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Karen Højmark is AskCody’s COO and she has worked with several international students. She believes that these international talents are enriching the company. Read more about the international students at AskCody and what business potential do they bring to the company. (Article in Danish)

Karen Højmark (AskCody COO)

International arbejdskraft er berigende

Aalborg virksomheden AskCody, udvikler og sælger en avanceret software til mødebooking og styring af mødelokaler. Virksomheden blev stiftet af Allan Mørch og har nu hovedsæde i Aalborg. Ask Cody hjælper virksomheder til at optimere planlægning og afholdelse af møder samt modtagelse og vejvisning af gæster.

AskCody er også en af de mange nordjyske virksomheder, som har ansat både internationale studerende og medarbejdere. Vi mødte COO ved AskCody, Karen Højmark Hansen til en snak om værdien af internationale medarbejdere og studerende. Hun fortæller, at de i virksomheden ikke bevidst har en rekrutteringsstrategi om at ansætte internationale medarbejdere, men da de er en international virksomhed med en afdeling i Boston, er meget af det interne sprogbrug, engelsk. Hun oplever derfor, at der ikke er noget til hindring for at ansætte internationale. Derfor er det internationale ikke det afgørende for dem, men det er mennesket og ikke nationaliteten, der betyder noget.

”Vi har ikke specifikt rekrutteret efter de muligheder, der er i at have en international medarbejder, men vi oplever værdien af det hver eneste dag. Det er meget berigende”

Karen forklarer, at de internationale studerende, de har ansat, som har været en del af International House North Denmarks program for internationale studerende, har vist sig at være et kæmpe aktiv for virksomheden.

”De (red: internationale) studerende, som vi har ansat, er dygtige, arbejdsomme og rustede og mest af alt ansvarlige, og selvfaciliterende.”

Især på kultursiden mener Karen, at de internationale medarbejdere har noget at byde på.   

”Det er bare mega sundt for os som mennesker at være sammen med nogen, som ikke er magen til os selv på alle mulige måder” siger Karen og uddyber, at det også kommer virksomheden til gode på måder, som de slet ikke havde forudset. Hun nævner et eksempel med deres ene internationale medarbejder, som tog til bryllup i hjemlandet, men valgte at fortsætte arbejdet, mens han var på den anden side af kloden og derfor kunne yde supporthjælp i en helt anden tidszone.

Karen beskriver desuden, at hun helt klar kan se et eksport-potentiale i at have internationale medarbejdere ansat og fortæller, at hvis de for eksempel ville eksportere til andre lande ville de klart tage fat i nogle af de internationale medarbejdere, de har ansat for at få en fordel på det marked.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS & GRADUATES

Yang Che, Lisa and Ionut are all international talents who have studies at Aalborg University and University College Nordjylland. Read their stories and find out how did International House North Denmark’s support helped them navigate the North Danish labor market and connect with local companies. 

Yang Che-Lin (AAU Alumni)

Tell us a little about yourself and why Aalborg?

I am Yang-Che Lin from Taiwan. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, people in Taiwan have a reputation of being aspiring and adventurous, and I am no exception. In 2016, Problem Based Learning at Aalborg University brought me to this beautiful and energetic city on the other side of the world, where I became a master student of Design of Mechanical System. During the Welcome Day event at AAU, the brochure of International House North Denmark regarding their support to international students caught my eyes. Their programs provide a unique opportunity for international students to have a deeper insight of Danish working environment and gradually build their network through different seminars.

What did you like most about International House North Denmark’s support, and how do you think it helped you?

During the time I participated in their programs, I attended several events ranging from company visits to Danish culture workshops. They provided a great chance to be more aware of the industries in the region. One event that I could not forget is the Asian Business Fair. I was introduced to several companies and shortly afterwards I was offered some interviews for internship. Luckily, the story ended with me working as a mechanical engineer in Aalborg now. It goes without saying that the program indeed helped me to open my career in Denmark. 

If you are a new student in Aalborg who wishes to make a career in North Denmark after graduation, then make sure to read more about the International House North Denmark’s offers to international students.

Lisa Schulte (AAU Alumni)

Tell us a little about yourself and why Denmark (Aalborg)?

My name is Lisa Schulte and I came to Aalborg in summer 2016. It had always been my dream to do my master’s abroad. After I graduated from high school I worked for a year as an Au Pair in the U.S.A. and during my Bachelor studies in Cologne, Germany I did a semester abroad in Peru. During that time, I not only improved my language skills in Spanish and English, but also learned life lessons, developed my personality and self-confidence. I got to know different cultures and was eager to deepen these kinds of experience in a master’s program abroad. Since the universities in Scandinavia have a very good reputation and I knew some studies programs were taught in English I started to search for programs in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. When I heard about the Culture, Communication and Globalization studies at Aalborg University I knew that was the right fit.

When did you learn about the International House North Denmark’s programs?

During my first time in Aalborg I tried to attend all public events organized for students. I enjoyed getting to know all these different people from all over the world. We did a pub crawl, participated in a city tour through Aalborg and went to a welcome day. At the welcome day I was introduce to International House. At that point of time, I knew that I would have to do an internship during my studies so I figured it would be useful to get some connections to companies via their programs. Moreover, I was eager to learn Danish and liked the idea to start immediately and to have class always with the same group of people.

What did you like most about the International House’s support, and how do you think it has helped you?

Through the International House North Denmark I got to know a lot of other students and throughout the workshops I have learned a lot about self-presentation and team work. It was valuable to know that there is somebody at the International House who will help me to pursue a career in Denmark but also who would help me with any other problem or difficult situation. This is important when you are abroad without family and friends especially in the beginning. 

Why would you recommend the International House North Denmark’s support to other international students? 

I would recommend it to other students because it is a good way to build friendships in a new environment especially when you are a newbie in Aalborg. At the same time the employees of the International House are very supportive not only regarding your career life but also regarding anything you might need help with. Besides that, being surrounded by internationals and participating in the International House’s events gives you a great overview of what is going on in Aalborg. You hear about interesting events, about the next party or maybe a weekend trip. When studying at Aalborg University you usually must write a project every semester, this can be quite tough and in such hard times you might need some inspiration of fellow international students. All in all, I think that International House’s programs can also affect your personality positively. Taking myself as an example I think that I became more open-minded through interaction with so many different people from all over the world.

What do you do today?

In summer 2017 I finished my master and moved back to Germany. I could have imagined and could still image to work in Denmark, however, private circumstances made me go back to Germany. Nevertheless, I do not live in Denmark anymore, I am working in a German company as Marketing and Communications Assistant.

I enjoyed being part of International House North Denmark’s programs because we had a fun time, I strengthened my intercultural skills and many other points mentioned above.

Ionut -Valentin Munteanu (UCN Alumni)

Who are you?

I am Ionut-Valentin Munteanu and i am currently the Technical Quality Assurance at CivicTech Romania – logistics worker in Denmark since Dec 2016 until present.

When did you come to Denmark?

During high-school I reflected on the theme ‘what about doing a university degree abroad and build projects together with internationals. Reading about various educational programs all over Europe, the free education system from Denmark caught my eyes. With one month in advance to my baccalaureate exam, I was officially admitted to UCN in May 2016. In August 2016 I came in Denmark and I am very proud to have taken this decision to develop skills and professional networking abroad.

What did you start to study?

I have started an ‘AP Computer Science’ degree in September 2016 here at UCN in Aalborg. I was both surprised and fascinated when I interacted with a different education system. The experience was unique as I put the knowledge into various real-word projects. In January 2019 I have accomplished the education, after 6-month internship, where I contributed to data analysis and quality assurance.

How did you meet the International House North Denmark?

First time I heard about ‘International House North Denmark’ and its programs were from my Business teacher at that time. I remember during the first break I applied to ‘Global Growth Agents’ program and was really hoping to be part of it. After a couple of days, I have received on email the big news of being approved. So, the GGA adventure started from September 2016.

How do you think the program has helped you?

The workshops and networking events contributed to understand the Danish culture and workplace, plus other strategic competences. I was not the best public speaker before coming in Denmark, but these courses steadily boosted my confidence.

International House North Denmark’s coordinators convinced myself how important is to understand and speak Danish within market, so I decided to be enrolled into Danish courses. I strongly acknowledge the terminology came in handy to have conversations and solve tasks in Danish at my workplace. And not to forget about the Danish pastries and coffee (quite renowned allover North Jutland and rest of Denmark) who kept me on track to follow an education, have a part-time job and learn Danish, parallelly.  

What are the most interesting things about the support from International House North Denmark?

The program was so worthwhile as it shaped my social-culture skills. On top of it, I developed professionally by being introduced to work ethics, job culture in Denmark and build a professional network behind.

We started with gatherings, that kept us connected with each other by learning different perspectives. Then, company meetings were a plus as we interacted with market and be aware of hiring process tips and tricks.

All those facts contributed to consolidate a group which shares diversity and various passions. We even have met outside the program and enjoyed time together and from time-to-time practicing Danish together.

No doubts, the ‘Pitching competition’ and ‘Pecha Kucha’ contest are one of my favorites. You would be so thrilled to try it out!

Why would you suggest the support to your fellow colleagues?

I wholeheartedly recommend the International House North Denmark’s support and program as the following candidates get to know how to start a career in North Jutland. Meanwhile, you can build long-term friendships, discover new passions and feel the need to imply more within society.