Chiara Surico, Capability Building Manager for A.P. Moller Maersk, talks to us about how to make the transition from international student in Denmark to graduate employee.

Chiara completed her BA in Intercultural Communication in Italy and a Masters Degree at Copenhagen Buisness School. She first joined A.P. Moller Maersk in a student role in 2011.

What was your experience of finding a graduate job?

I joined the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group halfway through my studies. Today, as a full-time employee, I’m still part of the same team I joined when I was a student. I was lucky to be offered to stay and continue working with my team after graduating, therefore I would say it has been rather easy. My impression is that having a student job exponentially increases the chances of finding a job shortly after graduation. (recent research agrees see chart below) 

Was there anything you did that helped you make up your mind about where you wanted to work?

Copenhagen Business School’s career center, together with DJØF, periodically holds seminars and events for students about the job market, writing your CV, etc. Many times companies are also participating and presenting their business. It is a great opportunity to get to know firms better and it helped me understand what I was looking for in an employer.

What are the pros and cons of working for a large, private company in Denmark?

Working for a large company with a strong international establishment is a great opportunity to learn fast and from some of the best professionals within their function. Not to mention the opportunity to travel and broaden your network as you interact with different colleagues, partners and suppliers. Disadvantages are mainly related to the size of the organization: it often takes time and effort to take decisions and implement solutions, as they will come to affect many departments across the globe.

What advice would you give to current students thinking about working in Denmark? 

Denmark offers plenty of opportunities to students. One needs to be proactive: look out for the branches and areas you have a sincere interest in, learn how the business operates and offer your contribution to it. It could also simply be by opening a blog and/or use your courses/exams to get in touch with companies, collaborate (write a paper with them, go for an internship) and get to know them.  

What should international students do to prepare for life after graduation?

I believe a relevant occupation is essential. Whether you join a large multinational company or decide to start your own business, the experience will have a huge impact on your life after graduation.

Do you think there is anything different about networking in Denmark? 

Networks do play a crucial role in a relatively “smaller” city like Copenhagen, where professionals within the same field have more and better chances of interacting, collaborating and establishing solid connections.

Do you think there is any particular value or qualities that international graduates can offer Danish employers?

An international mindset, high degree of flexibility and multicultural background are important elements that Danish employers need as many local firms establish themselves on the global scene.