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How Re:Coded Careers Services help students find jobs

Finding a job can be difficult at the best of times, and now the pandemic has added a whole new level of instability. But just a few weeks ago, Re:Coded graduate Nadir Alfakesh had his first day as frontend web developer at Istanbul-based software company Kolay— a contact first established through Re:Coded Career Services.

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min read //

July 5, 2021

Lars Højholt

Director of Communications

How Re:Coded Careers Services help students find jobs
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Originally from Syria, Nadir graduated with a degree in Automation Engineering before moving to Istanbul in 2013. The language barrier quickly turned out to be a challenge in navigating the job market and to network. Eventually, he found work as a sales consultant and has since learned Turkish. However, his childhood passion for technology and programming remained intact.

So when he came across an advert for a Re:Coded bootcamp on Facebook, he jumped at the opportunity to apply. Five months and a capstone project later, he graduated from the Re:Coded bootcamp just as Covid-19 lockdowns were coming into force.

Nadir started applying for jobs as soon as the bootcamp finished but soon felt the weight of the pandemic as a job seeker.

"I started applying but the success rate was low. It felt very unfortunate that the Covid-19 crisis started just at the end of the bootcamp. At that time, no one was recruiting, companies closed down whilst people lost their jobs."

Navigating the job market

Alongside this, Nadir had worked with Re:Coded Careers Service to refine his profiles on Github and LinkedIn and on his resume to improve his chances once things started opening up again.

At the end of each bootcamp, Re:Coded Graduates can apply for Career Services and central to that program is Etem Özdemirci, Business Development Manager at Re:Coded.

In Istanbul he has for a while been our focal point in helping Re:Coded students prepare for and navigate the jobs market.  

From his perspective, the job-hunting process starts long before the students graduate.

"From the very beginning of the program, a strong emphasis is placed on employment. We start their career path with our career prep curriculum whilst they are still in the bootcamp."

A visit to Kolay paved the way

Even through the bootcamp, students are given training in how to build their online presence through a Linkedin profile, create a CV and a portfolio on Github which is reviewed by Re:Coded global mentors.

The 6-week Capstone project completed at the end of the bootcamp helps build a portfolio and train their collaborative skills and once finalized they pitch them at Graduation & Demo Day to potential employers to train their presentation skills.

But it’s after graduation, Career Services really kick off with mock interviews and speed interview events to provide students with interview experience whilst introducing them to potential employers.

Back in March Nadir had already visited Kolay on a company visit as a part of the bootcamp. The whole class got introduced to Kolay and listened to their Co-founder Gizem Sevinc and her own personal story from coding bootcamp to entrepreneur. And to Nadir, that career services visit proved important.

"First of all, Re:Coded didn’t lose contact with us despite the pandemic. We kept in contact and Etem had some relationships with other companies and organizations so he could pull some strings, if there were any open positions."

As a part of the process, Nadir was scheduled for a mock interview. Mock interviews are typically done with a member of HR at a tech company and aren’t meant to lead to a job. But after sitting down for a mock interview with the HR department at Kolay, Nadir caught their attention.

"I knew it was only a mock interview and that no positions were open. But during the interview, I felt the interviewer thought to herself that I was a possible candidate for the company. She said that she would contact me if there were any vacancies in the futur$e. She also asked me to inform her if I was offered a job by another company. When they had an open position, she arranged a technical interview with their leader. Then I did an interview with one of the co-founders which ended up with a job offer."

Nadir’s story with Kolay was the first mock interview job offering and to no surprise Etem is quite happy with the outcome of this.

"It went well so we will try to do the same with other companies and hopefully replicate this success."

The ‘Coding Bootcamp’ program operates within the framework of the “PEP-Promotion of Economic Prospects” program which is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with Re:Coded & Impact Hub

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Authors biography

Lars Højholt

Director of Communications

Lars Højholt is Re:Coded’s Director of Communications and has been with Re:Coded since February 2020. He has previously worked as a journalist and project manager for the Danish national newspaper, Information, leading major editorial projects and grants, and later joined a public sector consultancy as a communications specialist before moving to Istanbul.

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