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BESTSELLER Apprentice Programme

Taking your apprenticeship across borders

Meet Frederikke, Sales Responsible at VILA, who started her journey at BESTSELLER as a Sales Apprentice. During her time as an apprentice, she got the opportunity to work in Spain for two and a half months where she assisted our sales team in Malaga.

WHAT THOUGHTS AND CONSIDERATIONS DID YOU HAVE BEFORE DECIDING TO WORK ABROAD?

Before I decided to move abroad, it was important for me to have a purpose with my visit. Throughout my work at the VILA office in Denmark, I would often help the Spanish team solve various daily tasks, which they should be able to do by themselves. It made good sense for me to focus my stay in Spain on helping the team in becoming more independent and teach them how to solve the tasks by themselves.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE OFFICE YOU WORKED AT?

The office in Malaga is such an amazing experience in itself – it is very new and really beautiful. Instead of the brands having separate offices like in Denmark, all of the brands sit together in small teams. I sat together with the VILA team, which is about 4 people strong. Because of the open office space, I got to talk with colleagues from many different brands, which was a great way to get to know more people.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST EXCITING TASK AS AN APPRENTICE ABROAD?

It’s hard to choose just one task, as I got to experience so many different things. I feel so lucky to have experienced both working at our office in Malaga while also getting to visit all our showrooms in Spain.

If I must mention one task, it would be training our new sales colleague. Two days before I was leaving for Spain, we were told that a new sales colleague would be joining our team in Madrid, and we decided that I should be in charge of teaching her everything about sales and our work processes. It felt great to be trusted with the responsibility of training a new colleague.

WHAT DID YOU FIND CHALLENGING ABOUT WORKING ARBOAD?

I was travelling a lot during my time in Spain, so I had to find a balance between work and social life. One thing I learned while I was abroad was not to stress about things out of my control. Although it might be frustrating not being done with a task you planned, it is important to take some time for yourself. Sometimes, you just have to pull the plug and recharge your batteries - and that’s okay. It can be a tough lesson to learn, but it is so important to know how to prioritise your time and take care of yourself.

I lived in a small apartment in the centre of Malaga, so I lived close to everything. During my stay, I had a lot of travelling days, which also meant that I spent quite some time on my own. When I was in Malaga, I often went out after work with some colleagues, but I also learned to go out on my own. It took some getting used to, but after a while, I had no problem going out exploring the city on my own.

My suggestion would be to take some time, before leaving, to think about what you’d like to experience while you’re living in another country. Is there a museum you’d like to see, or a place that you need to visit? It really helped me to have given some thought into what I would like to do in my spare time beforehand.

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN APPRENTICE ABROAD?

My stay in Malaga definitely helped me to be become even more independent. When you stand in an airport all by yourself and need to figure out how to arrive at your final destination despite cancelled flights, you get pushed outside your comfort zone. Looking back at it now, I realise that it really helped me grow as a person and learn how to think on my feet.

It is so great to experience how my collaboration and communication with my colleagues in Spain has improved after my stay in Malaga. It is quite easy to get caught up in your work in Denmark and everything might make perfect sense to us here. After having worked abroad, it has become quite clear to me that we can always get better at communicating with our colleagues at our local offices.

Another great thing about living in Spain was that I got to practice speaking Spanish which has really helped me expand my vocabulary and become even more confident about my language skills.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A FUTURE APPRENTICE THINKING ABOUT WORKING ABROAD?

Don’t overthink it. It might seem a bit overwhelming to move to a different country, but as long as you have a good idea about what you want to experience during your visit abroad, you will be able to plan ahead. Talk with your team, both in Denmark and abroad, to make sure you agree on the purpose of your visit.

You should also be aware that you will need to stand on your own two feet. You are moving to a new country, and, to begin with, you will not know that many people and will need to spend some time to settle. Although it might take some time to adjust, you will become more independent and grow so much as a person. My best advice would be to just do it, go out and explore and visit some of our stores.

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