When business becomes global
Jennifer Waibel is originally from the United States. At Deloitte Denmark, she serves some of the most complex international clients.
Why did you choose to relocate to Denmark?
"Well, that is a classic love story. I was studying at Copenhagen Business School where I met my husband-to-be. After graduation, I worked at Deloitte in Wisconsin for a couple of years, but it was just too hard being away from the man I love. So I made the decision to leave the US and move to Denmark. It has definitely been one of the best decisions of my life."
How is life as an expat at Deloitte?
"It is interesting, for sure. Sometimes difficult, but also very rewarding. Here in Copenhagen, I manage a team of more than 20 people, half of them Danish, the other half expats from all parts of the world, including the US, Canada, India, the Philippines, and Malaysia, just to name a few places. We all come with different perspectives, both personally and professionally. Sometimes we have to work extra hard to understand each other, but that is essentially how we all learn."
What is the business rationale for working in an international team?
"The obvious rationale is that we have to mirror our clients. They think globally, so we have to think and operate globally in order for us to become their trusted advisors. This requires us to have international competencies within the Danish firm, but also to draw on our global network of specialists. This is where the magnitude of Deloitte really manifests itself. I love working in that kind of vibrant, international environment."
From your perspective, what is the difference between a ‘Danish’ and an ‘American’ audit?
"The biggest difference is definitely regulation. I specialise in auditing large Danish companies that are listed in the US as well as Danish subsidiaries of American companies. For both of them, there are a number of very specific procedures that need to be performed in order to comply with US regulation. Naturally, the very essence of performing an independent audit is the same between our two countries, but for the US there are several complex regulatory add-ons."
What are your plans for your own career here in Denmark?
"I definitely want to continue on the leadership path that I am already on. For me, leadership is where we have the greatest potential as a firm. Our whole existence depends on our ability to develop new talents. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing other people grow and have success. That is without doubt the most rewarding part of my job."
What impact will you make?
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"I think differently than Danes. I love how we complement each other."