At OJ, employees of different ethnic origin are offered Danish lessons, in-house.
by Muhammad Usman Shafique, software/test engineer
Read about Usman, one of OJ’s test engineers, describing the reception and opportunities at OJ as newly appointed of different ethnic origin.
Muhammad Usman Shafique was employed as software/test engineer at OJ in August 2017.
Usman is born and raised in Pakistan in the city of Lahore. Here, most people speak Urdu. In Pakistan, many young people dream of a good education, an exiting job and a future in a western country.
”My best friend went to Sweden to study, - this made me make the final decision”. Thereafter, Usman went to Sweden to the region of Blekinge. In Sweden, it is possible to get an education such as a candidate – for free. ”But you must save up money for it, - as you have to support yourself throughout the entire education”.
”I completed my candidate in 2008 after which I moved to Copenhagen. Here, I completed the software engineer degree, which by the way was almost entirely in English”, ”it is important for me to speak, understand and write Danish”. Usman therefore attended Danish lessons at a language school at night – parallel with education and work.
”I graduated in 2009 and got a job in Copenhagen. Simultaneously, I continued the Danish lessons at night school”.
”In August 2017, I started here at OJ as a test engineer. I commuted between Copenhagen and Sønderborg until March 2018, where I moved here to Sønderborg with my wife and two children”.
Usman thinks that OJ’s arrangement of Danish lessons is very good and has many advantages. ”When I was offered Danish lessons, I immediately accepted. It works out very well, because the Danish teacher comes to OJ where the lessons take place. Teaching starts at 3:30 pm, which is in continuation of the work day - and you are taught together with your colleagues, which gives a very good teamwork. In addition, OJ even pays for the lessons. I have worked in several companies, but never seen similar offers to employees”.
The Danish lessons usually begin with small talk between students and teacher, in Danish of course. ”Our Danish teacher, Hanne, gives us newspapers and we read articles as homework, and afterwards we talk about what we have read”.
In the classroom, the students have wide-ranging discussions and come across many relevant topics: ”we talk about everything: What we do in our spare time, how are things in Denmark, we talk about the government, about politics and the society, and about what is going on in the world. Everything takes place in Danish”.
The Danish lessons also focuses on pronunciation: ”I am working a lot with this part, it is very important to me, but also difficult”.
Is there anything that has been challenging, - like cultural differences, for instance?
”No, not at all. My colleagues, even the boss, have been very forthcoming and helpful from the beginning. I like the flat organisation, which gives a more relaxed working relationship – also to the employers”. “I am a software engineer, so there are many new things to learn – for instance electrical floor heating systems, which was a challenge for me.
My colleagues mostly speak Danish, but when it gets very technical, we speak English”.
”By the way, I am also challenged when spoken to in a South Jutlandic dialect. I have to listen very carefully, and sometimes I have to give up and we switch to English – but it is a lot better now”.
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