Their newly-built, sandcoloured house is just a 25 minute bike ride north of Esbjerg, and 30-year-old Maja welcomes me at the door. 26-year-old Nema sits in their high-ceilinged living room on a foam rubber play mat, with their 11 month-old son, Nohr. Back in 2015, they were both students in Odense and Aarhus respectively, and had no knowledge of each other’s existence. They now have a house, wedding rings and full-time jobs – and have become parents.
“When I started on my Basic ClinicalTraining programme, I could choose from a range of hospitals to study at. I chose the South West Jutland Hospital, because they had a good reputation for training and education. I also needed to be close to the sea – something I’d been missing,” explains Maja, who grew up on the island of Langeland before studying medicine in Odense.
Consequently, she moved to Esbjerg in the summer of 2015. In September of the same year, she extended her Tinder dating radius to the maximum, and found Nema, who was living in Aarhus at the time:
“I had just returned from a three-month trip to Asia after getting my degree, and was looking for a job. Only four months (and a number of train journeys) later, I decided to move down to Maja in Esbjerg,” says Nema, a qualified diploma engineer in Healthcare Technology.
I chose the South West Jutland Hospital, because they had a good reputation for training and education. I also needed to be close to the sea – something I'd been missing.
Newcomer in Esbjerg
Help from the ‘Newcomer Service’
With help from Esbjerg Municipality’s ‘Newcomer Service’, Nema was able to find temporary work as Project Manager at the Esbjerg Health Centre even before moving to the area. When the contract expired, he decided to attend the Esbjerg career fair, where he got talking to someone from Vestfrost Solutions. He’s now employed as Innovation Manager in the company’s biomedical segment, making refrigerator and freezer cabinets for the healthcare sector.
“When I compare my situation with that of my friends, I get the impression that I have more responsibility here than I would have working in, say, Aarhus or Copenhagen,” he states.
About the same time that Nema started work, Maja began her second onboarding process in occupational medicine. Before she started maternity leave in September 2017, they managed to get married on the beach at Blåvand with close relatives as witnesses, and buy the house they moved into in May 2018 all within the space of a week, and only 6 months later, Nohr arrived – the point at which they also invited Energy Metropolis for coffee, crispbread and dates.
Maja and Nema appreciate the nature in Esbjerg.
Freedom with responsibility
Maja is now back at work at the hospital, which has around 33,000 admissions and 390,000 outpatients per year, and is one of the biggest employers in Esbjerg.
“We are well-staffed here, and it’s a good place to work: There is always a specialist available when you needhelp. If I compare notes with my formerstudent colleagues working elsewhere,we have more time and capacity at this hospital for me to acquire the competences I am most interested in. I don’t have to spend eight hours a day updating patient notes. I am also allowed enormous freedom with responsibility. It’s a really great place to
work,” she says.