Aarhus University Seal

Are Danes spoiled?

Eight years ago, Alina Brockhoff migrated to Denmark from Ukraine to study at AU. She wonders why Danes don't seize their opportunities.

- I can’t say it was a very easy or exciting way of getting here. It’s been hard, and I’ve been through a steep learning curve. All in all, it was years of hard work that got me here.

Thats how Alina Brockhoff (MSc, ’08) answers, when asked how she ended up in Denmark.
Alina Brockhoff came from Ukraine to Denmark in 2005 with the prospect of spending three years getting her degree in Finance and International Business at Business and Social Sciences (BSS). 

After spending several years at a state academy in the Russian speaking part of Ukraine, she was amazed at the encounter with the Danish educational system. 

- The educational system in Denmark is more liberal. You decide when you want to study and when you take the exam. It’s so free compared to back home, where we have strict deadlines. Here, you have to be motivated to achieve your goals, says Alina Brockhoff who, apart from a year´s internship at a company in UK, has lived in Denmark since arriving to get her diploma.
She often hears people with the same educational background, complaining about their difficulties finding a job in the middle of a financial crisis. But, in fact, she hasn’t experienced any of those troubles herself. In 2007, she was offered two jobs in Saxobank. Unable to start right away because of the internship in England, she postponed the position she wanted, came back, and wrote her thesis together with her friend and colleague Evgenia Zorina.

To Alina Brockhoff, those things seem possible in Denmark as soon as you are honest to yourself and set a goal. She’s amazed that not everyone sees those opportunities – maybe because they’ve been spoiled by having them around their whole life.

- I don't get why some people in Denmark don't just go for their goals, because it is very easy here. If you get a good education, then a great job, you can do what you want. It's just so transparent, says Alina Brochhoff. 

Last year, having spent five years at Saxobank, Alina Brockhoff got a new job as business controller at DFDS Seaways. It was a step even further towards her goal:

-I wanted to work more with finances. Saxobank was more management-minded. I wanted a new challenge in my life, and that was why I applied for the job, she says.

-In Denmark, you're well paid for what you do, if you're smart enough and do the right thing. Of course I can complain about the weather. But at some point you just stop and enjoy all the upsides, says Alina Brockhoff. 

Read about other international alumni from AU, who chose to stay and live in Denmark:

I Frankrig smækker de med døren (in Danish)

AU Alumni Member 15,000: Denmark was my own choice

"I didn't choose Denmark - Denmark chose me"