Mundusians under the Covid-19 Lockdown: Part 9 - Amélie Drouet

Welcome to the ninth interview in our series about Mundusians under the Covid-19 shutdown. Today, we say hello to alumna - Amélie Drouet who is based in Aarhus.

2020.05.26 | Ellie Sellwood

Amélie in her home office.

Denmark shut down relatively early on and managed to mitigate the strain on its healthcare system. Schools were reopened as early as mid-April, and so the country is now entering “phase two” of the reopening plan, with big shopping centers, cafes, restaurants, outdoor sports and more resuming operations, Amélie explains. But, like other alumni throughout the world, she also had to work from home from mid March onwards.

Amélie graduated from the Mundus Journalism programme in Hamburg in 2016. She is from France and moved back to Aarhus after her graduation. Today, she is currently working as a Communications Consultant for an initiative called HEADSTART, led by Business Region Aarhus - a job which she started just before the lockdown was introduced. Here, she tells us how the lockdown experience has been for her.

Mundus Journalism: What is the situation like in Denmark right now? What’s the mood like?

Right now, we’re entering “phase two” of the reopening plan after being under lockdown since early March. People are now impatient to be able to meet and get as much as possible of their “normal daily routine” back. But I think it helped that Denmark never introduced strict confinement measures as France and other countries did. Being able to go out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather has had the best impact on people’s mood – despite some awkward encounters and avoidance strategies in nature and at the supermarket!

Mundus Journalism: You recently started a job for HEADSTART, can you tell us about it?

I am a Communications Consultant for an initiative called HEADSTART. We work to brand the Central Denmark region as an attractive career destination, in order to help local companies attract and recruit international specialists in the STEM sectors. We build on techniques like employee advocacy with a team of international employees from different companies across the region. They act as ambassadors who can share all the good stories of living and working here as an international.

Mundus Journalism: How have the Covid-19 measures affected your work?

We were sent home from March 12th, though we’ve gotten used to meeting on Teams quite fast. It actually pushed us to use the platform more.

The major challenge for us has been to adjust our communication strategy. Covid-19 and the measures Denmark put in place have reshuffled companies’ priorities. We had to show that our initiative is still relevant in the long-term, so that companies and their international employees got involved in our advocacy efforts. It’s also meant we had to launch our local network of expat-ambassadors online.

And, of course, we had to integrate the pandemic in our communication towards potential candidates to jobs in Central Denmark, while still sharing our attraction messages. It’s a fine balance to strike.

MJ: Do you have any tips or tricks for fellow Mundusians working in the same field as you?

This is always important, not just in the middle of a global pandemic, but: Keep your audience in mind, be sensitive to how they might be affected by current events and adjust your communication accordingly.

MJ: How do you think your job will be affected in the long term i.e. once measures have been relaxed?

Time will tell whether people are going through with their relocation plans or not. Denmark has been positively portrayed in international media for the way it handled the crisis, so we might even see an increased interest for the country as a career destination. Either way, our communication strategy and our ambassador network activities will be affected for months to come.

MJ: How do you think the world will change in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic? And what are your wishes for the future?

I already see the climate action narrative gaining ground in several countries. With all time low levels of pollution and oceans “regenerating”, people are organizing to build on the momentum created by the lockdowns and confinement measures. I am optimistic by nature – but the COVID-19 crisis has also proved that we are all in this together and that it is crucial we listen to science and experts. So I believe we might start taking the climate alarm more seriously. The question is whether we will be too tired of fighting to take up the challenge? Or whether the massive cultural shifts we’ve seen in response to the pandemic will reassure us that “we can do something, if we all make an effort”? I sure wish for the latter to be true!

Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us, Amélie, we hope that things will start becoming ‘more normal’ for you in Aarhus soon!

Want to join the Mundus Journalism MA programme next year? Applications will open again on 10th November 2020!

Graduate Profiles
Tags: WFH, working from home, Covid-19, lockdown, communications