Career success story: Marcin Gadomski

This young Polish man is the living proof of positivism and of the fact that when one focuses 100% in the present, everything will pay off in the near future. Very ambitious and already successful at the age of only 19 years old, Marcin has been keen on Computer Science for about 5-6 years. Full of energy, he has been practicing Hip-hop and Popping dancing and had his own group in Poland. 

Getting ready for the Danish adventure

His source of inspiration came from his friend. She came to his class in the third year of high school and she told him about the possibilities to study in Denmark. She wanted to apply and leave Poland for Denmark, but didn’t want to do that alone. So, he was persuaded (in a good way): I said to myself I want to give it a try, which I did, and… I was accepted.

Because he has always been interested in computers and everything connected with these (Internet, cables and so on), it was obvious that a study programme like Computer Science would fit him. Now, he is in the second semester, studying Computer Science on one hand, and finding people to create his own dancing group in Aarhus, on the other hand.

Even tough he is so new in the country, he already made the first impressions about Danes and Aarhus: People are nice and very welcoming. I can speak with everybody because they all would understand English and I feel good here. Aarhus is a cosy city and for me, it’s pretty big, because I was living in a small city in Poland. I was surprised to see there are 7 McDonald’s restaurants here.

Java programming, database management and quantum computer

After only 7 months of living in Aarhus, Marcin has successfully managed to find a student relevant job. He is a student assistant at Center for Community Driven Research (CODER) at Aarhus University. CODER scientific mission is to merge theoretical and experimental research with online community efforts aiming to allow Internet users to find solutions to complex scientific challenges encountered in quantum physics. (You can read more on their homepage.)

In a fancier way, his job title is Java Game and Website DeveloperI have two projects. One of them is to create collapsible menu in Java. Besides this, I am rebuilding the whole website for scienceathome.org so it can work faster. My main responsibilities are giving ideas and coding: I am creating ideas and presenting them to my boss, which he generally accepts and develops further.

He is working 10 hours per week, in a team of 11 members where every person has specific tasks and the working language is English: Through games we are collecting some kind of values, which we can use to build a quantum computer. He describes his job as a free way of workingActually, I am working from home and going to the office only when I have to introduce them a new idea or I receive a new project. 

How did he manage to find the position? (Or, when it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be…)

It may sound quite surprisingly, but in reality, with a bit of luck and the right qualifications, everyone can pave his own road to success. And Marcin is only one of the several examples.

When asked about his job search, he answers very sincerely: I applied for any kind of job here in order to get some money and have the possibility to pursue my studies in Denmark. I have been looking for a job for about 4 months and then I found this one. I found the position very attractive for me because of the gaming experience. Actually, a friend of mine forwarded me the link with the job opening, and I just applied for it. I did everything on my own! 

More about the application process

Job application? Cover Letter? He reveals very innocently that he applied only with his CV: I sent it on a Friday and on a Monday I received a call to go for an interview. He went to the interview on a Wednesday and they gave him the response on the same dayAfter the interview, they called me saying I can get the job if I want.

He remembers about his job interview and how his current boss was asking him almost every detail from the CV:He was asking me where I am studying, where I come from… and then, more serious questions started. He seemed to have knowledge about everything: MySQL, website experience and Java programming, so of course he asked me what I can do in MySQL database and other technical questions. It was almost like a test before getting the job!

Programming is a tough language, so it is likely that he worked before in order to get some experience which would be valued on the job market.  Nevertheless, he says he didn’t study it in high school, nor had another similar job. He learnt it by himself: I was learning by myself everything connected with coding and databases. I only had a holiday job as a barman in England, which provided me the first money for my studies in Denmark, but besides that nothing else.

However, because of his big hobby, he has started ‘something’ on his own: I had my own private game server…(He considers it isn't a big deal!) It was running for one and a half year. I got experience in C++, security, and databases and it was a nice way of spending my time.

What has he learnt in his study programme that is important for his current job?

There is no need for further explanations that Marcin is combining what he is studying with his work and that the two activities correlate very well: At school, we started learning Java language and it really helps me because I didn’t know it before. Until now, I got some knowledge of Java and I have an idea about how everything works because it’s very similar with other programming languages.

Danish education system is great in his opinion: Even if I have any doubts about some programming codes from work, I can ask my teachers. That’s the best thing here: I can ask teachers about anything, not only about topics related to lectures or what we learn at school!

An open future

I don’t have a final destination yet. I just want to gain more and more experience in what I am doing. My dream is not like the other 70% of coders who would like to work for Microsoft or Apple. I just want to help people in doing their jobs by programming and making their work faster and easier.

It will be great for my CV to mention that I was a coder for quantum computers, because it’s advanced stuff.

Danish (workplace) culture

Even if he has started his work very recently, at the beginning of February, he already knows what the particularities of a Danish environment are. The first thing he notices is that they work in a team and they don’t argue. Another aspect he enjoyed is the fact that he didn’t feel he was new: I didn’t feel I was the kid, because I am only 19. They welcomed me and I felt integrated. They introduce me to the project and the job and what I have to do with all the systems. It is a very friendly environment and I like it a lot.

In Poland you can get a job but people have the tendency to be a little bit bossy. Plus, the salary is not that high. Here, you can get a good salary and you don’t have to overthink about the money or other bills.

For this young man, the most surprising difference or cultural aspect, the WOW, consists in the way of teaching:In my home country, it would be full of theory, sitting and writing and staying at school from 8 am to 6 pm, learning everything by heart. You wouldn’t have time for a job or private life, while here, they put a focus on the practical aspect. 

His recommendation for the other international students

Don’t give up! Even if you are in a cleaning or other service jobs, don’t stop looking for a relevant job! With a bit of luck, you’ll find your own student relevant position.