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Being a graduate in Colombia

Time flies when you’re having fun! And apparently, I have been having a lot of it, because I can’t believe that my rotation abroad in Colombia is almost over already.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably just as surprised to hear that Falck has business in Colombia. While many know the Falck ambulances, fire trucks and cars from driving around the streets in the Nordics, it’s not so easy to spot our logo on the ambulances in Colombia. That’s because in Latin America, we operate under a different brand that is called “Grupo emi”.

No graduate blogpost is complete without a picture of an ambulance 😉

Being a graduate and rotating between different parts of the organization always means that you’ll have to adapt to change and unknown environments. In Colombia, this for me meant to adjust to the local culture and learning to speak Spanish. In the beginning this can be quite challenging: it takes a while to get used to your new team and role – especially if you are heavily jetlagged and can only understand your colleagues when they speak extra slowly for you. Luckily, Falck prepared me with some Spanish lessons before I left, so that I could have a smoother start.

In Colombia they have a saying that “the only risk is that you won’t want to leave again” and after 8 months and almost extending my stay – I can definitely say that it’s true. One of the best parts about being a Graduate abroad I think is the opportunity to see how strategic decisions translate from our headquarter in Copenhagen to the operations abroad. In Colombia for example, the business has been working on becoming more digital – something that will support Falck in its journey of becoming a global market leader.

Personal highlight: During the presentation of our Latam MD Yann Hedoux at a conference about innovation and customer experience, a woman suddenly stands up to share her story of how Falck saved her life – total goosebumps moment!

Apart from that, what has been even more important to me has been all the friendships and learnings I will take away from my time in Colombia. It might sound like a cliché, but nothing makes you grow faster than getting to know new people and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. And from colleagues asking me to show off my salsa skills, to facilitating workshops in Spanish and getting lost hiking in a jungle – Colombia has definitely been a great learning experience!

/Valerie

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