Luka is living the American dream in Aarhus

Luka Gurovic, as a Creative Developer at Novicell, helps code visual experiences for Internet users. He got the job while he was still studying in Aarhus and didn't yet speak fluent Danish.

Not all 18-year-olds dare to travel to an unknown country to try their luck. But Luka Gurovic did, and he has no regrets.

‘I have found the American dream in Denmark. This is a country full of opportunities,’ says Luka Gurovic, who comes from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After just two years in Denmark, the young web developer has succeeded in educating himself and paving his own career path into the Danish labour market.

To Aarhus to become a multimedia designer

Luka grew up in the town of Trebinje in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to the border with Croatia and the Adriatic Sea. With a younger brother and parents who work as a graphic designer and an engineer, respectively.

As a child, Luka dreamed of becoming a doctor. But when all his friends went to a technical high school, Luka did the same.

After high school and a short stay as an exchange student in the United States, his mother suggested that he go to Aarhus and study to be a multimedia designer.

The luckiest moment of my life

In Denmark, Luka quickly felt at home, even though everything wasn’t exactly perfect.

For his first month in Aarhus, Luka was homeless and slept on the floor with a friend in a rented room. In his spare time, he worked as a dishwasher in various places in the city whilst studying.

Luka persevered with his studies and by his fourth semester, he managed to get an internship with the popular and renowned digital consultancy Novicell in the Aarhus district of Højbjerg.

‘It was the luckiest moment of my life,’ Luka says of the day, when, as one of the many applicants, he was offered the internship at Novicell after completing a task for them.

Adept at his craft and very sociable

Even while Luka was still an intern, the manger spotted the young Web Developer’s sense for creating visual experiences and hired Luka as soon as his internship was finished.

‘Luka can code, and he is incredibly visually-minded. It is a rare trait to have such a deep understanding of both sides. In addition, Luka has an energizing drive,’ says Kim Dolleris, Lukas former manager and Novicell's former Head of Digital Design.

‘It’s one of the best things that’s happened to me,’ Luka says about his choice of education and the fact that he managed to get a foot into the Danish labour market.'

From internship to job

Today, Luka is continuing his education with a bachelor’s degree in web development at Business Academy Aarhus while still working part-time job as a creative developer at Novicell. When he has completed his bachelor in January, Luka hope to start working full-time for Novicell.

International working environment

Luka still doesn’t speak fluent Danish. But he’s starting to learn it and he understands more than he speaks. That does not mean much for work though, as everyone at Novicell speaks English. Here, 17 – the equivalent of just over 7 percent – of the company’s 250 employees in Denmark come from another country.

Helpful colleagues and a nice work culture

Luka has no plans of permanently returning home. Not at all. He has experienced adult life and the Danish work culture.

‘I like the fact that Danes are so straightforward and helpful. That they appreciate what I can do. While I was still an intern in the company, I experienced how much employees are actually appreciated. My manager took me on weekly walks, just him and me, to hear how I was doing. There is an informal and flat culture where everyone, regardless of title, can put forward their ideas and is expected to take responsibility. I haven’t seen that anywhere else in the world,’ says Luka Gurovic.

A country full of possibilities

Occasionally, Luka is surprised that he doesn’t “just” have to be a dishwasher or work behind the till in a burger bar. That he can be used for something more. And that adult working life so far has been so good.

‘My prospects are better here. There is more innovation in my subject area. Danes don’t just follow trends, they create them. It’s the best environment you can have. Both professionally and socially, it is much better to be here.’

Busy yourself 

Luka advises other international graduates to stay and work in Denmark.

‘You can't just give up. It’s just a question of time, patience and hard work. Finding a proper internship can pave the way to a good job. Therefore, it is important to choose your internship strategically and with care. You have to apply to a place where you can see yourself working after graduation,’ he says.