Contracting in Denmark’s booming Biotech sector

Posted Aug 10, 2020

At LSC we have been partnering with world-leading companies in the Danish Bio/pharma sector to build the teams they need to successfully deliver business critical projects for more than 16 years. We caught up with LSC consultant Lanre (Process Design Engineer), who recently made the move to Kalundborg to build up his industry experience and gain exposure to a new culture and a new way of working.

Find out what Lanre had to say about life and work in Denmark’s biotech city.

What made you decide to move to Denmark?

From day one I’ve always had in mind that I’d like to build up my experience and knowledge in Ireland and be able to move abroad to work.  I’ve talked to a lot of people that have worked in Switzerland and Denmark and had really good experiences, I too wanted to have that experience of a different culture and a different way of doing things – so when the opportunity came up to work in Denmark I couldn’t say no!

Work Culture – any key differences between working in Ireland & Denmark?

The project I’m working on is really busy, timelines are tight so it’s all go at the moment with longer working hours and not fully indicative of a more typical Danish working culture – where people would start at 7am and finish at 3pm or 12noon on Fridays – they really keep their work-life balance here.

Based in Kalundborg – tell us a bit about living & working in Kalundborg?

Kalundborg is surrounded by farms & life is pretty quiet. There isn’t a big social scene here. I’m a quiet person so it suits me here. However, the best thing about Denmark as a whole is the transportation system. I can be in Copenhagen in an hour and from there travel anywhere within Europe – the train system is brilliant.

Favourite thing about living in Kalundborg and biggest challenge?

Because there are a lot of farms the food is really good with access to local fresh produce. I prefer cooking to eating out so it’s perfect for me. Cycling as well – they give the cycle lanes the same attention they give the roads so I’ve never had so much fun cycling – it’s definitely a highlight.

Even though the cost of living is high here, the healthcare system is really good including access to gyms/CrossFit to promote a healthy lifestyle. CrossFit is only €45 monthly in Kalundborg as opposed to €100 per month in Ireland.  They also have a culture of helping motivate others and not leaving until everyone has completed the training to keep energy levels up – I think that’s really cool.

One of the challenges is the language, there are not a lot of native English speakers on-site. I make my presentations in English, and people are so polite they make an effort to discuss in English, however at times you may be sitting in a meeting for 20 minutes whilst others are speaking Danish. You need to be able to adapt and be prepared for this

What advice would you give to someone considering the move to Demark?

In Denmark for a lot of rentals you have to pay 3-4 months’ rent in advance so I would recommend getting an airbnb.  I booked an airbnb for a month and was lucky to be able to negotiate a longer-term rental after I arrived without that upfront payment.

Get a bike – cycling is really good here and you can save a lot on transport costs and at the moment with Covid it’s a much better option than taking the bus!

Finally be nice to everyone – everyone is so nice here, people are really friendly!

Quick Questions:

Monthly accommodation cost:

€600 per month shared Farmhouse (private room- shared facilities)

Commute to work:

10-15 mins cycle (7 km distance)

Canteen costs:

€3 for all you can eat at lunch on-site

Nearest city:

Copenhagen 1 hour by train

Nearest airport:

Copenhagen – 1 hour 20 mins via Copenhagen main station

Flight route home:

KLM via Amsterdam to Cork. The flight leaves early morning at 6am to be back in Cork for lunchtime and gives me the chance to catch up on work on the layover in Amsterdam.There are also cheaper options with Ryanair direct to Dublin.