14 February 2017 | Grads Corner | Guest Author
My name is Grace, I am 21 years old and in July of 2016 I graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Like many other final year students and graduates, I had little to no idea about what my next steps were and I felt a little overwhelmed by all the decisions I was having to make. I knew that I didn’t want to study for a masters as I wasn’t interested in being a professional sociologist, but I also knew that I didn’t feel quite ready for a full time job just yet.
As time went on, I began to think about moving abroad. I’d heard all about the idyllic land that Denmark was meant to be, full of ‘hygge’ and happiness, so I decided to do some research!
I’d always had an interest in marketing as a possible career path and during my holidays from university I had worked at an examination board as an intern in the business development department and then as a marketing assistant. Sociology definitely paves the way for a range of career paths thanks to the range of skills you get, but I was a little concerned about how I would embark on a marketing career without some kind of relevant qualification.
Through my research, I found a Marketing Management AP degree course at Business Academy Aarhus in the city of Aarhus in Denmark and I decided to take the plunge and apply. I was accepted to the programme after a stress-free application process and I moved to Aarhus and began studying in August 2016.
Since then, I have been adjusting to Danish life. All the rumours you hear about Denmark are entirely true – free education and healthcare for EU students, short working days and parents leaving their babies outside cafes in their pushchairs! At first, the prospect of living in Denmark was fairly daunting to me as I had never lived in a country where I don’t speak the native language. My worries seem laughable now as everyone here is so friendly and every Dane I’ve met speaks near-perfect English!
My course here is very different from my Sociology studies and the style of learning has definitely taken some getting used to. The atmosphere is a lot more relaxed and there is not as much focus on individual learning as there is in the UK.
Another notable difference I’ve seen between the UK and Denmark is that it is very common for Danish students to get a study-relevant job alongside their education. I discovered that as an EU student, working at least 42 hours a month would make me eligible to receive SU (similar to a Student Finance grant in the UK). As a result, I decided to apply for a job at a local company, TrendHim, who were looking for native English speakers to help them out in their marketing department. I co-manage the UK market and the levels of responsibility I have been entrusted with is not something that I imagine I would have achieved by getting an entry-level marketing grad job in the UK.
I wanted to share my story to show people that thinking outside the box in terms of your post-grad journey can lead to some unexpected results. Never did I imagine that I would get a marketing job in a country where I don’t speak the native language but here I am! Aside from the job, I’m also getting a qualification and getting some new experiences in a foreign country. I definitely feel that I made the right decision.