10 tips for graduate students

© Lasse Martinussen

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We've collected some good advice and tips for graduate students.

1. Sign up for the Masters' Unemployment Insurance Fund

To be able to receive unemployment benefits as soon as you complete your course of study, you must have been a member of the unemployment benefit fund for at least one year.

Read more in our Great Guide to Unemployment Benefits

If you have been a member for at least one year, you can skip the initial month of no benefits, which is otherwise obligatory. As a member of the unemployment benefit fund, you will receive 13,489 DKK per month in unemployment benefits. (Rate for those with no dependants.)

Sign up with the Masters' Unemployment Insurance Fund

2. Remember the two-week rule!

You will retain the right to unemployment benefits as a new graduate if you register the completion of your course of study with the unemployment benefit fund and the job centre no later than two weeks after completing your course of study. You cannot receive benefits if you are not a member of an unemployment benefit fund.

3. Become a member of a union

Denmark, unlike many other countries, has a small number of laws regulating the labour market. Wages and working conditions are most often based on collective agreements between employers and labour unions representing workers.

Read more about unions and their role in the Danish society

As a member of DM, a union for Masters and PhDs, you get unrestricted access to advice on career opportunities, as well as feedback on how to improve your CV and applications. DM offers courses to strengthen your skills during and after your course of study, in programs like Excel, InDesign, and R. Membership is free for the first year, and costs just 20 DKK per month for one year from the time you complete your education.

Sign up with the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs

4. Student insurance package

Get a student insurance package from Lærerstandens Brandforsikring with special benefits for members of the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs.

Read more

5. Help with thriving as a student

DM can help you to make some of the tougher decisions when it comes to choosing a course of study, a student job, an exchange programme, or an internship. You can also get advice on what to do if you feel the quality of your learning environment is poor, or if you're having a hard time managing the pressure of your work.

Contact DM (in Danish)

6. You are more than your field

Take some time to focus on your interests and communities outside your studies. You'll have more energy — for your studies, too. If you know what energises you and what your interests are, they can serve as beacons in your work life after your studies. For example, are you the kind of person who makes sure that new students feel at home, or do you volunteer as a tutor? That shows that you seek out and thrive in situations that are based around relationships and teamwork. Can you lose yourself in British podcasts about international politics? Think about whether that might be your subject. It says something about the kind of job you would thrive in.

7. Freedom to go on leave

Membership in the Masters' Unemployment Insurance Fund gives you the right to unemployment benefits if you choose to go on leave for at least one semester during your graduate programme, or if you decide not to continue on to a graduate programme after earning your bachelor's degree.

Contact MA (in Danish)

8. Land an internship

An internship gives you experience, a network, and knowledge of the labour market. Unlike student jobs, an internship offers you the opportunity to delve deeper into your work, try more things, and take on more responsibility.

Check out our tips for internships

9. Check out DM's activity and travel funds

Would you like to organise a scholarly or professional event together with your fellow students? Is there a field study or academic trip you've been dreaming about? If so, you can apply for financial support from DM's activity fund and DM's travel fund.

10. Consider life after your thesis

Do you know how and where you want to work? Become a member of DM and MA and gain access to professional advice on how to make the most of your last days as a student and what kinds of career opportunities await you. Don't wait — start now. You're trained to gather knowledge. Use that when you meet people outside of your studies. Ask them about what they do for work; where they've worked; and how potential employers see your field, your study skills, and your student jobs.