International refugee day 2019

June 20, 2019: international refugee day. A topic we at Bright Young Professionals want to reflect on. You may have seen the article that appeared in January 2019 at pw.: talented refugees in the workspaces. Frans Rutten, Managing Director, spoke about the reasons why HR departments should have wide open doors for refugees. Read the article here.

Frans: ‘’So far, we have experienced young refugees as motivated and ambitious’’

Within this framework and on this international refugee day we have interviewed Yazen. Yazen is one of the professionals who works at Bright Young Professionals. He fled from Syria in 2014 and in the month of November he arrived in the Netherlands. Already five years ago. How is Yazen doing right now?

‘’It was not easy for me’’, said Yazen. “I came in a country in 2014 where I couldn’t speak the language. I had no idea which steps I had to take to integrate here. Where shoud I start? I had no education or a diploma from here.

Did I have to start an education again? Or did I have to start looking for a job? In the first year I couldn’t do anything here. However, the authority of refugees helped me. Now, a few years later, I speak the Dutch language and I also obtained a MSc. diploma Corporate Finance at the Vrije University of Amsterdam. I have a nice job, I am married and since a couple of weeks I officially have a Dutch identity’’.

How did you get in touch with Bright Young Professionals?

“Through connections I came in contact with Bright Young Professionals in the summer of 2018. I said to Frans that I was looking for a job. I’ve learned the language and I also did a master. Now I want to work! ‘Would you like to work in the Netherlands or abroad?’ Frans asked me. I told him that I wanted to work in the Netherlands. I would like to integrate further.’’ Frans helped me doing this. I want to help you in finding the perfect job for you.’’

What kind of work are you currently doing?

“I work at BNP Paribas security services within the Backoffice, where I’m responsible for investment banking for the business market. I only have Dutch colleagues, but I feel completely accepted. My colleagues have helped me well to integrate in The Netherlands. I have a lot of options to develop myself in the future within this company. Furthermore, I followed a workshop about communication skills at Bright Young Professionals. Very interesting!”

What would you say to other young refugees who want to start a career in the Netherlands?

‘’It might not be easy to integrate into a different culture, but do not give up when you fail at first. Just keep trying, even for the third or fourth time. Push through and you will get there!’’