Starting out as paper “boy” at the age of thirteen, Marie Themsen decided she needed international experience and now, seven years later, joined the Danish PIU (Praktik i Udlandedet) program and came to London, spending her gap year at Goodwille as our very appreciated Financial Trainee. Marie helps our clients with managing both their purchase and sales invoices, doing bank reconciliation, processing expenses for our clients, setting up their payments, doing their credit controls and supporting the financial controllers with daily ad hoc tasks.
Marie spared us a few seconds to tell us more about moving abroad at the age of 20, her London favourites and the advantages she believes PIU will give her in the future.
Why did you choose England for your gap year?
I wanted to develop my English skills and London is such an exciting city, both workwise and when it comes to things to do in your spare time. There is always something happening and new places to explore.
One thing you hate, and one thing you love about London?
There is not much I hate but I really don’t know why people always ask me “How are you?” As being from the Nordics it took a while to understand Brits actually didn’t care about my answer… If I can only pick one thing I love about London it would be the variation of the city. You can find everything here. It’s not only Oxford Street.
Something you miss from home?
Danish food! Especially Stegt flæsk med persillesovs (fried pork with parsley sauce).
How do you think others see you?
Friendly, mature and ambitious.
How was it both leaving home and moving to another country?
It’s definitely one of the biggest steps I’ve ever taken. Leaving home is a big thing in itself, moving to another country was scary but I’ve grown so much as a person! I moved in with people I’d never met before and there was so much practical stuff to sort. We didn’t have any furniture in the flat, I needed to open a bank account, register at a doctors and get a National Insurance number, among many other things. If you are shy to begin with it disappears really quickly.
What does a perfect weekend in London look like?
I prefer a quieter weekend so brunch with friends at my favourite place Muriel’s, we’d sit outside if the weather would allow it and after that go for a stroll in a park and visit one of London’s many amazing food or antique markets. I love Borough market!
What advantages do you think PIU will give you for the future?
Experience in “real life”, with the opportunity to compare practical experience from the theoretical side taught at university. Lectures at university will be in English and it will be much easier now when I’m used to speaking, reading and writing in English at all times.
You are leaving us in August, what will you do after Goodwille?
I’m considering staying in London for a bit longer or possibly moving to another country – USA or Germany would be exciting. Travel the world would not be so bad either! I’ve done some volunteering work here in London at a shelter, I’m interested in doing more of that too… So I’m not too sure as it stands!
What would you say to others your age who are considering a gap year?
See the world while you have the time! Learn languages and get new experiences. International experience is so important today to be able to get the job you want.
What do you like the most about Goodwille?
To work with so many different people and cultures – both amongst colleagues, but also with our many clients.