Monday February 20th, 2017
Have you ever moderated a usability test in a language you don’t speak?
Det har jeg gjort, i dansk!
I’m Tea and I’m having the adventure of my life. Moderating a usability test in Danish is a good example of a learning experience I’ve faced here in Sønderborg, Southern Denmark. Our client needs a helping hand onsite for a few months, and this job was offered to me. As a recently graduated, somewhat-novice UX Designer, I can’t be anything but happy about the great opportunity that Leadin has provided. I get to travel (Denmark is beautiful!), broaden my worldview, and learn about design, communication, and new (working) culture. And of course, surviving in surprising situations, such as trying to understand Danish in a really industrial context! (No help from the basics of Swedish there, I can assure you.)
The importance of friends
One of the most important learning outcomes so far has been that when you move abroad alone, even for a short time, your friends and their support becomes highly important. Let me give you a few examples.
Even though I knew how amazing my colleagues at Leadin are, the experience of moving abroad has shown me the true value of them. First of all, the professional support I have from my colleagues is something that really makes me more confident in my work. If I have a question, I can always count on Katja or someone else to help me out. My project manager Katri always has the time to just to listen to how I’m doing and give me good pieces of advice. Without my colleagues’ professional support, I’d feel much more insecure. Tusen tak!
Second, my colleagues haven’t limited their support only to professional level. For me, my colleagues are not just colleagues, but close friends as well. Many of them have asked how I’m doing here, and some are even coming to visit me. Moreover, one day our CEO Topi asked me how I’m doing, and in the same evening my boss Viljakaisa wanted to know how I’m doing also outside of my new work environment. This means a lot for me – just hearing what’s going on in my colleagues’ lives, and the fact that they want to hear about my experiences makes me feel that I’m part of something truly awesome. I miss my friends at Leadin a lot – vi ses snart!
The warmth of Southern Jutland
But it’s not just the Leadin people who have shown their true nature, the Danish people have also welcomed me in the most supportive way. My third example is my new colleague Nina, who gives me rides to and from work every day, she has invited me to join her in her swimming class and she lent me the use of her washing machine when mine crashed. In addition, another new friend lent me her bike for three months without even knowing me and has invited me to dinner on many occasions. Small things, but the warmth of the Southern Jutland people really has helped me to dive into my new everyday life.
This new opportunity would not have been possible without Leadin and leadiners’ support. After only a few weeks, I can already say that I’m going to grow a lot – both as a UX Designer and as a person. I hope that I can utilise my experience in a way that also gives something back to Leadin in the future – maybe I’ll even learn some Danish in the end! (No promises though.)
The author of this post, Tea who is based at our Helsinki office, is working with a valued client on assignment in Denmark and loving every minute of it! You may also like to read Topi’s thoughts on diversity and teamwork at Leadin here