Theory is nice, but you have to adapt to it – Københavns Universitet

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13. april 2016

Theory is nice, but you have to adapt to it


Can you imagine an internship where you get the possibility of trying everything because people trust in you? Esther Angulo, master student at RSLIS, is right now working at GLIA, Novo Nordisk.

Insight IVA took the train to Bagsværd and met Esther in Novo Nordisk’s brand new library in the headquarters building.

Novo Nordisk is gigantic, almost like a town of its own, but luckily I found building NN1 in due time to meet with Esther, master student at RSLIS with a bachelor in Library and Information Science from University of Barcelona. Esther is 23 years old and has already had several internships in Spain for a very particular reason:

"I like to do internships. It is good to have the chance to see how things are working in the real world while you are studying. Theory is one thing and theory is nice, but when you are in a place you often see that theory is one thing, but you have to adapt to it. I like to see both."

Esther started her internship at GLIA in February and she is already working like a real librarian:

"I am working with a little bit of everything. I am assisting and working at the Helpdesk of the library. We have a Helpdesk system where we receive requests from employees from all over the world. It might be e-mail, chat, call - or a user who is coming to see us. People are often asking for articles, and when the license is not open, we have to assist them. I am also helping with the internal library website sometimes, and I take part in some of the projects going on here."

The big difference from the internships Esther has already tried in Spain is, among other things, the degree of independence.

"I have the feeling that I get different kinds of experience – here they trust in you. In my previous internships I sometimes felt that I was just one of the students doing small things, never joining meetings etc. Here at GLIA they ask for your opinion and they count on you. I participate in department meetings and project meetings, and it is so nice to have the overview about what you are working with."

But what are the challenges?

"I am not into the specific subject as such. When I studied LIS in Spain I learned about companies, medical databases, journalism, medial issues and legal things – a little bit of anything for knowing about the databases. So sometimes it can be hard in the Helpdesk, especially if they ask about standards and regulations, where I miss the vocabulary. But I learn more and more."

Is there a special Danish way of doing things?

"In Spain, I have been working for a bank and a law firm, and they were very business like and formal. Here, people are walking from one table to another and asking things. If you don’t know something you can just go there and they will stop the work task and help you. That’s the way they work. Where I worked before, I always had to send an e-mail if I had a question. You never feel it is a bad moment or that you are bothering. It is quite open minded."

"Also, in class in Spain you have a professor talking, and if he asks something, no one replies. Here it is based on the people talking. First time I saw it, I was surprised. 'If you have a problem, just ask us': That what was they told us from the first minute."

GLIA is already looking for a new person to take over, when Esther will finish the internship this Summer and she can no doubt recommend it:

"It is really challenging. You never do the same things, and you never know what will show up – any kind of user, any kind of question. Sometimes your job is like teaching, when you have to explain things to people. Other times you have to be really quick because the problem is urgent, and you have to find the right person to find a solution in a hurry. They promised that I would get hands-on experience, and it is really like that."

The interview has come to an end, but I am curious and I would like to know if Esther is planning to stay in Denmark when she has passed her master's degree.

"I can understand a little bit of Danish because I studied Danish in Barcelona, and I work as a volunteer at Studenterhuset. I like Denmark. If I had the chance to stay here, I would not say no, even if the weather is special."