Meet Ruxandra Rafa, graduate of Global Business Engineering

Ruxandra from Romania is a graduate of Global Business Engineering at VIA. Now, she works as a Project and Portfolio Manager at Rambøll.

Meet Ruxandra

Why did you choose to study in Denmark?

I always knew I wanted to study abroad, as I have a passion for travelling, interest in languages, culture and a tiny spirit of itch and adventure. At the time I applied, Denmark was an unknown country for the majority of Romanians. An acquaintance told me about Denmark and I made a largely intuitive decision.

I was positively surprised by the worldwide-recognized, high academic standards and fantastic university facilities, both within teaching and accommodation. The study programme I chose was taught in English and I had both Danish and international class mates. In addition, the Danish educational system is different, as traditional lectures are combined with project based teaching methods empowering the students to think, experiment and develop problem solving skills, rather than just learn by heart - All skills that are so valuable for the labour market as a new graduate.

Starting off in a new country is always difficult. Student life in Denmark can be poor, as the cost of living is high, however, this is compensated with lots of student jobs opportunities, free cultural activities, discounts for public transportation Ruxandra Rafa

My job

I work as a consultant within Project and Portfolio Management at Rambøll, engineering, design and consultancy company, in Copenhagen. I am currently stationed at Ørsted, the largest energy company in Denmark and a frontrunner in the green energy transformation. My assignment is to support the project organisation within large offshore wind assets in development in the US market. My main responsibilities include management of time and human resources for the projects, reporting progress, performance and forecasts on a regular basis.

How I got my job

I was headhunted for my current position through my network and recommendations from former colleagues. I was offered my very first job already during my studies at VIA, where I took an internship at one of the world leaders in manufacturing of wind turbines. The internship turned into a student job and proved to be the foundation of my career within the renewable energy industry.

What I like about my job

What I like most about my job is that I have got the amazing opportunity to work within a young but fast developing industry, an industry where Denmark is a frontrunner and shaping the technologies of the future. I am so lucky to have joined my journey with two leading companies within the renewables, companies with high ethical standards and a positive contribution to communities around the world. I work in an open office space in a relaxed atmosphere, which fosters an “open door” culture and free discussions. Empowerment is one of the key values in the Danish workplace. I receive a lot of responsibility, but I am highly accountable for the results I produce.

The 3 best things about living and working in Denmark?

  1. “Hygge” describes the essence of Danish culture and society. Everything is cosy, local, traditional and safe. It is a country that is innovative technologically advanced, with well-established social, healthcare and childcare systems.
  2. Ask any expat in Denmark and they would usually answer; good salary, work-life balance and flexible hours. Sure, careers and business opportunities are paramount to a good and comfortable lifestyle, but in Denmark time with family, developing hobbies and just having your own private time is as high on the agenda as the paycheck.
  3. I am currently living in Copenhagen and it may sound like a small thing, but I have come to truly appreciate starting my day on a bike instead of being stuck in the traffic in a car and seeing water, water everywhere. 

My advice

My best advice would be to take the leap, be open to change and experience the Nordic culture. For the most part, people speak English and the international atmosphere is fantastic, however it is best to start learning Danish, as this is positively regarded at university but also in the workplace.

For students looking for their first job, it is recommended to have had previous work experience in connection with their studies. This can for example be joining projects in university in collaboration with businesses, doing an internship or engaging in a student organisation. 

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