Monday, May 9, 2011

My new job.....


Before anyone gets nervous, YES I STILL WORK AT HERNING GYMNASIUM! :-)


However, as most of you know, the Danish Ministry chose (last September) 3 schools to receive state funding to begin new IB Programs in Denmark... Although we had an INCREDIBLE application and a STRONG program already in the works, they chose to give the funding for the IB project to 3 cities other than Herning. So when this happened, I was in a FUNK... totally unsure of what I was supposed to do now as I had spent 18 months preparing this IB app, knowing that I was going to be the IB Coordinator for our campus. So one day in Sept 2010, I went to work as the IB Coordinator and that afternoon, I went home unsure of what I was supposed to do now. Teaching full-time would have been great with me (as I told my boss) but I still had this passion about International Education that I really felt like I needed to pursue.... 


So my boss asked me to sort of define my new job based on being an International Coordinator for the school...  And even though I was in a deep, dark funk about the IB thing, I still had about a dozen ideas for International Projects at the Gymnasium level-- some that we were already doing and I wanted to build upon (like the Seattle project), but others that were just my brainstorm of what we COULD do!

My #1 idea was based on the number of students and staff who come to me wanting help finding international programs that they can enroll in 
during their sabbatical year ... It is VERY COMMON 
that gymnasium students take a year off after graduation before going to the university.. in fact 98% of them do it. They travel, work abroad, etc... but many want to do things related to the field they will study once they start university.


Well, I have helped a few because it is a daunting task to even begin to find out what is available.....


So that made me think that I would like to run an International Student Center from the school that helps gymnasium students in our local area find programs they can apply to, help them do the application, help them find funding and then work with the Danish university to get them some sort of credit for these programs when they return to Denmark. I met with the College counselors here in Herning and they LOVED the idea (this was back in November 2010)...they said there was huge gap between what happens AFTER Gymnasium and BEFORE University... the students are sort of in a black hole with no real academic guidance and that if I could start something like this, every gymnasium in DK would want to copy it...


Anyway, I went back to my boss with the idea and he LOVED IT, however he said that since it was actually going to happen AFTER Gymnasium (even though they are applying during gymnasium), my salary and the center could not be paid for with our Gymnasium funds from the state... so he said for me to start looking at what funding options were out there....


So I was put in contact with Region Midtjylland. In DK we have 5 Regions... ours is "Middle Jutland" and covers from the east coast of Jutland to the west coast, to about an hour north of Herning to the Billund Airport region....so it is huge....
However I knew that funds from Region Midtjylland is what has helped to fund International Society, so I thought they might like something so globally focused.

Well, they did.
I went to a workshop in December to learn how to write the grant proposal (all på dansk, of course) and found out that there was a good chunk of money that could be applied for that would be divided out among the projects they chose to fund. 
So I got busy writing (PÅ DANSK, of course) and thankfully had two wonderful colleagues that helped with all the technical things that needed to be perfect.... however our representative from the Region had an idea... He suggested that instead of serving gymnasiums only in our local area (Herning-Ikask/Brande), he wanted to me to apply to be the Coordinator for the entire region and service all the gymnasiums in that area... Although I would "sit" in Herning at Herning Gymnasium, I would be the students' contact for the entire region...


It sounded huge, but he said it was a necessary thing in our region and he knew that if I encompassed the whole area, we would have a good chance of being funded... So I did. I applied for money that could fund the center for 3 years, and the applications were due March 1.


The letter came last week, announcing that our application was approved and that 
"Det Internationale Elevcenter i Midtjylland" 
will be funded for the next three years, beginning in August.


So I wanted direction.... and now I DEFINITELY have it!
I cannot WAIT to get started! 

13 comments:

ladyfi said...

Wow -- that's wonderful news!

Nina Ø said...

This is so awesome Kelli. You are going to be so happy doing this. I am retiring June 30th as a Social Work Supervisor in the Employment Program for a major San Francisco Bay county. If you want the "interest test we use" you can translate it into Danish. It is really accurate for most people. I am going to bring a copy of to my cousin Pernille in Copenhagen when I visit in July. She works at the Kastellet help military personnel transition in civilian jobs. Way to go lady!

Amy said...

That is absolutely AMAZING Kelli!! Wow! I am so impressed both with you and the Danish government for being so willing to your idea! Here in Norway, if a Norwegian didn´t think of it then it might not be a popular idea! So I am really proud of you!!! This is HUGE!! Will it involve a lot of travelling around Denmark? That wouldn´t be a problem for you anyways since you are such a frequent traveller!!

Ok, I am going to go read how your Dad is doing...hope all is well, have thought of you all, the whole day yesterday but forgot to look at how he was doing before I went to bed!
Have a great day my dear!!

PiNG aka Patti said...

I think this is so exciting and what a great accomplishment on your part to get this going. Yeah you!! :)

Colin said...

Congrats - what an exciting opportunity and a great initiative. That's an awfully big area you have to cover - good luck!

Angel said...

I am so happy for you. This is amazing!!! Well deserved congratulations :)

Lindsay said...

Hey, I am visiting from SITS. I moved to Denmark with my Danish bf in December, and I am so happy I found your site! I am so inspired by the awesome career you have made for yourself here, how you can do presentations and proposals in Danish, and how you are bringing something new and beneficial to Gymnasiums in such a huge region. Incredible work, and now when I have those days of wishing I could go back to my career as a nurse in Canada, I am going to think more positive about learning Danish, and gaining a new career here, eventually, hopefully. Thanks for the inspiration, and sorry for the HUGE comment :)

Lindsay said...

I recently moved to Denmark with my Danish bf. Your blog is so inspirational to me. I find it very inspirational to read your stories of your aspiring career, being able to present and write proposals in Danish, and bring new programs to Gymnasiums. On those days when I am missing my career as a nurse in Canada, and feeling like I am never going to be able to learn Danish, I am going to refer to this blog to keep myself positive. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I recently moved to Denmark with my Danish boyfriend. Your blog is so inspirational to me. I find it very inspirational to read your stories of your aspiring career, being able to present and write proposals in Danish, and bring new programs to Gymnasiums. On those days when I am missing my career as a nurse in Canada, and feeling like I am never going to be able to learn Danish, I am going to refer to this blog to keep myself positive. Great job!

L. said...

Hi,I moved in with my Danish partner last year, and I am so happy I found you! I am deeply inspired by what you have made for yourself here and the incredible work you do. I have many days of wishing I could go back to Canada but now I am going to think about learning Danish, and getting a new career here, one day. Thanks for the inspiration you continue to give.

Kirstin said...

Yay, Kelli! Gratulerer!

Caution said...

I sincerely admire you. Sincerely!

Mads and Kelli said...

Lyndsay- glad you found me! I also found your blog! Would love to visit with you about how you are doing and what all you are discovering! :-)

And Nina , I am REALLY interested in your offer! I will message you on FB! TUSIND TAK!