It’s your first few weeks in Copenhagen, you have managed to settle in at your new accommodation (if you were lucky enough to get one), begun to get the hang of your new academic schedule and started to know your new course-mates. You are no longer getting lost on your way from point A to point B and all the hassles that come with being a new student in Copenhagen seem to have dissipated. You now feel like you finally got it all together.
But wait! Oops!! there is just this one tiny detail you haven’t yet figured out.
Yes, you guessed right! You need a job.
Living here hasn’t exactly been cheap, though you have been at your most prudent, financially. You need a solution, and realistically, a long-term one at that. Though for now, just any job would suffice. A few posts ago, I offered some tips on how to go about solving this dilemma of sorts. However, if you are someone who prefers to have a long-term plan even while finding a solution in the short-term; you might have already begun to think of positioning yourself for a job that will endure even after your studies (aka a study-relevant job).
If indeed, you plan to kick-start your career in Denmark after your studies, there are programs tailored to facilitate just that, and these opportunities are what I intend to direct your attention to in this post.
Taking advantage of them would potentially make your job-search period shorter, or in the worst-case scenario, much more educating! So one could say, that there is nothing to lose, but all to gain.
Sounds interesting? Yes, I thought so too. So, lets dive straight in.
Youth Goodwill Ambassador (YGA) Program
The Youth Goodwill Ambassador (YGA) program is effectively a career development network for international students in Denmark. You could think of it as a group of international student selected from different universities across Denmark, and given the opportunity to experience all things career-related in the Danish context.
The program has a duration of one year and offers everything from match-making events, learning about personal branding, career seminars to enhancing your chances of landing a job quickly; and the big one, the opportunity to participate in the International Talent Conference, usually held at the headquarters of a major company in Denmark.
At the Talent conference, you get to meet with the top hierarchy of major Danish companies, who you might have never gotten the chance to interact with otherwise. Factor in the potential of networking with the top companies in your field of study, peers from other Universities and who knows, maybe even members of the Danish Royal Family (yes, I actually did get to meet with Prince Joachim at the last conference), it becomes an opportunity you might at least attempt to avail yourself of.
Having had the opportunity to participate in this program myself, it is one I would totally recommend. As almost every other program, there is an application process, details of which you can find on the program website.
Greater Copenhagen Career Program
This is another good opportunity, though as the name implies, it is only for students situated in the Greater Copenhagen area. The Greater Copenhagen Career program is a 6-month career development program, targeted at international students, which offers mentorship and networking; amongst other job-related perks.
The catch, I think, with the Greater Copenhagen Career Program, is that you are assigned a personal mentor, who currently works in the industry where you hope to get into after graduation. This personal touch is one which I think is crucial, especially with the more practical things like CV and Cover letter development, specific career decision-making and for seeking advice.
As with the YGA, you also have to apply to get into the program and since it runs every 6-months, there is a high chance that you would eventually get in. Further details can be found here.
I am of the opinion that the above-mentioned programs are especially not to be missed, if you are enrolled in an engineering or IT-related program, as I know and have heard, of international students who have secured study-relevant jobs through these platforms.
And just in case you are not big on finding a job but rather, starting your own company, there is something for you too.
In fact, Copenhagen is home to a plethora of start-ups and there is a huge entrepreneurial spirit here. Granted, it could seem a bit daunting to launch your startup especially with regards to funding and logistics; and while there are several potential solutions, I will touch on one here.
Venture Cup Denmark
Venture Cup is an organization dedicated to developing university start-ups. They have a host of programs dedicated to helping entrepreneurs from universities go from business idea to start-ups. As a student in Copenhagen, you can take advantage of this great platform to find a partner for your start-up, develop your idea, raise funds etc. The opportunities are immense. You can learn more here.
So, as you go about your job search and navigate your path in Copenhagen, I wish you success and hope that you have found more inspiration. Until I come your way again, stay optimistic.