Mentors help international students get jobs

At Business Academy Aarhus, international students are offered a professional mentor. They help make the transition from student to employee easier.

Latvian Agnese Krievkalne was employed by Danfoss as a digital solution coordinator soon after finishing her studies.

‘I owe a thank you to my mentor Mo Siddiqui for helping me get to where I am today,’ says Agnese (right), who is from Latvia, works in Kolding and lives and studied in Aarhus.

Mentor recommended his mentee

Agnese’s mentor Mo Siddiqui (left) has never had a more talented mentee than Agnese and therefore he could easily recommend her to his network at Danfoss. Mo is Managing Director of Aactio GmbH in Hamburg, which works with renewable energy. He is originally from England but has lived, studied and worked in Denmark for years.

‘The Danish labour market is not easy to navigate. There are many hidden rules. I have been where Agnese is today. We frequently talk and help each other,’ says Mo.

This afternoon Mo has taken the trip from Hamburg to Aarhus to attend Agnese’s graduation ceremony as a Digital Concept Developer at Business Academy Aarhus.

‘Mo has helped, supported and challenged me during the mentor programme. Our common values, work ethic and interaction have led to great results. I’ve been incredibly happy with the mentor programme,’ concludes Agnese.

The mentor programme has doubled

The number of mentor programmes at Business Academy Aarhus has more than doubled since the programme was launched in 2013 with 14 mentor-mentee couples. The following year there were 30. A number that has risen to more than 50 mentor partnerships in 2016 and 2017.

The dedicated mentors are chief executives, consultants, farm owners and independent business contractors. They all offer their time for free and are motivated by the desire to make a difference for young students.

Having a mentor really helps

This year, 51 students (16 International and 35 Danish) were paired with a mentor who will listen, spar, advise and coach their mentees, so that they can be as well equipped for the job market as possible.

The hope is that even more international students will be offered a mentor, says co-ordinator of the programme, Mads Christian Mahler from Business Academy Aarhus.

‘We can see that the mentors help the students to stay and work in Denmark after their graduation. It has tremendous value that the students have someone who, for example, helps them prepare for their entrance on to the Danish labour market and helps them verbalise what they can use their educational training for’.

Experienced students help

If you are from a foreign country and arrive in Aarhus to study, even the smallest things can seem challenging. To help international students get started, Business Academy Aarhus has also introduced a buddy programme where new students get an older student assigned as a friend that they can draw on. 

Read more about the mentor programme