A diverse position with the best of both worlds

Bulgarian senior business analyst Ivanka (Vanya) Ruskova tells us about her workplace

What is your job title and what do you do during a typical day at work?
I’m a senior business analyst at Avanade. It’s a very diverse position and, put simply, involves translating the requirements of our clients into IT terms. In other words, I’m a link between the business side and our technical people. At the beginning of projects I spend a lot of time in meetings with clients. Then, as the project develops, I spend time within the team to scope the solutions. Then I get back to the client to show them the solution in a demo version and train them in how to use it.

What did you do before your current job and what led you to Denmark?
I worked as a business analyst for the investment bank Saxo Bank and then as a business controller at Novo Nordisk IT. I am from Bulgaria, but since finishing my studies my whole career has been in Denmark. I did my bachelor’s degree in Germany, then my master’s degree at Aarhus Business School (now part of Aarhus University). I have been in Denmark now for seven years.

The working cultures in Denmark and the US seem quite different – how does this play out working for an American company in Denmark?

'I have never worked in the States, but I get the impression that Avanade in Denmark combines some of the best things from the American and Danish cultures. There is a focus on competitiveness and a ‘never give up’ attitude and, at the same time, the working culture is very flexible and accepting. Being part of a huge global organisation makes me feel part of something bigger. A good mix of local Danish feeling with a global character. The work language is in both Danish and English. Spoken communication is generally in Danish and written communication in English.

What are your impressions working in Denmark in general? Any surprises?
The working culture in Denmark is very flexible towards private life – you actually have a life! In eastern European countries you live to work. Here work is part of your life, but not everything. This is a difference people notice straight away. I can see from my colleagues that they have a very active family life. They know when their kids’ soccer matches are and sometimes if the project engagement allows it a colleague comes to work very early in the morning so s/he can leave early and be an active part of their kids’ lives. People seem to have a different way of defining success – as well as being a success professionally, they want to be a success in their family life.

Compared to some other fields, skills in finance seem to be more easily transferrable from country to country – how have you found moving abroad to work?
Finance, econometrics and statistics are very transferrable skills – every company, wherever they are, needs to finish the financial year and produce key performance analysis. I don’t work with the specificities of tax, for example, which is much more country-specific.

What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming to Denmark to work?
As an outside activity from my regular job, I actually mentor foreign graduates in finding a job in Denmark based on my experience of working here. I have a Facebook page called ‘Find a Job in Copenhagen’ (facebook.com/cphjobhelp).

My advice is always to know your competences. Danes want to know what you can do straight away – they don’t want to see a ‘fluffy’ application. In Germany, for example, there are very strict formal requirements for applications – like if you don’t include a photo your application doesn’t go any further – but it’s not like that here. Also the role of networking is also very different here.

What’s the best thing about working for Avanade?
Avanade was founded by Accenture and Microsoft. This can be felt in the level of professionalism – everything is taken care of in the best possible way. Since all processes are established, there is great clarity about the way things are done, so you know what is expected of you.

Avanade at a glance:

► Avanade is a global business technology solutions, cloud and managed services provider. The company was created in 2000 as a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft.

► It is headquartered in the United States in Seattle, Washington. Its approach is to function as a seamless global team and it has locations in more than 20 countries worldwide.

► Avanade has 22,000 employees delivering the best Microsoft skills (with more than 23,000 Microsoft certifications held by its consultants) and business and industry acumen.

► Avanade has over 60 Microsoft Partner of the Year awards, was named in 2014 by Computerworld as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT and in 2012 was one of Diversity Employers Magazine’s Top 100 Employers.

► Vision: “To be recognised as a global services innovator, helping customers realise the best results from the Microsoft platform”.

► Core values: achieve through global teamwork; focus on customers; embrace change; demonstrate a passion for technology; build the Avanade experience; and act with integrity, dignity and respect.