Initially, Anna Alieva chose to pursue a career in the field of global trade because of its international perspective and opportunities. It is perhaps therefore not surprising that she embarked on an international adventure eight months ago that led her and her family to Denmark, where they are now working to settle in.

In October 2022, Anna Alieva and her family packed their bags and moved their lives thousands of kilometres away from home to Denmark. Anna now works as a manager in the Tax & Legal in the Global Trade Advisory team, where she helps clients manage their customs risks and customs savings opportunities.

Anna likens the puzzle of her daily customs tasks to a treasure hunt – and says it is exciting when she can help a client successfully close a complicated customs audit or obtain a customs authorization.

She was first drawn to the field of customs duties because it allowed her to use her legal knowledge in a field that excited her and opened opportunities for an international career. She found it inspiring how there are only minor local differences within the field, which made her knowledge applicable across geographies.

It was therefore not a far-fetched idea for her to one day explore the international aspect of her career by moving abroad.

Finding a constant amidst all the change

Now the family is settling into their new life in a foreign country. But one thing has remained a constant in Anna’s life despite the big move: Deloitte. After working at Deloitte for more than eight years throughout her time at law school and in her earlier career, the big move did not seem as intimidating as it might have otherwise.

“Some things are certainly different, but our strong global standards make Deloitte feel like a stable environment during a time of change for me and my family. It makes for a comfortable space while we are trying to sort out the practical stuff that comes with moving a family,” she says.

One thing that surprised her about the move was how easy it turned out to be due to the help of Deloitte Denmark’s Mobility team, which helps people sort out the paperwork when they relocate to a new country.

“It turned out to be extremely easy with the help of our mobility team. I have talked to others who have also moved to Denmark, and I know how complicated these things can be in practice. I basically only had to submit copies of mine, my husband’s, and my daughter’s passports, and then the mobility team took care of the rest.”

Settling into Denmark

Building a life in a new country where you do not speak the language can be tough, and despite Deloitte feeling familiar in some ways, Anna found herself in situations at the beginning where she could not understand the conversations happening around her.

“First, when I was not able to communicate in Danish at all, it could be very tough at times, for example in situations, like at lunch, where Danes interact with each other in Danish. I guess this is the same in any country. But Deloitte Denmark is in my opinion a very international company.”

Now Anna is working hard to learn Danish, and with the help of her colleagues and a teacher provided by Deloitte, she has managed to become very good in just a few months.

“I see a little bit of progress every day. In the very beginning, my colleagues helped me by speaking very basic Danish with me, and it was so nice of them.”

Today, Anna’s Danish is at a level where she can communicate and write emails in Danish.

Interaction with clients surprised her

While uprooting yourself and your family and moving to another country can be quite unnerving, Anna has been pleasantly surprised about the whole experience so far.

One thing that has impressed her a lot is the sense of teamwork that she thinks characterises the Danish society and how that translates into interactions. Chuckling, Anna says that she was rather confused the first time one of her clients asked how her daughter was doing and when the daughter’s day-care would be closed due to vacation so that they could plan around it.

“I was like: ‘Wow are you serious? That is so sweet that you care!’ I find it really impressive how people care about each other.”

Impressed by work-life balance

Another thing that struck her about Denmark is the relaxed and calm atmosphere, she says she has experienced here. She highlights work-life balance and how people manage to pursue their careers while seemingly maintaining a balance.

And Anna really enjoys having that balance, saying that when she is not at work, she dedicates her free time entirely to her family and hobbies.

When asked about why she ended up choosing Denmark and whether it turned out to be the right choice, her answer is unequivocal; the match with the leadership team in her new role made the decision for her.

“The partners in the Indirect Tax team in Denmark were really business oriented and set out clear goals for me from the beginning. They gave me a clear idea about my role and the tasks they wanted me to fulfil, so it was a clear match between me and the firm. I felt like it would be easy for me to work with them. And that was completely the right choice.”

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