A successful network for refugees

  • Arjan van Dijk
  • 10 March 2020
Arjan

Financial Advisory’s Director Arjan van Dijk spends most of his time providing companies and pension funds with strategic advice on employment conditions and pensions. But, he also makes an effort to help refugees like Mustafa Tan. And Arjan and Mustafa have even become colleagues recently.

Mustafa is a business analyst at Financial Advisory. He worked for the Turkish government before that, until the 2016 coup attempt changed everything. "My father was a professor. Although he never carried any kind of weapon he was accused of participating in the coup, so they fired him. Since I’m his son, I was fired too, and my wife was next. We then had to go into hiding. Our next step was to leave the country, a dangerous undertaking – especially because we had our one-year-old son with us."

His brother, who had already fled to the Netherlands because of the coup, gave Mustafa a New Dutch Connections (NDC) flyer. This organisation introduces refugees to businesses. The Future Academy is founded by Arjan through the Deloitte Impact Foundation. Arjan: "NDC is our partner organisation and had produced flyers about the Future Academy, that's how Mustafa came into contact with us".

The refugees’ potential is so much bigger than is often thought. Apart from being smart, people like Mustafa are determined as well and can offer added value to any company.

Twenty refugees with a high level of education in their home country and who fit the Deloitte profile have enrolled in this ten-week programme. They are assigned a Deloitte coach in this period and a student as a buddy. They are given soft skills training and see a host of different presentations. "The Future Academy is not a recruitment program", stresses Arjan, "instead, it wants to offer refugees a network, provide them with insight into working at a large (financial services) consultancy firm and to actively think about the future of a participant. The refugees’ potential is so much bigger than is often thought. Apart from being smart, people like Mustafa are determined as well and can offer added value to any company".

"The presentations offer a great indication of Deloitte’s services, but I lacked the confidence to apply," Mustafa says. "Thanks to NDC's soft skills training, I regained my self-confidence." Mustafa has become a real Deloitter now, Arjan notes. "His enthusiasm and honesty opens doors and will be taking him a long way. You can see he understands Deloitte and its inner workings."

How does Mustafa like working at Deloitte? "I first had to get used to a new country and the language, now I feel at home. "I had to learn how to properly manage my time and how best to arrange and plan everything. My colleagues support me and show understanding for my story. It’s not easy for a refugee to openly speak about everything, but here I can be my authentic self and that’s important to me. Being able to contribute something to society has always been my dream and I succeeded in doing so. Thanks to this program I feel respected."

Arjan: "Many within Deloitte are enthusiastic to coach, give presentations, and to contribute to the wellbeing of others. We work together with other initiatives as well, also from Deloitte US, to give the refugees the right attention. One issue to keep in mind is for example how to deal with so much talent flowing into the recruitment process and to hold on to those people. The important thing now is to raise it all to the next level, all year long. This is where Deloitte can still take steps. It starts with acknowledging the potential refugees have. NDC is quite progressive in that respect".

If you want to become diverse and creative, you will have to give people like me, who have unusual backgrounds, a chance. It might just be that piece of the puzzle that completes a team.

Mustafa adds: "If you want to become diverse and creative, you will have to give people like me, who have unusual backgrounds, a chance. It might just be that piece of the puzzle that completes a team." Arjan: "That's true diversity. No matter what your background is, it's about wanting something and using your network."

What does Mustafa miss most about Turkey? "My musician friends. I now play the guitar with some other refugees and we're setting up a “refugee band”, which gives me energy. We've only just started, but playing a gig at Deloitte? Who knows!"

Arjan van Dijk

Director Financial Advisory

Arjan van Dijk, director Financial Advisory, houdt zich voornamelijk bezig met strategisch advies over arbeidsvoorwaarden en pensioen aan ondernemingen en pensioenuitvoerders. Hij is voor de tweede keer werkzaam bij Deloitte en zet zich ook in voor de ToekomstAcademie.

Hannah Foaden about a Contract in a Day recruitment event

  • Hannah Foaden
  • 24 January 2020
DOT
-
DOT
Loading
-
...
Send
D.
Naar boven