Lasse Hangaard
Public Administration, Aalborg University

Organizational Consultant, The Danish Ministry of Taxation


Why did you choose your specific programme at SDC?
There were several reasons. Firstly, I studied Public Management in Denmark, which interested me greatly – especially public management in countries, like China, which experience compressed development versus developed countries like Denmark. Secondly, I wanted the experience of living in a different country with vastly different language, culture et cetera.

What are the most important academic skills/knowledge you have acquired during your master’s?
Cultural capital without a doubt. The greatest academic (as well as practical) knowledge you get is cultural differences (and how to overcome them) in public management, business, but also individual dialogues. This knowledge is the center of SDC and you can use it later in your academic and professional career.
What do you think about the physical environment of SDC?
The SDC building is great with great study halls, big open surroundings as well as places to chill, like in the student lounge (fyi SDC has European toilets too).

What is the social life like?
It changes every year and is vastly determined by how much effort you put into it. SDC is an academic and cultural institution with a lot of different people – and nobody knows anybody. Hence, you must be proactive, open and considerate to create a great social environment.

What did you do in your spare time?
In the weekdays I was studying and chilling at SDC and the campus. Playing some sport, swimming et cetera. However, in the weekends I was mostly in Beijing with other students to party, eat and have fun. If you are an extrovert person, like me, you will use the weekdays to study as much as you can, so you can utilize the weekends.
Where did you intern and what did you gain from it?
I got an internship at the Confederation of Danish Industry in New York(!). It was a great opportunity which broadened my cultural understanding. And I must admit, one of the reasons I got the internship was that I had proven to be able to live abroad.

How has your time at SDC/your MSc programme impacted your career?
To be honest, not that much. Most companies and public institutions look at what you have been doing, instead of what you have been studying. Hence, be ready to fight for jobs on equal footing with everyone else. However, compared to others, you will have gained memories for life.

What would you wish you had known before applying to an SDC programme?
If you cannot speak Chinese at the basic level, you will be forced to study Chinese two times a week. If I had known that I would have taken summer studies, because it can be stressful and unwanted extra work during high-peak study periods.