Why the Scandi life is the life for me.
This is a question I get quite often, “Why do you want to move to Scandinavia?” In order to answer it, I am going to have to give you the backstory.
I grew up in sunny Los Angeles, but never felt quite at home there. At 18, I moved to Northern California to pursue my Undergraduate studies at UC Davis. There, I studied Neurobiology, did medical research for Parkinson’s Disease, and earned a B.A. in Psychology and Human Development. It was through my studies that I became extremely interested in people – how they work, what motivates them, and where conflict arises.
I graduated from UC Davis at 20, and began working full-time for Target Corporation as an Executive Team Leader. Along with five other executives, I ran a team of 230 employees and did $43M in sales annually. I personally oversaw the Loss Prevention department, working closely with HR and law enforcement to prosecute internal theft. I led my district in number of substantiated cases and was selected to be the District Trainer and Resource. In this role, I trained, mentored, and on-boarded seven executives across multiple states, and led a remote team of 10 executives.
After four years with Target, I realized that I was living a life of habit. I was moving through life without intention or thought – unsure if I was even deriving happiness from my actions. I needed to pause and reflect.
I left Target in 2015 to go on a Happiness Hunt – a year where I explored much of what life has to offer in the hope of discovering what truly makes me happy. I skydived, started a blog, traveled, read books, and found minimalism. I ended my Happiness Hunt with a visit to some of the happiest countries in the world: Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. It was during the summer of 2015 that I fell in love with Scandinavia.
In September 2016, I started my M.B.A. program at the University of Oregon. I am currently in my second and final year and will be graduating this June. I am specializing in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and am also taking classes in the Conflict Resolution Master’s program.
I am looking to leverage my studies in business and psychology to work at the intersection of people and business. I am here to develop great talent, leading teams and supporting employees at large, international, and sustainable tech companies. Within HR, I want to specifically work within Learning and Development, Diversity and Inclusion, and employee engagement/wellness. People and planet are integral to me, and I hope to work for a company where they are cherished at the core as well.
So finally, I can answer the question, “Why Scandinavia?” The answer is two-fold:
1) I have a growth mentality and relish the idea of living abroad and learning about other cultures, people, and myself. I have been contemplating this move for near two years now, but for the bulk of that time I have been fighting this desire. It pains me to be away from my family in LA, and a 9-hour time difference and a 12-hour flight will make things challenging. Despite this, Scandinavia calls to me – an urge felt so deeply that it hurts to fight it. This past summer, I stopped fighting my desires and have fully embraced the challenge of getting myself abroad.
2) There is a large difference between talking the talk, and walking the walk. When it comes to work-life balance in the US, we are all talk. With true work-life balance, generous parental leave, and renowned gender diversity and inclusion practices, Scandinavia has a great model for the HR realm I want to be part of. But reading articles and researching best practices isn’t enough to fully understand – let alone implement – these initiatives. I want to be immersed in the culture to get a more complete picture of how the pieces all fit together. But only by living, breathing, and experiencing the Scandinavian model can I possibly do so.
So after two years of wanting this, I am making it happen. If you can support me in my endeavor to move abroad, either by connecting me to someone in your network, suggesting companies I apply to, or recommending a resource, I would greatly appreciate it.
Scandinavia, here I come.
7 thoughts on “Why I Want to Move to Scandinavia”
I am in the same boat, looking for a way to move to Scandinavia. Which country? My top picks are Norway and Sweden. There’s a LinkedIn group that may be good to join to begin networking with professionals over there.
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Hi! I would love to be in Denmark or Sweden, but I am also looking in The Netherlands. I have joined a few LinkedIn groups for HR already! Is there one focused particularly on moving that you recommend? Thanks for reading and commenting!
I’m only in Nordic countries Scandinavian Networking on LinkedIn. Denmark and the Netherlands are both beautiful too!
My problem would likely be that I’m too diverse. I could potentially study first and then find a job, but I’d prefer the opposite way.
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Great! I’ll look into that – thanks! I have heard that entering as a student is much easier as well! Remember that the foreign application period is much earlier — Feb 15th is the last date for applications!
I’d have to consider how to get funding for it, but I will be looking into BI…I have a non-traditional background, so I’d have no idea if they’d accept me for a Master’s program. Haven’t found other programs in Norway specifically that I’d really like. That is definitely true about the early application deadline!
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Best of luck to you! I know how much research it takes. Stick with it and I’ll see you in Scandinavia!
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