Member of the Career Club Advisory Board and Marketing & Communication Specialist Madalina Sirghie is using her passion and creative talent in the online space to reinforce sustainable practices and women empowerment through content creation. We have had a chat with her about her life and career in Denmark, inspiring experiences, and why she joined Career Club DK.
Where do you come from and what motivated you to come to Denmark?
I’m from Romania, and I moved to Denmark in 2015 to study for my Master’s degree in Corporate Communication at Aarhus BSS. I came here together with my partner, whom I met during my bachelor’s in Romania. We both wanted to pursue higher education, and we looked at options back home in Romania and throughout Europe. The decision to come to Denmark was mainly for the quality of the education, but the inside info about life in Denmark I had from my sister, who already lived here, also mattered in our decision.
To some extent, it was comforting to move with my partner and to have family close by, but I was not prepared for the Danish autumn! The first autumn or winter in Denmark is always a shock for newcomers, and I read in Lisette’s interview she had the same experience. Advice from at least 2 Advisory Board Members in Career Club DK: Don’t move to Denmark in the autumn!
What inspired you to become a Marketing and Communication Specialist?
As much as it will sound like a cliche, I believe following my interests and always seeking what feels good and exciting lead me to become a Marketing and Communication Specialist. Ever since I discovered the internet, I’ve been drawn to the online space and content creation. This, combined with studying languages in high school, inspired me to do a bachelor’s in Communication and PR. I knew I’m on the right path from the first semester; it felt exciting to work on the projects.
Now that I have a few years of experience working as a Marketing & Communication Specialist, I love the creative challenge and human interaction my job brings. Furthermore, ever since I started working with sustainability in 2019, and now that I’m leading the Social Media team for Career Club DK I feel my skills can make a difference in areas I’m passionate about – sustainability and female empowerment.
Tell us about your experience in building a career in Denmark?
It was not easy to build my career in Denmark, and I sincerely believe I’ll be in building mode forever, and now this gets me excited! While I lived in Aarhus for my studies, I couldn’t find any student job in marketing or communication in English; thus, the first step after I graduated was to move to Copenhagen.
Like other new graduates who don’t have a lot of experience or a well-connected network, I started by being unemployed. I realize this sounds dramatic, but it is a dramatic mental shift to go from being a student to being unemployed. Anyway, as soon as I finished my studies, I started to apply to jobs and internships, and it was a rollercoaster of emotions! I started very optimistic because in Copenhagen there were a lot more job openings to apply to, but I still went through the whole range of job searching emotions for quite some time – from being mad for not getting any answer on most of my applications, to being sad for only hearing back to get rejected, to being a bit hopeful about getting an interview, to being excited about the opportunity and my interview performance, to being sad for being rejected, to finally getting excited again about a new job position that I would be perfect for!
However, as I got more work experience from internships and jobs, it got much easier to find new opportunities. The hardest part is getting your foot in the door!
HOW DO YOU FIND THE WORKING CULTURE IN DENMARK COMPARES TO YOUR OWN?
I love the work culture in Denmark! Although I would say most of my work experience happened in Denmark, I had some part-time jobs and internships in Romania while I was a student so I can compare it. I can say from the start that in Denmark I could feel that even as an intern my opinion was listened to, and I could bring my input to my tasks. I also love that you can address all your colleagues on their first name, no matter what their position or education is. This invites for better communication in the team and better performance overall!
What is your advice to all women building a career in Denmark?
Network – this is the first piece of advice that comes to mind! Network with your classmates at the university, network with people from your part-time job even if it is not in your dream field, network with people that share the same hobby as you, network with strangers you admire on LinkedIn! Put yourself out there, connect to people! As Nischa said in the January event on Career Club DK Community, this whole corona lockdown has some upsides and opportunities for networking. You can network in a way that feels comfortable to you – only messages, a Zoom call, emails. Ease into it, and it will get better with practice!
My second advice is: Do not reject yourself before the company gets the chance to reject you! By now we probably all heard the statistics that women only feel comfortable applying to jobs if they fit 100% of the requirements, while men feel comfortable applying if they fit 60%. I’m not saying to go to 60%, but apply to jobs where you have 80% of the requirements, and get comfortable with not being 100%. Maybe the 20% you’re missing is not crucial for the job or is a skill you could learn fast, you never know what the possibilities are if you don’t apply!
What does Career Club mean to you and how it can help other aspiring women?
Career Club DK is the community I didn’t know I needed when I moved to Copenhagen. I’m so glad I took a coffee meeting with Nischa back in September 2020 and that now, together with the other amazing ladies of the Advisory Board, I can make a change and help other women feel empowered to go for their wildest career and life goals!
Going back to the advice about networking and putting yourself out there. I joined Career Club DK Community in late August 2020, and like all the new members, I was invited to introduce myself on Welcome Wednesday. I wrote my short intro and what I can help other members with, and Nischa responded that we should meet up for a chat. My response? “Let’s put a date on that coffee. I’ll send you a dm!” but with more emojis :). Two months later, I was attending the first Advisory Board Meeting with 20 other power-women from all around the world!
Career Club DK is what you make out of it! All the ladies in the Facebook group are there because they want to grow their network, help and empower each other. Connect, reach out, and I’m sure you’ll be welcomed with open arms!
Is there anything else you are passionate about at the moment?
I’m passionate about building – my network, my skills, and others; thus, I’m very happy to grab a coffee over Zoom or a walk with anyone who wants to chat about sustainability, marketing, or career in general. I know some amazing places for coffee and pastries around the city!
In my free time, I focus on staying active and creative, so once the world opens, you can join me in dancing salsa and watercolor painting.
Check out my socials & portfolio and get in touch!