Interview with a graduate in Information Science and Cultural Communication

Isabel Moreira graduated in Information Science and Cultural Communication at the University of Copenhagen in 2014. Not only did she choose to study her Master’s degree in Denmark, she also chose to stay here afterwards. Today she is working as an eSubmission Manager at Ferring Pharmaceuticals. A job she is very excited and passionate about because it allows her to keep on learning.

Why did you choose to study a Master in Information Science and Cultural Communication?
”I studied my Bachelor’s degree in the same area, Information Science, at the University of Copenhagen and I felt that studying the Master’s degree would give me a more specific view on the subject and therefore help me specialize as an Information Scientist and help me in a future career”.

What was it like being a student at the University of Copenhagen?
“It was great! There are some barriers like the language or the culture. My whole Master was taught in English by Danish teachers. So the way they would express themselves in English would sometimes be different from the way I express myself and conceptualize ideas. As English is not my first language either (I am Portuguese), it could create tricky communication situations. The way classes are taught is different from back home too but in a positive way. They are more active and interactive. You have a voice and you are supposed to use it and have an opinion”.

What was the first job you got after you graduated and how did you get it?
”I was a student worker at Ferring Pharmaceuticals for three years and I got my full time position at the company before I graduated from my Master. My manager knew me and knew my skills and competences that I had achieved during my Master and my working experience at Ferring. I am fully applying what I’ve learned during my degree as an eSubmission Manager”.

What do you do in your job?
”As eSubmission Manager I take care of all electronic submissions to the different Regulatory Authorities around the world which Ferring Pharmaceuticals works with. I specialize in a specific submission format called eCTD. It is a position closely related to Information and Document Management”.

"The way classes are taught here is different than back home but in a positive way. They are more active and interactive.

Isabel Moreira

Why did you choose to stay and work in Denmark after you graduated?
“I fell in love with Copenhagen. It was a personal choice and even though in the sense that the Danish culture is very opposite to my own culture I am very happy here. I’m Portuguese and very outgoing, very “let’s do this and let’s do that” so the Danish culture balances me as it is more calm and relaxed than my personality. Also I really like how things work here. They DO work, compared to where I come from. I believe the Danish society is fairer and appreciates professionals for their skills and competences, and what they can “bring of new to the table” and not so much their “connections”.

What is the main challenge you have encountered in your job?
”Learning is a challenge because you have to keep on working and at the same time learn new things and incorporate them. It can be really challenging and stressful to take the time to learn new things but it is also challenging in a great sense. And then there is the language of course. Even though my colleagues speak English with me, learning Danish is somehow crucial to fully integrate, I think”.

What is your career advice for future students who are going to study a Master's degree like you?
”Be open minded. I have been here for six years now and now consider it my home. But non-Danes should keep in mind that they should try to fit in and not the other way around. You have to integrate yourself. Moreover, if you are planning to stay in Denmark try to get a student job. Career wise a student job really can open doors for you. And if you are lucky to get a student job in the area you are studying it can really give you a practical perspective on the field”.