

Finally, Tijana, a Young Professional from Aalborg University, was one of the representatives of the international talents granting her a chance to talk shortly to HRH Prince Joachim, whom she described as genuine, engaged and encouraging: "It has been a great privilege and honour to talk to his Royal Highness. I used the opportunity to reiterate the value which international students create for Denmark, by mentioning my personal example. Upon returning to my home country after finishing my B.A. at the University in Copenhagen, I worked for two years at the Royal Danish Embassy in Serbia promoting Danish interests, culture and businesses. Even though many internationals leave after finishing their education here, they are smalls ambassadors of Denmark and that should not be overseen.”