Alyson Dalby is the ILN’s Director of Business Operations. In late 2015 she moved from her life-long home of Sydney, Australia to Copenhagen, Denmark, because she was eager for adventure and liked cold weather.
In January 2016 I started my first job in a new country, with a Danish pharmaceutical company called LEO Pharma. I am the Team Manager for the data readiness team, the result of a large purchase by LEO, and I’m leading a team of 14 pharmacists who are analysing and restructuring regulatory information.
This photo of my desk was taken on my first day at LEO, because it’s not often you get a first day and a totally clean desk! This means that there’s very little of my personality on the desk, but there is one very interesting thing. Apparently it’s customary in Denmark to give flowers to new staff, and this bunch of flowers survived on my desk (with some weeding) for a good two weeks before it gave up the ghost. The photo also shows two other important tools of my job – a laptop and a modem (for home). LEO has staff all over the world, so we are not tied to our desks to do our work.
I’ve been enjoying learning about the workplace culture in a new country. Danish workplaces are very flat – there is little sense of hierarchy, and all senior staff are approachable. There are also very few offices, with everyone in an open plan space. Collaboration is valued very highly, as is a good staff canteen – and LEO’s is fantastic! It is also customary to decorate someone’s desk with Danish flags on their birthday. My colleagues have promised to try and get some Australian flags in time for my birthday!