In Sønderborg, we know that young people are our future, which is why we prioritise them and their activities. The first ever Tilting-at-the-Ring Festival Youth Lunch was a great success, with 850 children from Sønderborg – both local residents and those from other towns. Watch the video from the 2023 Youth Lunch in Sønderborg here.
Amadou Bah from The Gambia is on the first graduating team to benefit from the First Job Guarantee scheme at SDU. He has now taken up a position as Electronics Engineer at Linak. He is delighted about this because he wants Sønderborg to be home to both his family and his career in the future.
Amadou Bah knew early on that he wanted to be an engineer. At his childhood home on the farm outside Sare Gumalo in The Gambia, his thoughts often turned from the programme on the TV screen to what might be inside the box. What made the TV work and how was it put together? An interest in electronics and a talent for maths led the now 33-year-old Amadou Bah to a Bachelor’s degree from Hacettepe University in Ankara and on to a Master’s degree at SDU and a title as Electronics Engineer.
“Studying at SDU here in Sønderborg has been a really positive experience. There is a very experimental and practical approach to the subject, with assignments that fit in with business needs, and it was very rewarding to write our thesis in collaboration with a company. I did mine with Danfoss. It was really great and exciting to experience and learn from people who are already established in the profession,” says Amadou. He adds that the diverse international environment made it easy for him as a foreigner to live in Sønderborg and study at SDU.
Amadou sought several positions on his own, but it was the First Job Guarantee Scheme that paved the way to his current position at Linak. As part of the scheme, a number of local companies commit to do their utmost to find a job for civil and graduate engineers from SDU who have not managed to find employment after graduation. However, students receive intensive guidance and coaching for job searching in the last part of their training, so many succeed in finding employment in a local company through regular job searches.
Enjoying the safety of Sønderborg
Although the newly graduated engineer is now delighted that he lives and works in Sønderborg, and that he completed his Master’s at SDU, this was not his original choice. According to him, it was more of a coincidence that led him to Sønderborg.
“It was only because I could get a scholarship that I chose Sønderborg over another university town in Europe. But it made sense, because SDU had the subjects I wanted to study and I could see that the programmes were designed for business needs. With a guaranteed first job after graduation, it was also a really good opportunity to get my career off to a good start,” says Amadou.
Sønderborg has pleasantly surprised him, and today Amadou Bah wants his children to grow up here and for his career to develop. He enjoys living in a city where there is both an active cultural and urban life, but where you can also enjoy the local nature, and not least that the city is not plagued by noise and pollution. The feeling of safety is one of the things he likes most about living in Sønderborg.
“I see very young children cycling alone to school in the mornings. I think it’s amazing that parents can give their children that freedom without fearing for their safety. I’d like to be able to do that for my own children one day. I’ve also enjoyed being able to walk home alone from my student job at a restaurant at 1am without fear of being mugged. I think that’s really nice and safe,” he says.
Amadou is now house hunting as he has to move out of his student flat at Handels kollegiet. He would like to find a nice apartment to rent and hopes that the next time he goes house hunting, it will be to find a villa in Sønderborg where he can start a family.