Silvia Schena, Italy
After moving to Odense in 2016, Silvia began to infiltrate the Danish startup scene – firstly as a market researcher and most recently as an agile coach. In her experience, Denmark is the place to really kickstart your career, whilst keeping a good work-life balance. Today she works as an agile process manager for Universal Robots, enabling teams to effectively collaborate and unlock their full potential.
Agile Process Manager@Universal Robots
“My career in Denmark began within the start-up environment of Odense. I was instantly impressed by how such a small country could create such a strong cluster of technology companies – specifically robotics.”
“I began doing market research for some startups in Odense and ended up working within software products. This gave me the foundation needed to work as an IT project manager and most recently as an agile process manager. In my view, the Danish tech is world-class and should serve as inspiration for the rest of Europe.”
Explore: What career opportunities are you looking for?
Even though I’m educated in business, I’ve always been interested in the innovative culture around software
“Despite having a business background, I have always been interested in the tech industry – especially the innovative culture around software development. Whilst working as an IT project manager in 2019, I was introduced to the scrum and agile methodologies. I subsequently found my calling in creating the bridge between business and IT and enabling companies to innovate at all organisational levels.”
“My manager noticed my passion and suggested that I help the company implement agile practices across the organisation. This was my first experience in coaching other people, but I quickly realised that this is what I wanted to do long-term. When Universal Robots posted the role of agile process manager, I saw the opportunity to apply the same competencies in a more young and innovative industry – and took it.”
As a market leader within robotics, Universal Robots has a strong internal focus on innovation
“Universal Robots has been undergoing impressive growth in recent years, largely due to our strong internal focus on innovation. We pride ourselves in empowering people to initiate and lead changes and making sure that each employee’s competencies and passion are capitalised. We encourage each other to take risks and celebrate new initiatives with enthusiasm. We’re a relatively young many with most of the 700 employees being under 40 years old.”
“The culture of innovation and trust is very apparent in how my colleagues and superiors approach me. Whenever I have a question or a suggestion, I am encouraged to reach out to the relevant people and present the idea without any filter. The courage is also shown by the energy in meetings, where we feel safe to share our honest opinion without fear of judgment. Many of my colleagues also come from outside of Denmark. This diversity definitely plays a big role in shaping the company culture and leads to a sense of camaraderie.”
Working in a Danish company means having the chance to take on lots of responsibility from day 1
“I’ve found that the Danish work culture values individual contribution and initiative, meaning that you have the opportunity to take lots of responsibility from day 1. Managers empower their employees to take action and encourage failing fast. Strict hierarchies are very rare, with most people calling each other by their first name. It is entirely possible for an entry-level to end up talking strategy with the head of a company.”
“Denmark is a great place to kickstart your career, whilst keeping a good work-life balance. I’d recommend to those who’ve recently moved here to learn more about Danish culture and really interact with it. At the same time, ask yourself what makes your country and culture unique, and leverage that to bring something different to the table. Hang out with Danes, ask them for advice – or better ask them to mentor you. They are tough to approach sometimes, but over time they’ll become as close as family.”
Explore: Robotics in Denmark.