Erhverv Aarhus nyheder

Hands-on networking: businesses open up to international newcomers

International spouses often face difficulties in finding a job in Denmark. One solution is to broaden your network – this is exactly what we did at a networking session on the 22nd of August.

Network, network, network. Maybe you’ve heard of the career mantra. But this begs the question: how do you build a network in a new country and culture? It can be difficult, but not impossible.

On the 22nd of August we tackled the issue as Erhverv Aarhus, Spouse Community and Aarhus University hosted a joint networking session for internationals and business men alike.  The day’s topic was internationalisation and cultural diversity in work places.

Over 60 people attended – out of these 20 were internationals. They are from all over the globe and have arrived in Denmark with their husbands or partners. Their professional backgrounds are just as varied; health, communications, engineering and many more.

Finding employment is a struggle

In spite of their professional differences, they have all had issues with finding employment in Denmark. An explanation is given by Bram de Neve, member of Spouse Community and IT Project Manager at Bestseller. His advice to other internationals is:

“In my search for a job, I found that Danes often hire from a circle of trust. This means you’re more likely to get hired if you know someone in the organisation. So, you have to insert yourself into that circle of trust, to widen your network.”

Open your network to internationals

Following Bram de Neve’s experience, Tiny Maerschalk, head of International Community Aarhus, underlined that the circle of trust can be excluding. The networking session was, therefore, a reminder for businesses to open their network to internationals as they ensure diversity and growth in organisations.

Director of Education at Aarhus University, Kristian Thorn agrees with this. In addition, he highlights that the university has over 45 different nationalities. This makes it necessary for organisations to evolve continuously to match its highly diverse staff.

“Globalisation means there is a smaller pool of talented employees that everybody competes for. Either we do nothing or we become more international – with the latter it’ll be easier to attract and keep internationals now and in the future,” says Kristian Thorn.

The talks were followed by five sessions where participants could explain their fields, relations to international markets and professional interests.

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