Dual Career helps entrepreneurs from Aarhus University juggle school and startup


October 26, 2021

The Aarhus ecosystem is home to a wealth of attractive offers for startups. One worth highlighting is Aarhus University’s Dual Career program. A program securing elite athletes help to balance university and work. What’s interesting is, that AU is the first and only university in Denmark to include entrepreneurs in that very same program.

Running a successful startup and being a university student is equivalent to having two full-time jobs. For this reason, Aarhus University, the only university in Denmark, has created Dual Career. A service for top athletes and entrepreneurs who need flexible study conditions, so they do not have to choose between study and startup.

Room for ambitions

“I don’t want to fight my way through my studies with 02-grade in average. There’s not much about that. And this is where Dual Career helps me. This will make my student life and my life as an entrepreneur work together,” says Martin Johansen.

He is in the process of the eighth semester on his MSc in Economics and Business administration in Finance and International affairs and is also Director and Co-founder of Mercura. A startup that supplies software solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. And it is precisely the ability to meet one’s ambitions across both studies and work that is the main goal of Dual Career. Morten Munch Mindegaard is a consultant at Dual Career and is the first to meet the students on a daily basis. He says:

“We’ve been put in the world to prevent you as an entrepreneur and student having to choose between your two passions. The challenge is that the students who are looking for both are extremely ambitious. And if they can’t reach their goals – then they often drop out. Luckily, Dual Career helps prevent this.”

Dual Career each year helps more than 200 students with not burning out. The initiative is the only one of its kind in Denmark, and thus unique to Aarhus University.

Help with exams and fewer courses per semester

Dual Career has a wide range of “aids” that can benefit entrepreneurs with a packed timetable. For example, they can take fewer ECTS credits per semester or postpone an exam. They can also get a study assistant who can help to take notes on a lecture the entrepreneur cannot attend and, not least, get supplementary teaching up to an exam. Each student is given a tailor-made program – and according to adviser at Dual Career Morten Munch Mindegaard, there is a good reason for this:

“It varies from person to person what stresses us. That’s why we take a Dual Career approach to the individual’s needs. It may be that the daily study pressure is too high – or maybe it is only up to the exam that they run into difficulties. We can help with both.”

One of those who have received this help is Mads Krog Kristensen, who is studying law on the 4th semester and is also Co-founder of the company GS Supply, which supplies sustainable packaging for cafés and restaurants. The startup is only a little over a year old, but the two young entrepreneurs are already negotiating large agreements. Agreements that have made it necessary for them to have 150 m2 of storage. Mads Krog Kristensen explains:

“Law is an intensive study-and, not exactly a walkover. The first time I didn’t have the help of Dual Career was really a tough game. Now there’s more balance.”

Mads Krog Kristensen’s Co-founder, Christian Møller, who is studying HA on Aarhus BSS, has also received help in the form of supplementary teaching up to an exam.

How to get the benefit of Dual Career

Dual Career is available to all Aarhus University students who are entrepreneurs in addition to their studies, and who need advice, e.g. in relation to general planning of studies. If you are considering some of the services offered by Dual Career, you must apply for it. Here, the student and the startup are assessed on several parameters, including commitment, the company’s strength and product as well as the market’s interest. Morten Munch Mindegaard says:

“We want to engage in dialogue with all students who run a company – no matter what level they are at. In this way, we are sure that we can jump to with the right help when the need arises. We all know that a startup can grow a lot in just a few months, so we try to be in dialogue with as many people as possible.”

If you are a student who runs a startup – and would like to engage in dialogue with Morten Munch Mindegaard and Dual Career, you can contact him at mmm@au.dk

Read the original article and visit The Kitchen’s site here.

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