University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Tough job at the job fair

The University Post went out to look for a career

DGI byen conference centre is teeming with ‘foreign-speakers’.

It is the Copenhagen Career Fair 2010, and a personnel manager tells me that there are a lot more international students this year than last year. But are Danish companies actually offering jobs to internationals?

Apparently, the main trend when it comes to jobs for internationals is clear: Go for the international companies.

Danish not a must, say some

I spoke to a selection of them. All said that their company has an international profile, different cities to be deployed in, and many English-speakers.

You want to know what the best part is? Perfect Danish is, apparently, not a must.

Read our Top 10 Insider tips for student jobs here

It’s the person that matters

»Of course we are looking for international employees. We hire all kinds of people: humanists, engineers, economists,« says Allan Eriksen from Danfoss, an international refrigeration and air conditioning company based in Denmark.

But there is one very important thing:

»We focus on the person more than anything else«.

Allan says that at this fair, they are meeting many potential new international colleagues.

»They are asking for jobs around the world, normally in countries other than Denmark. And these questions are relevant, as we have a base here and offices in 57 other countries«, he informs me.

Times are tough

»The times are not the best. Trainee positions or part-time jobs are limited,« David Olesen from the accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) explains.

He then offers a tip from the pros:

»Ask not what the company can give or do for you. It is the other way around. What role are you offering the company?«

Many international students are planning on staying in Denmark after their exchange year or masters degree. I ran into three of them, all of them MBA students from Copenhagen Business School.

Filippo Bertoni(23) from Italy has not landed his perfect career job yet.

»We have spoken to a lot of the different companies. They mainly say I should send an application,« he says.

Open to anything

Even though Danish is not a must, it is preferred. Filippo tells me he wants to stay here in Denmark, but things are not always as easy as they seem.

»It’s a challenge, and most want you to be good at Danish«, he sighs.

»Yes, it’s not as hard for me, because I am Swedish«, Caroline Nilsson adds.

So what are they looking for?

According to Iva Odorcic (22) from Croatia opportunities will arise when you least expect.

»Well, we are almost open for everything. Who knows?«.