Education to Employment Ambassador in Focus: David Jan Novak

From unemployed to Campaign Specialist at Wunderman. The student with high potential and great business initiatives, David Novak from Erhvervsakademi Sjælland, shares with us his experience on making the transition from education to employment

Why did you choose to study in Denmark?

There are two main reasons why I chose Denmark as a study destination. First, a lot of my personal values align with the Danish values, therefore, it’s easier for me to grow as a person and to find connections with the country itself. Second, it is a very good environment to test the business opportunities and the educational system. Compared to my origin country, Romania, the educational system it is very different. In Denmark, there is a huge focus on practical applied knowledge and it is more about experience above the theoretical knowledge which I consider it is very important and it is exactly what I wanted from my further education. 

How did you hear about E2E and why did you decide to join?

First time I got to know about E2E Ambassador Program it was when I joined the E2E Career Fair in the fall of 2016 as a volunteer. One of the teachers introduced us to the Ambassador Program and I wanted to give it a try and signed up for it. I always thought that the easiest way to get a job is through networking. Because of this, I considered being a volunteer at the Career Fair would be a great opportunity for me to just practice my networking skills and see all the companies - and maybe in the future get a chance to find a job through networking. And this is exactly what happened.

How was it to pursue a career in Denmark? Did the E2E program contributed in any way to this process?

I think that the program helped a lot to this process and it still helps, because even though I have a job right now that doesn’t mean that I will not search for another one in the future. In my opinion, the E2E Program is very helpful for an international when you come to a new country and you probably don’t know a lot of things about it. I think the way the information is provided during the program is professional, it is tailored to our needs, and it is very practical and fulfils our needs exactly how it should.

It might just have been luck to find a professional position related to my study while I am still a student, but I tend to think that it is a combination of knowledge and networking:  knowing what to do when you are invited to an interview, including the before-during-and after process, and networking and the skills gained by being part of the E2E program.

What was the most valuable thing you have gained being an E2E?

I never put together a core strategy of how to make the transition of being unemployed to be employed. The E2E programme helped me make the connection between all the individual steps of what you need to know when you go to an interview and previous to that. I think this is the most valuable thing that I have gained from the programme.

What has the most unique/interesting experience as an E2E Ambassador been so far?

As an E2E Ambassador, I remember a nice moment when I was in the classroom with so many different people from different parts of the world, and we were all facing the same problems. What surprised me the most, was the fact that we all have different backgrounds and then, there is someone out there who doesn’t have any of our problems, but they are here for us and they are willing to help us through the process and to make us feel comfortable and welcome even though we are in a foreign country. I am really thankful for that!

Can you elaborate a little bit on your journey from education to employment?

Everything started from the E2E Career Fair, where I didn’t expect anything to be honest. My focus while participating at the fair was to find out what the market looked like, what type of people I needed to connect with, and what the latest requirements for open positions in the industry of my interest were. I considered this fair as a step forward in finding out what person I need to become in 1 or 2 years’ time to pursue my dream career.

When I got to the Wunderman company stand, I started to ask a lot of questions, because I was really interested in what they work with We started a general conversation on the topic which ended with leaving my CV and after some time I got an invitation for an interview.

When I went for the interview I realized that their brand image is very professional, and everybody was so relaxed in the office. You can laugh, you can joke, and you can have a good time while you are at work. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to be part of that atmosphere and it made me relax during the interview, which went well as I was offered a job.

When I first heard about this company, I thought there is no way they would need someone like me. I believe that showing a huge interest and curiosity in their work helped me to get from no job to employed at Wunderman.

How is your job right now and what exactly are you doing?

We are working as a Digital Marketing Agency, and I am working in the Marketing & Operations Division. What we do is that we take the information, the content, the images, and everything needed from the clients and afterwards we implement it as emails in using coding wise and then we specifically target the recipients of those emails through different criteria of segmentation. The segmentation can get so specific therefore, this is the key element because the higher the opening rate the better the services are.

How would you describe working in Denmark?

When I was living back in my home country, I didn’t have an office job so I can’t really compare. But I had a lot of other jobs, and I have been involved in other companies. I think it’s a totally different way of working in Denmark. The biggest difference is the way the company is structured.  In other countries, the power distance between employees is very high while here in Denmark it is more about working together as a team to achieve success. The atmosphere is also way more relaxed. You can make jokes while at work and nobody will say that you are not serious at the job. Another aspect that I really appreciate in Denmark is the great importance of work-life balance. People really do understand when you must do something else and it makes you feel better and appreciated as a human not just as an employee. 

What advice would you offer for the upcoming E2Es that are seeking a career in Denmark?

My advice for them would be to get involved and to actively participate in the events that is organized for you, because the knowledge there is very valuable and useful.