Carmina Falcato Cabral, Portugal
8 years ago, Carmina Falcato Cabral moved to Denmark to start a MSc in Agrobiology. Even though her original plan was to go to the Netherlands, she has become quite happy with how her Danish life has evolved. Today, she enjoys being part of the innovative agrotech scene where she is working for greener agriculture as Formulation Scientist at Chr.Hansen Plant Health.
Carmina Falcato Cabral
Formulation Scientist@Chr.Hansen Plant Health
“I joined Chr.Hansen Plant Health last October. They were looking for a scientist who had a strong statistics and plant science background and was keen on working with lab automation. Here, I'm responsible for early product development, by setting up big screenings of ingredients and extracting data from that to expedite development. I use a high-throughput robot for sample preparation and characterization, so a lot of my time is spent programming it and making sure it runs without any issue. Besides that, I am involved in other kinds of daily lab work and scientific coordination of technical staff. Currently, I'm working on developing several bio-pesticides which will provide environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides used in todays' agriculture.”
“Finding environmentally friendly alternatives for agriculture and exploring the potential of the organisms that live in the soil and around us for that purpose has always been a passion of mine. This field provided me with a chance to be closer to the end product which goes to the farmer, and I find that very satisfying.”
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Trust, teamwork and respect are key elements in the Danish work culture
“Working in Danish companies can be challenging, because a lot of them are in the forefront of their field, definitely in a good way. At the same time, it is somewhat relaxing, as the work culture is very much based on respect – so time off is respected and you're not required to burnout trying to finish impossible tasks.”
“The work culture in Chr. Hansen is based on trust and having each other’s back. There's a big emphasis on making sure the employees don't "take on too much" to avoid burnouts, which I think is a good advantage in the company and makes the employees feel safe. Achieving goals will only work if we all work towards them as a team and being respectful of each others’ time. I can definitely see the Danish work culture being reflected in our weekly team briefings and coffee breaks, where we can discuss if we are having trouble finishing a task or when the top management takes the time to be present and encourage the team. There's no daily micro management but instead there's an inherent trust that tasks will be done, and it's up to the employee to ask for help if needed.”
If you want an open canvas, Denmark is the tech scene to join
“The job safety and the fact that there’s a lack of worries in general, is something I value about Denmark. The system works quite well, so you don't have to worry about saving up for health insurance, pension or other things on your daily commute. Through history, Danish Unions have also made sure that collective contracts are fair and well negotiated, so the salaries are high and in most cases you can't just get fired out of the blue.”
“Innovation is a main focus of most biotech companies and there's a lot of focus on getting the employees and the tools to perform their job in the best way possible. This is, frankly, the best benefit of working in Denmark - I don't have to worry about patching something and making it work. In general, I think that Danish tech is extremely exciting and it's moving incredibly fast. It's still undergoing a huge boom and growing more and more, there's opportunities popping up everyday and so much flexibility in the field. I never thought I'd be working in automation, and I'm quite sure it's something that has only happened because I'm in Denmark.”
“For now the plan is to stay in Denmark for some time and grow in the automation and tech sector. However, I'm quite flexible in that sense that if the right opportunity comes along to move, I will consider that – but I'm not yet done with Denmark and Danish tech.”
Explore: AgroTech in Denmark.