”Retaining international students is a two-sided responsibility”
Four international students from the MSc in Organizational Innovation and Entrepreneurship want to help fellow international students to strengthen their network, find a job and settle down in Denmark. “It’s a way of showing that we care about Denmark and the international students,” says CBS student Jakub Taptik.
In the autumn of 2018, CBS students Jakub Taptik, Laura Katzensteiner and Luis Mariscal, class representatives for the MSc in Organizational Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), made a survey among students. They wanted to know about their most pressing needs when it comes to staying in Denmark after their studies.
Two things in particular came up again and again in the survey: Establishing a network and getting a student job.
“You need a network to get a student job, and you need a relevant student job if you want to increase the chances of getting a full-time job after graduation,” says Jakub Taptik.
Together with Laura Katzensteiner, Stephanie Clemente and Luis Mariscal from the same master’s program, he came up with the idea of hosting an event with the purpose of connecting OIE-alumni with current students, to show how OIE competencies can be converted into professional careers, and strengthen the network among the students.
The event is called, ‘What’s next? Life after OIE’, and was hosted on Tuesday 5 March. The event included speeches from Tom Dahl-Østergaard, the Dean’s International Talent Retention Officer at CBS, Lotte Fredslund-Hansen, International Student Retention Manager and Career Counselor, and international and Danish graduates from the program who are now employees or work as entrepreneurs.
“As I see it, retaining international students is two-sided responsibility. On one hand, Denmark has to offer the jobs, and on the other, we as students have an obligation to adapt to the country we live in if we want to stay,” says Luis Mariscal.
Making a career in Denmark
The whole idea of making the survey came in the wake of a ministerial report, which stated that about two thirds of international students leave Denmark a couple of years after graduation. But why they do so, was – and still is – a little unclear to Laura Katzensteiner, Jakub Taptik, Luis Mariscal and Stephanie Clemente.
“It seems that there are more assumptions about it than there are actual facts. So what we want to do is to spread some positive vibes, and share stories about the international graduates who have successfully found a way to stay in Denmark,” says Stephanie Clemente.
The stories about the alumnis are not only relevant to current students, but to incoming students who had been invited as well.
“When we have a booth at Open Day, students often ask us: What can I do with this master’s program? It’s obvious with some of the programs at CBS, but it’s a little more up in the air with this one. So having alumnis answer these questions is really nice,” says Luis Mariscal.
The organizers hope that the students not only get to strengthen their network, but that it becomes clearer what a career in Denmark could look like.
“I really hope that this event can help people make some informed decisions, both about this program and about what possibilities await them if they choose to stay in Denmark,” says Laura Katzensteiner.