Four months is definitely not long enough when it comes to DIS and when it comes to studying abroad. Less than a month after arriving in Copenhagen, I knew the Danish culture, the Danish people, and an international learning and working environment were things I wanted to pursue further.
Part of the DIS experience includes hands-on learning opportunities. For me, this included a company visit to Coloplast on my European Business Strategy short study tour to Jutland. I had never considered working in the medical supplies industry, yet I was enthralled by the presentation I was privy to that day. Though my summer internship in Denmark was not with Coloplast, I am forever grateful to DIS for exposing me to a new company, a new industry and a new interest – case in point why study abroad is life-changing. I know that sounds dramatic, but the DIS learning style of interactive and hands on approach provided me with exposure to businesses I would never have discovered.
After that visit to Coloplast, I knew there had to be other opportunities uniquely in Denmark that would help shape my potential career path. How could I return to New York without having explored these options? I was officially on the hunt for a summer internship in Copenhagen.
Over the summer, I interned as a sales and marketing assistant at Aasted ApS, a family owned Danish company, which manufactures machinery for the chocolate, bakery and confectionery industries. The internship revolved around my native English skills: I was involved in a search engine optimization project – developing new landing pages, optimizing the company’s web design, and rewriting the English content on their website. Although I had a desk job 9-5, 5 days a week, it is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I learned SEO on the job, and proved to be a decent writer for the company’s newsletters, sales quotes, customer memos etc. I learned a completely new set of vocabulary with regard to machinery, production, and the chocolate making process. One of my favorite parts about my internship was the mutual benefit Aasted and I received. Never having hired an American, I unofficially became the English “consultant.” I loved that my bosses and colleagues walked into my office asking me to proofread a letter, or write a catchy blurb for our social media sites. And at the same time, I learned how to navigate website software and all about the tools of online marketing.
With DIS and my internship combined, those eight months have helped me realize that what I want more than anything is to pursue a marketing or communications position in Europe following my graduation this spring. The challenge of working in a foreign business environment, completely disconnected from American culture, has been emphatically rewarding. I aspire to have this opportunity again soon as a young professional.