AU ALUMNI MEMBER NO. 15,000: DENMARK WAS MY OWN CHOICE
Recently, the 15,000th alum became an active member of Aarhus University's alumni network. Therefore, we went to Aalborg to meet the Russian girl, who put a milestone in the history of AU Alumni.
Four months ago the 29-year-old newly educated Valeria Klyapovskaya got a job in Nordic Seafood.
Her job includes responsibility and influence, and Valeria is single-handedly in charge of selling fish and seafood to a number of countries in Asia and eastern Europe. In other words, the job at Nordic Seafood is tailor-made for the independence-seeking Russian girl, even though she didn’t quite meet the company’s high demands of experience in the area:
- For me, it doesn't feel right to apply for as many jobs as physically possible. I prefer to choose what I want, and go all in to get it. In general, that’s how I lead my life. Of course I know it isn’t easy to have such demands as a rookie in the business world. But really – I would rather ask and be rejected, than avoid asking and never know, says Valeria, when AU Alumni meets her for a cup of coffee at a café in Aalborg.
Too young to lack courage
With her strong will, and a slightly bold job application, Valeria was hired with ten days notice. The fact that Nordic Seafood's headquarters are situated in Hirtshals in the most northern part of Jutland, wasn’t about to stop her.
- It is a dream job. So I told myself I was far too young not to bet on a chance like that. There are no excuses to turn down a good job, just because you are used to having a cool place to live and having your friends close by, says Valeria.
But although Valeria has no regrets about moving to the little tourist town Hirtshals, she quickly started to miss her friends in Aarhus, where she has been living and doing her studies for the past eight years. Most of the people she knows, she met during those years in Aarhus.
- Finishing your studies is no bed of roses. Especially not when you move far away from all your close connections. I quickly started to miss all the activities and the events that take place at Aarhus University. It is so important that you appreciate it while you still have it – as soon as the job becomes your new reality, your colleagues are the only ones you see during the day, says Valeria, who refused to sit around and yearn for Aarhus' social qualities. Instead, she started googling for a network of graduates similar to her.
This was how she discovered AU Alumni and instantly joined the network.
- I understood that it’s possible to create local networks where you live, through AU Alumni. There are no other alumni from AU living in Hirtshals, but when I move to Aalborg in about a year, I would like to start a network like that, if I can find the time for it, Valeria says.
- I was thrilled to find a platform where we can network, share career information, become inspired by others’ experiences and keep feeling connected. It is of great importance that someone makes an effort to strengthen the feeling of solidarity and the pride of having attended one of the best universities in Scandinavia.
Awestruck by Denmark
The strong engagement in Aarhus University and the preference for Denmark did not come overnight for the 29-year-old Valeria Klyapovskaya, who was born and raised in the northern part of Russia. Ten years ago, she took a summer class in Roskilde and became fascinated with the Danish educational system. She saw how the students had the freedom to put together their own education, and it was a lot different from what she had experienced in Russia.
Therefore, it was a natural choice for her to apply for an education in Denmark, and while she achieved a BA in Japanese and Business Administration, and after that an MA in IT, she had several study jobs at Aarhus University. Among other things, she worked as a student counselor and as a teaching assistant.
- Asian studies is a relatively small study, and there is a fantastic team spirit there. There is no doubt that I have changed and developed a lot while I have been at Aarhus University. Professionally, of course, but more importantly I have developed as a human being. That’s why I wanted to pay it forward to the new students, says Valeria.
And even though Valeria still sometimes misses her old social network, no regret can be heard in her voice. The same goes for Russia. As with everything else in her life, the chance to be the architect of her own life is what counts more than anything else for the Russian Sales Manager from Nordic Seafood.
- I feel very privileged because it’s my own choices that have brought me to where I am today. Russia was chosen for me; Denmark was my choice, says Valeria and underlines the fact that she couldn’t imagine returning to her native country any time soon.
Valeria came home nine years ago. This is where she is going to stay.