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Career success story: Viktorija Gorcakovaite

With a strong passion for journalism, being in love with fashion and writing, and also highly positive, Viktorija is that kind of person who will always accept new challenges in her life. She comes from Lithuania and at the age of only 23 years old, she’s accomplished so much both in terms of studies and career development. 

On her way to Denmark

Her story begins back in her high school years when she discovered the Danish culture through the eyes of one of her classmates’ mother who was married with a Dane and kept telling her about how amazing the country is and how nice people are. This is how she got excited about the idea to come and study in Denmark and considered the advantage of learning a new language.

She came here for her bachelor studies and was enrolled in Business Administration and International Management study line, at the former Aarhus School of Business. Along with her studies and Danish classes, Viktorija tried a number of student jobs such as hairdresser and dishwasher in a café; jobs which allowed her to support herself and to become multi-tasking.

How does the present look like?

After nearly 5 years of Danish experience, Viktorija is taking her master degree in Marketing at Aarhus University and she is working in Insights Nordic as an International Business Coordinator. Besides these, she is a super-busy and talented person who takes other projects on board such as writing articles for Commerciel magazine and working as a journalist for the Lithuanian media during Eurovision 2014. Moreover, she is also running Fameiva, an online magazine for smart, educated and ambitious international women residing in Denmark. 

How did she get the job at Insights Nordic?

When I was in my bachelor, I joined the student organisation AIESEC and volunteered for two years. When I realised that communication is my area of interest, I changed the department I was initially working for and quickly after that, I became a team leader and a vice president.

Due to her activity within AIESEC, she participated in an Innovation Day where her current boss, the CEO of Insights Nordic, participated with her company and sponsored the event. The purpose of the competition was how to engage people in Insights activities and how to manage the company so that within a year the profit will increase. She formed a team with three other friends and they had 12 hours to deliver their idea. The company loved it! After the competition, Viktorija kept the contact with the company, they developed a very nice relationship and just before she began her master studies, her current boss, offered a student position. In other words, what brought her in the current position is her volunteer experience and student competition.

When asked about how the interview went, she said: There was no job interview. She knew me and she liked the fact that I was volunteering in AIESEC, and also the fact that besides my activities in the universities, I work for Commerciel magazine. Basically she liked that I was juggling around all kinds of activities and managed to do what I set my goal to. 

More about her current position

Insights Nordic represents the Danish division of the international company and is a small and medium sized one, with a main office in Aarhus and another one in Copenhagen. In Aarhus, they have on board two Lithuanian persons (Viktorija and another friend of hers) and a Swedish woman.

As part of her daily activities, she is in charge of CSR and everything that means marketing and from time to time acts as a personal assistant. She has also helped her boss doing promotion during the political campaign for the City Council’s elections.

Working languages: Mainly Danish, sometimes English and Lithuanian (because of the nature of the activities)

She strongly believes her Danish skills represented a factor of landing the job: I don’t know how it works in other companies but the fact that you have studied and you have also managed to learn the language pretty well makes a huge impact on getting a job because it shows that you are determined in pursuing your goals. So, definitely the language was a huge advantage and that is actually the reason why I got the job!

What about Danish workplace culture?

She describes Danish workplace culture as being very informal, pleasant to be in and welcomingYou shouldn’t be too strict and you probably shouldn’t look at your manager or colleagues that they are somehow higher than you in a hierarchical way. People like to share facts. I was really surprised when sitting for the Christmas dinner, colleagues discussed openly things that I would normally consider secrets.

A piece of advice for the other international students

Key words: be proactive and network, she says. Take the opportunity from everywhere, attend different kind of meetings, networking events, CompanyDATING, etc. There are so many events Denmark can offer you, so take an advantage of that and try to communicate with as many people as possible because there is always someone that you can rely on!

Another piece of advice: make your own business cardsEven tough you are still a student, this will show you are determined and whenever attending events you can hand in your business cards with a professional look and LinkedIn profile.

Last but not least, learn the languageI agree there are some companies having English as a corporate language. However, there are so few of those that you can’t rely on this kind of chance. Language is always an advantage wherever you are!