On Wednesday 21 March, job seeking graduates from Cphbusiness took part in a sparring session to share their challenges of entering the labour market.
Both recent graduates and graduates with many years of work experience participated in our sparring session. Their interaction created a dynamic flow, as everyone had different approaches, and all agreed that it provided a good support to see that they were not alone with their frustrations. "It was nice to see that I'm not alone, even though we have different experiences and come from different industries," says Justa Alionis, a recent graduate from International Sales and Marketing Management.
Challenges in job searching
The primary challenges of job searching turned out to be very diverse. Graduates with very little experience were put off by many job postings demanding experience, while others were faced with the challenge of not having learnt Danish, as they felt that their study was filled with studying, part-time work and internship. One kept being told that he was either overqualified for some positions and underqualified for others. "I keep being told that I'm A: over-educated or B: missing a master’s degree," says Gurpaul Singh Rehal, who studied finance at Cphbusiness. He is originally a banker, but has subsequently taken a mini MBA and worked with NLP and coaching.
Other challenges included the graduates having difficulty putting into words what their actual skills are and therefore having difficulties selling themselves to an employer.
Suggestions to what can be done
Amongst other things, all participants requested job fairs targeted at Cphbusiness graduates and students; one of the proposals was to combine the internship fair with a job fair, for both students and graduates. Other suggestions included:
- Cphbusiness should seek out companies that are interested in international graduates, as this will strengthen their brand and attract ambitious students, to be known to assist in accessing great internships. This will also attract companies, because when they know that they will gain access to a group of relevant applicants through Cphbusiness, and thereby, the application process will be made easier.
- Labour market related support must begin before students choose their internship, so they become aware of the importance of the internship and therefore, even before the internship, know which direction they want to go in.
- Creating a 'professional filter' that will make it easier to be specific in job applications, so it will appear clearly in the selection of words in the application which direction you want to go in.
Overall, the graduates were happy with the sparring session and received great input from each other. "I didn’t expect the meeting to be so problem solving, I thought it would be more like a lecture, but I got a lot of advice from other job seekers," says Daniel Zalomajev, graduate from International Sales and Marketing Management.
See pictures from the sparring session on Facebook.