What is it like to have an internship in a Danish company?          

Many international students apply for studies in Denmark due to its unique education system that allows students to spend an internship semester working for a company. Internships are not only a great opportunity for international students to put their knowledge into practice, but they can also become the first step toward a professional career in Denmark. Now you might wonder, what is it like to have an internship in a Danish company? Here’s what we have learned based on the experience of international interns at Danish companies.

The Hierarchy is Flat

If you are new to Denmark it might come as a surprise that everyone is usually called by their first name or even their nickname. No titles or other formalities are necessary which makes the working atmosphere more relaxed and casual. If you choose to work for a Danish company, don’t be intimidated by the titles, positions, or even seniority of your colleagues. People are generally open-minded and like to share their expertise and knowledge. Interns are therefore welcome to ask questions and share opinions as every voice matters. This makes Danish working culture quite unique compared to other European countries.

 

Casual Dress Code

As previously mentioned, the working culture is usually laid-back. The dress code is generally casual and seeing a colleague wearing a suit will be rather a rare find. There’s a better chance of seeing a CEO running through the hallways in his flip-flops. Danes respect diversity, therefore both interns and employees are judged on their performance, not what they wear or how they look.    

 

   - What Is It Like To Have An Internship In A Danish Company?           - Career Denmark

 

Being Informal

Being informal moreover extends to internal communication. Communication through email is becoming less and less common and is now being replaced with communication channels such as Slack. Sending memes or gifs instead of a formal email asking a question or a follow-up on a task is more popular… and way more fun. 
 

Work Events for Employees

Danish companies care about building a positive workplace culture through various events. Whether it is a trip to Legoland or a Friday bar, the company will most likely offer their interns various events & activities to bond with the rest of their colleagues. Especially for new international students working for a Danish company, it can be a great opportunity to get to know some of the co-workers and learn about how different departments operate. It is also an easy way to learn about Danish culture and values. As Danes, value teamwork while developing projects, getting to know other employees can make a life of an intern much easier!

 - What Is It Like To Have An Internship In A Danish Company?           - Career Denmark
 

Growth and Collaboration

Many Danish companies like to invest in their interns. It is not uncommon for interns to request a work-related book, access to a website offering online courses, or even a day off to attend an event, workshop, etc. Supervisors understand that interns are there to learn. Therefore many interns, whether it is international students or Danes, discuss their expectations at the beginning of the internship, letting the employee know what matters to them.        

 

Internships can turn into Jobs

 

It is very common in Denmark to have a student job while studying which usually requires 10 – 12 hours of work per week. Many Danish companies hire their best interns as “student worker” (from Danish: studentermedhjælper) after completing the internship period.

That is why internships for international students in Danish companies can become even more beneficial and often open new opportunities for students.

All in all, having an internship as an international student for a Danish company can be a fruitful experience. The informal style of communication, relaxed workplace culture, or Friday bars are only some of the benefits that a Danish company can offer to an intern. If you value gaining knowledge through experience, and independency and can handle responsibilities from day one, you might consider applying for internship programs in Denmark.

Are you a student in Denmark or abroad and having difficulties in landing your dream internship in Denmark? Book an appointment here

Kate Dahl

Kate Dahl

4+ years of experience as a career consultant for internationals in Denmark. Founder of Career Denmark. American living in Aarhus.
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