Meet Mélanie Buffel! Her curiosity and creativity drove her to become a BioEngineer. Read Mélanie´s firsthand experience of landing a job in Denmark, what advice she has to give to all aspiring women and her benefits from joining Career Club DK.
Where do you come from and what motivated you to come to Denmark?
I come from France. I decided to come to Denmark because while living in Vietnam I met a group of Danes, and they seemed so happy about Denmark that I got curious. I had never been there and I wanted to visit so I decided to do the practical part of my master thesis at KU. I really liked my experience there, so after my defense in France, I decided to come back. I did not have any network at that time, but I ended up building one while living here.
Your background in research and engineering sounds very exciting! Can you tell us a little bit more about your current position and what motivated you to become a BioEngineer?
It is very exciting. I am very creative and I used to make my own clothes, to customize and craft a lot. My first choice was to go to fashion school, but my family could not pay for it (and me neither), so I decided to find a path that could combine my two passions, science, and art/craft. Engineering is a lot about using your hands to create, and I always had an interest in genetics. Therefore it seemed quite natural for me to become a genetic engineer. I have worked in various branches of science, agriculture, process design, and human health, but I stayed in the same field all along: genetic engineering. My actual job is in consulting, and it helped me understand the business and marketing part of the pharmaceutical industry, which was the part I was missing, coming from R&D.
Tell us about your experience in building a career in Denmark?
I found it pretty difficult. I did not have any network, so it took me a long time and a lot of work to get my first job. It is still difficult, to be honest. The job market is highly competitive. Even though it was difficult, I do not have a negative experience of it, it forced me to talk to people and be more proactive. Coming from a country where my education is highly valued, I never had to fight for a job I really wanted. At least I learned that here.
How do you find the working culture in Denmark compared to your own?
I do love the working culture here. It is way more flexible, the hierarchy is flatter and your voice can be valued. I feel like you can make your own schedule, and decide on how to manage your work as they trust you will do the best work you can anyway.
What is your advice to all women building a career in Denmark?
I deeply recommend networking as much as possible: you never know who could help you land your dream job and sometimes all it takes is to talk to the right person.
Also, even if it is hard, I recommend contacting the mentioned persons in the job ads or other employees to discuss, it also really helps understanding the culture, the expectations and helps them remember you.
Finally, do not give up! I know it is hard but you will get this job eventually! Good luck <3 anyway.
What does Career Club DK mean to you and how it can help other aspiring women?
I joined the Career Club to help other women with networking and connecting them with people, I also joined to network myself, and I wanted to help develop an awesome group of women, that are here to help and empower each other.
I think each one of the members has amazing skills and personality and I believe we can all help each other grow personally and professionally.
I very much enjoy meeting people and listening to their experiences, and learning from them. Career Club DK creates space for sharing experience and asking for help and provides an opportunity to meet people and connect. How much you benefit depends on how proactive you want to be.
Is there anything else you are passionate about at the moment?
I am passionate about silk and aerial sports! Feel free to join us for an outdoor session!