Photo of Dimple Kakkad.

How Dimple found the courage to look for a job in Denmark

Dimple Kakkad took part in a mentor programme established IA Sprog in co-operation with the consultant company Accenture. That helped her find a job that matched her qualifications.

IA Sprog has established a mentor programme in co-operation with the consultant company Accenture, which has its Danish headquarters Ørestaden. The program consists of several common meeting with a focus on cover letters and cvs, and all of the students practice dong job interviews in Danish. And each student has his or her own mentor to get feedback from.

The 2014 group of students from IA Sprog included Dimple Kakkad, who attended an evening class in Danish Language Course 3 Module 4. For four months she worked closely with Nihad Bihorac, a management consultant at Accenture. Let’s hear from both of them what they got out of their co-operation.

Helped her strengths stand out

“I’d worked as a mainframe developer for seven years in India and in Singapore, and I’m very career oriented, “ Dimple explains. “When I was looking for a job in Denmark, I simply couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting hired, even though I’d been to several job interviews.”

Since Accenture is an IT company, Dimple thought, a mentor from there could certainly give her useful feedback on how she could improve her job search in Denmark.

“The first two meetings about my cv and cover letter really helped me a lot. That was before I even had a mentor. Then Nihad became my personal mentor. I was very impressed with his calm and confident manner, and thought: that’s the kind of mentor I wanted to have. We fit together very well. There were no barriers when we talked with each other.”

At the beginning, Nihad helped with Dimple’s Danske cv. She was of the opinion that the cv was good enough, but Nihad had many suggestions on how it could be even better. He even showed Dimples his own cv for inspiration, to her great surprise.

“It meant a lot to me that he believed I would find a job. We talked about how I actually had very good on-the-job experience, but that wasn’t entirely evident from my cv. Nihad helped me get a better overview of my own strengths, so I could bring them out more in my cv,” says Dimple.

Experience, networks, and knowledge

Nihad came into the picture when he was encouraged to sign up to be a mentor. He was happy to do it. He liked the idea that he would be able to make a difference in someone’s life in co-ordination with his daily professional life.

”My ethnic background is also non-Danish, and I knew that many students had a background similar to mine. That made me think that I might be able to make a real difference,” says Nihad.

“I could identify with his programme, because 15 years ago when I was still at university and didn’t have a job, I could have really used help moving towards my goals. I thought it would be great to help others when I’ve been in that situation myself,” says Nihad.

He chose to mentor Dimple because she wanted to work in an area where Nihad himself had experience, a network, and a fair amount of knowledge about how IT companies work. Dimple felt she had lost her self-confidence, but Nihad praised her and reminded her of the very good work experience she had to offer.

Got a lot out of being a mentor

“We talked about everything,” Dimple says. “I thought, for example, that I would be satisfied if I could get a job where I could use just some of my skills. But Nihad insisted that I could certainly get a job that fit my qualifications.”

“It wasn’t just because I could help with the professional side of things,” Nihad added. “It was also about chemistry, and I believe that I helped her become more structured in her approach towards finding a job in Denmark. For example, being optimally prepared for the interview, adapting her cv to the job description and trying to put herself in the shoes of the person receiving the application.”

Nihad says he’s also gotten a lot of out of being a mentor.

“When you give to others, you generally get something in return. First of all, you understand and appreciate your own skills a little bit more when you see someone learning from you. You simply get quicker and sharper. And you also learn a lot of new things. For example I ended up with new knowledge about the technology industry, and I learned a lot about India. And I also got to know a fantastic person,” says Nihad.

“Nihad gave me self-confidence. He transferred his self-confidence to me. I will never forget that,” says Dimple, who found in a job in her field a short time after the mentoring process. Now she hopes to help others as her mentor helped her.