Making the move
Denmark is on everyone’s bucket list of countries to visit but was never the country I thought I would move to. However, that changed when I went on a student exchange programme in 2015 and I simply fell in love with the country. I spent a semester at VIA University College in Viborg where I studied Social Entrepreneurship. Here, I met people from all over the world, coming from various backgrounds and it was great seeing that cultural differences only brought us closer together. From that moment on, I knew that was the place I wanted to settle in, and quitting everything and moving to Denmark in 2017 was the best decision I took in my life.
For many people it came as a surprise – I was in my early 20’s, about to finish my Bachelor in Communication and PR, and had not 1, but 3 great jobs. Back then I was working within HR for one of the world’s biggest automotive suppliers, was teaching English to children and was volunteering as a Romanian language teacher for Erasmus students. And while juggling all 3 jobs and my studies was challenging, I loved what I was doing and I didn’t want to quit any of the jobs.
I was surrounded by people that were still trying to figure out the path they wanted to go towards, and while I had mine quite figured out – a safe and maybe stable future – I knew Denmark was my choice. And so it was – in 2017 I moved here to start a new education, and well, a new life.
Good things come to those who work hard and take action
I decided to get out of my comfort zone, and I did, big time. I moved to a country that I didn’t know much about and became part of a culture that was different from what I was used to. Besides that, as an international student in Denmark I went through many challenges in terms of being integrated in the Danish culture and community, I have struggled (and still do) with the language and finding a skilled job, because that’s what we all want.
I moved to Denmark in 2017 to start a new education in Marketing Management at Dania Erhvervsakademi in Viborg and during these years I had a student job within hospitality, as many international students do. I worked as a runner and barista, but always tried to find a job within marketing and communication.
There were times when I was frustrated by not being able to land an interview or job I wanted and many times was left with questions such as ‘am I not good enough?’ There were times when I wondered if I made the right decision by moving to Denmark, but then I remember that good things come to those who work hard and take action.
A new chapter
I’ve always dreamt of working with and for people and I recently started my Master’s in CCG at Aalborg University.
My interest in working with people became even greater when I moved to Denmark. I’ve been living here for 4 years and during this time I saw people come and go. This makes me think about the fact that I’ve met so many people that came here like me – full of enthusiasm and with big dreams, but lost them along the way. For many of them things didn’t work out the way they wanted or expected; they couldn’t get used to the Danish lifestyle or didn’t get the job they wanted which in the end made them leave the country.
I’m starting a new chapter in my life not only through my studies, but also by being part of AAU Career where I’ll be working in my student job. The two combined give me hope that I will be able to meet more people and hear their inspiring stories, as well as helping other students like me find their way and navigate in Denmark and, most importantly, make their story a successful one.
Take chances, be open and work hard
I believe it’s important to take chances in life no matter how scary it seems, because no matter the outcome, you will learn and grow from the process. This will only motivate you and taking those risks will improve your chances of achieving your goals.
On a more practical note, be open towards different student jobs. These jobs might not be what you want to be doing and it might feel like they are not leading towards you finding your dream job, but trust me, all the experience you get will help you in the long run. For example, if you work within hospitality you will learn about teamwork, managing conflicts and sales. Just go out and find that job that will put the base of your career in Denmark!
So, my advice for you is to embrace everything that’s coming your way. Embrace the country that you chose, the student jobs, the culture and try to understand it. If there are moments when you feel like nothing works in your favor, don’t lose your hope and confidence – always remember your value, because your time will come!
About Lavinia Antonescu
Age: 26 years old
Education: Culture, Communication & Globalization at AAU in Aalborg
Semester: 7th semester
Job: Student Assistant at AAU Career