Phoebe Berke from USA, MA in Linguistics

Phoebe is 36 years old. She came from the US to Aarhus in 2017 to study an MA in Linguistics at Aarhus University and graduated in 2019. Today she lives in Copenhagen and is the Product Manager at Leadfamly a software company that works with gamification in marketing.

Why did you come to Denmark to study?

I wanted to move here, and studying was an easier way to get a residence permit than finding a company to sponsor me. It also gave me an opportunity to improve my Danish and build up a local network (classmates, internship, student job). And the tuition cost about the same as in-state tuition for a similar education back home.

How did you experience your time at Aarhus University?

There were lots of opportunities to get support, both academically and socially, from the university (as long as you know where to look or who to ask). There was a relaxed atmosphere overall, but my classmates were hard-working and self-motivated because they were genuinely interested in the subject matter.

What was the best part about being a student in Aarhus?

It was a small-ish study program with good opportunities to get to know my fellow students. I felt like we were part of a team.

How did you prepare for your career doing your studies?

I had a student job (translating Danish-English) and an internship (with a company doing international consulting), I participated in the Young Professionals Denmark program, and I attended career fairs.

Do you have a favorite spot in Aarhus?

Brabrandstien, especially the part near the Århus Baseball Softball Klub’s field on Åbrinkvej. So nice for walking or biking, you can pick blackberries and plums in the summer months, and there are fluffy highland cows.

How did you get your first job?

My university buddy was a student worker at Leadfamly and recommended me to help with website translations to English since I am a native speaker.

Where do you work today?

The same place! It is a growing startup and I have been able to grow with them.

What skills from your education can you use in your current job?

A lot of my job is about communication, research, and continuous education — and these are skills you learn in all humanities studies but especially linguistics.

What surprised you most about working full-time in Denmark?

How much initiative and responsibility individual employees take. They don’t sit around and wait for some manager to tell to do something if they can see themselves that it needs to be done. Also how early people leave the office on Fridays.

What do you hope your future will bring?

Someday I’d like to go back to school (this time in Danish) for something completely different than my original degree, but first I need to be a permanent resident. As things are now, I can first apply for permanent residency in a little over a year.

Phoebe Berke 

  • Educational background: MA in Linguistics

  • Position: Product Manager at Leadfamly