Katarina Pierzgova is a Career Club DK Advisory Board Member and a Business Development & Customer Success Specialist who started her career journey in the ever-changing travel industry, but has changed her career path twice in one year, and eventually found her dream job within the medical device industry.
Where do you come from and what motivated you to come to Denmark?
I was born in a small countryside village in Slovakia, where after completing high school, I studied business economics. My university had a cooperation with Alborg University and I came to Denmark for my Master’s Degree Studies in International Business in Tourism. At that time, I knew very little about Denmark, the way of living in this country, or how special the language is. The only thing I knew that came from Denmark was LEGO, and the music band Aqua with their Barbie song.
What inspired you to become a professional in Business Development and Customer Success?
Growing up, I was mostly interested in studying maps and learning geography. This interest naturally turned into a traveling hobby when getting older and developing a passion to explore the places I already knew from the maps and geography books I studied. I followed my passion for traveling throughout my studies, moved to Denmark, and eventually to Dublin, where I had my first internship and managed the incoming tourism with Ireland as the destination. I fell in love with the concept of being in charge of people’s experiences when traveling, and after I returned to Denmark I found a similar job in Copenhagen. During my seven year long career in the industry and working in a multi- national environment, I developed inter-cultural and communications skills, and was able to use those skills when traveling around the globe and talking to people with different backgrounds about their business as well as looking for opportunities on how to develop those businesses. I always enjoyed the human aspect of being in touch with clients and creating deep relationships which often turned into friendships outside of work.
Tell us about your experience in building a career and a network in Denmark?
I was lucky enough to find my dream job in destination management shortly after finishing my studies. Being a fresh graduate, I started at an entry level position, but was lucky enough to have my bosses’ trust and freedom to work and develop my own ideas. As I grew as a professional, I also grew within the company and was able to establish my own department, with my own clients, whom I helped growing their business, as well as my company’s business. It was the busiest period of my life, until the unfortunate Covid times hit, and I was finally able to slow down and realize I needed a new challenge. I decided to leave the tourism industry I knew all about, and jump into an industry where I was an absolute newbie in, just to realize that sales hunting and pure business development was not a job for me. As everything happens for a reason, I later managed to find my dream company where I currently work, and where I am combining my skills in customer success with gaining new skills in data analytics.
How do you find the working culture in Denmark compares to your own?
It is difficult for me to compare the working culture in Denmark and in Slovakia, as besides a couple of student jobs, I never had a full-time job in Slovakia. However, I am aware of the hierarchical structure of companies in Slovakia, whereas here in Denmark the structure of the company can be quite flat. Being able to call your boss by the first name and pop in by their desk anytime you need is definitely something that is unique for Danish companies. Another thing that comes to mind is the strong focus on work-life balance and giving employees the space to focus on their family and personal time, which is always a priority.
Your best career advice from woman to woman?
Looking for a job is in itself a full time job and it is time consuming, demanding and requires a lot of personal effort every day. I would advise everyone who feels bit insecure about their next steps to “not look for the right position, but look for the right company. The right position will find you there.”
What does Career Club mean to you and how have we helped you?
I have joined the Career Club DK as I was looking for opportunities to expand my network and get inspired by other international women living in Denmark. I was looking for new ideas and inspiration as to where to take my career next. After attending the first event, I knew I found the right networking group, a group of inspiring women who were welcoming, supporting and interested in me as a professional, but also as a person. I gained a lot of knowledge, understanding and by meeting all the ladies throughout my journey with the Career Club DK, and as a board member, I would strongly recommend that every woman who is out there looking for support and motivation to come and talk to us. We are always happy to help.
Advisory Board Member at Career Club DK
Business Development & Customer Success Specialist
Connect with Katarina on LinkedIn!