Julie, tell us why did you decide to work for Nordea? What kind of opportunities does your job offer?
Julie Skov: I’m 23 years old and I just finished my bachelor’s degree last summer. I wanted to take a gap year before proceeding with the master’s program and I found this opportunity to work at Nordea very interesting. I see it as an excellent opportunity for me to gain some international experience within one of the largest financial companies in Denmark, and I think it’s a great investment if you want to continue and develop yourself within Nordea once going back to Denmark. I also think Nordea is a great place to work if you want to experience the organizational transformation which is taking place at the moment. Seeing how the operations can be optimized and the costs reduced by centralizing the processes and creating one common operations center in Nordea. In my former job in Denmark I was working with organizational and cultural transformations in the oil and gas industry as a student assistant, so this aspect has been quite interesting for me, and I think it’s important that as a process officer you have the possibility to contribute to the business development.
What does your typical day look like now that you live in Poland?
J.S: Since I moved to Poland I have gotten much more free time, and I have become more social. On a typical day I work from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., but the working hours are flexible, so I can schedule them according to my other plans. I work as a Junior Process Officer in the Real Estate Sales Team, collaborating with my colleagues and stakeholders in Denmark every day to ensure efficient case handling. I’ve gotten a greater insight to the Danish real estate market and the sales processes, which I think is quite interesting.
After work I usually hang out with my friends in the gym or at the local cafés. Łódź offers some very nice shopping and nightlife facilities in the city and there are a lot of young people from abroad here, so there are plenty of opportunities to make new friends. On weekends I like to go out with my friends for a drink or to play badminton, but I have also spent some weekends travelling around Poland. The prices here are very low, which gives you a lot of freedom to do what you want to.
Do you use your native language at work?
J.S: Yes, all the documents and programs that I work with are in Danish. I communicate in Danish with all personal banking advisers, customers and stakeholders. I help my Polish colleagues with translating some of the complex cases and identifying key information to solve the cases, so I use it all the time.
Did the company help you with relocation?
J.S: Nordea made sure that my relocation went smoothly. The travel went very well. I was picked up from the airport and accommodated in a nice hotel for the first couple of days before moving into my apartment which Nordea had found for me. They helped me with opening a Polish bank account and registering my residence at the municipality office. Furthermore, my team has been very open and welcoming inviting me to team events and showing me some cool places in the city. The environment in the office is very young and informal, which allows you to get close to your colleagues and go to work with a smile. There is also a big international community at Nordea, which really made me feel like home because there are so many Scandinavians, so it’s nice to know that you’re not alone and you’re all in the same boat. We like to visit each other on weekends or go out for a drink.
What do your friends from Denmark think about your work here?
J.S: They think it’s cool that I took such a big step moving to another country. Once I received the job offer I asked my friends for advice on what to do, and they all thought it was such a great opportunity for me and encouraged me to go. I’ve already been visited by a couple of friends and my family, and I’ve been back home a couple of times. The flight prices are quite low, it’s very easy to get to the airport, and my manager is also quite flexible when it comes to scheduling my days off to take an extended weekend when I go home to Denmark. But of course, I miss them. It’s never easy moving so far away, but I feel like I’ve already gotten so many new friends here, that I hang out with every day, so it’s not something that affects me too much.
Do you like living in Łódź? Is it different from your hometown? Have you been to any other Polish cities?
J.S: Yes, of course Łódź is very different from my hometown. It’s a city in development, but it’s quite big and there are plenty of opportunities here. The prices are very low, so you can afford to live very well. There are a lot of shopping malls and different cafés with all kinds of food. I have already fallen in love with the Polish food and the beer here is excellent! There are a lot of bars and local breweries with beer for every taste. This is my absolute favorite thing about the city.
The public transportation also functions very well and is very easy to use for foreigners. It costs less than 1 euro to take the tram around the city, and it’s cheaper to take a taxi here than it is to buy a bus ticket in Denmark, so it’s quite easy to get anywhere in the city within minutes.
Polish people are always very helpful if you’re lost and the culture is quite polite and respectful. People greet me everywhere and are keen to share their culture and history with me. Although it can be a little difficult to communicate with the older people here, most young people speak English very well and are very curious and well-educated, so I think the country is developing and getting friendlier towards internationals.
Another thing that I like about Łódź is that it’s right in the center of Poland. You can go everywhere within a few hours. I’ve visited Warsaw and Auschwitz and I’m planning on going to Cracow next month on a weekend trip with a few colleagues. The country is full of history and nature, so there are plenty of things to discover.
Do you know any Polish words? Would you like to learn some more?
J.S: “Dwa piwa, poproszę” - "Two beers, please” (laughs).
I know some basic Polish words and sentences, but I would definitely like to learn some more. It’s quite useful to know the language here because there are some people that don’t speak English very well, but luckily my team is quite helpful teaching me some Polish words every day. We have a “Polish word of the day” at every morning meeting, so I learn a new word every day, and I teach others one Danish word every day. Listening to Polish on a daily basis makes it a little easier for me to pick up the language and understand some of the most common words in a conversation.
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