How long did you spend abroad and what did you do there?
I went to Denmark right after graduating from school. I spent 7 years there. I studied business administration in Arhus, and that’s where I chose to pursue my master studies, too. After graduating I moved to Copenhagen where I had an internship at the Baltic Development Forum, an organisation working in the field of cooperation between Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Later I got a job at another consulting company.
What prompted you to come to Lithuania?
I left Lithuania when I was just 19-years old and never had a chance to actually explore the Lithuanian labour market. So, I had been thinking about giving it a try and seeing how I would feel living in my homeland. I’m glad I made this decision because it feels great living here.
Something about your present position.
I am about to start working at Danske Bank as a team leader. Our team is in charge of administration and management of securities. Only 18 months ago I was just a junior project manager. To me it’s quite a career shift. What I like about this bank is their Scandinavian organisational culture. Our management does not expect us to just sit there waiting for instructions. We are encouraged to come up with and suggest new ideas, and the management is always supportive.
What project, challenge or other achievement are you most proud of?
The last year has been great for me: I was promoted and had a lot of opportunities to improve and expand my horizons. I was invited to become a Global Shapers tutor. I will soon be travelling to a meeting of community members from all over the world in Geneva. These people are in no doubt that they have it in their power to change the world. I believe I can do something important too, for Lithuania and for the whole world. My team’s final thesis for the Danske Graduate programme was selected as the most innovative and in January we had the opportunity to present our idea to Thomas Borgen, CEO of Danske Bank. Presently, we are cooperating with various departments and trying to implement our idea.
Was it hard to find a job?
It wasn’t hard at all because I enrolled onto the Danske Graduate programme. That programme is aimed at nurturing young talents by enabling them to work both in Lithuania and abroad and to try various jobs. I had the opportunity to work in the areas of process optimisation, deposit management, and data analysis.
What are the main differences between working in Denmark and working in Lithuania?
Danske Bank is a Scandinavian company so, I didn’t notice any big difference in how the work is organised. In general, I’m happy to see that Lithuanian employers are following the model of Western work culture, especially the Scandinavian example, and making it work in Lithuanian companies.
What surprised you the most?
Vilnius. How fast the city is growing, how fast it is moving forward and how everything is improving. I am doing my best to get to know the city even better and always take any chance I get to tell my foreign friends that it’s one of Europe’s greenest capital cities.
How did your quality of life change after you came to Lithuania?
I believe that if you are really trying and are career oriented, you have as many opportunities in Lithuania as you have in Denmark. One more thing that is interesting is that while I used to earn more in Denmark, after paying half of my salary for rent, I had the same money left to cover living expenses that I have in Lithuania.
Leisure in Lithuania and Denmark. What advantages have you noticed in Lithuania?
If you live in Vilnius, you don’t need a car to go to a forest or lake. Here, I spent a lot of time outside, just walking, running, and riding my bike.
What myths about Lithuania would you like to refute?
That Lithuanians are grumpy and gloomy. I am surrounded by smiling, curious, open-minded friends and colleagues. No grumps here.
Any practical advice to a friend who is planning to move to Vilnius?
Don’t buy a car. Don’t waste time driving a car. It’s better to use that time reading or doing other useful activities.