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María Bonto

Process Systems Engineer at Novo Nordisk

Name: María Bonto
Age: 31
Nationality: Romanian and Spanish
Company: Novo Nordisk API Manufacturing
Title/education: Process Systems Engineer. PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). MSc in Petroleum Engineering from DTU. Double BSc in Chemical Engineering and Energy Engineering from Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain.

I ended up in Denmark because

After my BSc graduation, I wanted to pursue a MSc related to both Chemical Engineering and Energy Engineering abroad. I was considering studying Petroleum Engineering either in the UK or in Denmark. The balance leaned towards Denmark when a friend told me Danish people were extremely nice. I initially did not think of staying in Denmark after completing my master's degree, but I enjoyed living here. I also met my boyfriend during my studies, and now we live in Søborg.

What surprises me most about working in Denmark is

That the organisational structure is flat. In Spain, there is more hierarchy between managers and employees. I also experience a high degree of freedom of speech and that employees are encouraged to challenge the status quo. In general, there is a great focus on individual well-being at work, in terms of both mental and physical health such as ergonomics. The 37-hour work week allow a good balance between work and private life. After work, there is enough time left to enjoy and dedicate time to hobbies.

My Danish colleagues are

They are nice and polite. It is nice that the company provides the opportunity to bond with colleagues in different environments apart from the regular office setup because you get to know them better. We are a quite diverse team of international and Danish people. Some work full-time and we also have several MSc students in our team. My colleagues are very helpful and enjoy talking about the Danish traditions.

Life in Denmark is

Contrasting! You can feel the difference between the seasons. Summer is different from winter and vice-versa. I live close to Copenhagen, with easy access to both the city and nature. It is also easy to get around by bike. In general, Copenhagen is a diverse and cultural international city, where people from all over the world resides. This diversity is also imprinted in the local food, as you can find all sorts of cuisines within a short distance.

I would recommend anybody moving to Denmark to

Do what I wish I had done when moving here, which is try to learn the language from day one. Immerse in the culture from the start, by learning about history, art, visiting museums, etc. I think that showing a genuine interest in the Danish country and history would make it easier to make friends with Danish people. And don’t forget to bring a good raincoat!