Developing talent William Geismar has come out on top

5. Dec 2022

“I have been professionally upgraded and know more about what I want to do with my working life.”

William Geismar, a software developer specializing in healthcare technology and a student at Specialisterne Academy, has just been offered a position at the Danish Agency for Digitization.

He came to Specialisterne Academy after his position as a teacher at Cphbusiness ended.

“In May 2022, I was laid off from Cphbusiness. I spent the summer vacation figuring out that I want to become a better developer. So that’s why I joined Specialisterne Academy in September 2022.”

William Geismar has had at least one job interview a week during the 12 weeks he has been at Specialisterne Academy. His skills are highly valued by companies – but he also finds that it’s difficult to get through the eye of the needle because it’s hard to play the social games right at job interviews.

Professional boost paves the way to work

For William Geismar, the professional challenges at Specialisterne Academy have given him better conditions for further employment:

“The tasks here are fun, they are varied, and most importantly, they are complex and allow you to solve them in more than one way. It’s very cool that they say that the bar is set so high that you’re not expected to be able to solve every task.”

The high professional level and the collaboration between the students has given William a professional boost and greater confidence in the things he is good at:

“I have become better at programming. And I’ve found that when I play on my skills, I can go much further than if I try to learn new things first and then use them to solve a task.”

After the 12-week course, he knows much more about what skills companies are looking for – but he has also become better at handling the social demands of the job interview.

Job interviews are a particularly difficult social situation

William Geismar has an impressive CV packed with developer skills. That’s why he’s had at least one job interview a week during his 12 weeks at Specialisterne Academy.

“When I show in my application that I can develop and code, it’s almost guaranteed that I’ll get a job interview. The skills I have are in high demand.”

Still, it has taken time to land a job, and he has experienced rejection because the company felt that his personality was not a match for their needs.

“It annoys me that I get rejected, not because of my professionalism, but because of my personality. I feel like I’ve failed a personality test.”

William himself believes that this has to do with the fact that it is much harder for autistic people to perform “correctly” in job interviews. William thinks a lot about how he acts in social situations. As a result, he finds that he is much more successful in social situations where he already knows people and there are well-established codes of humor and tone of voice

“We autistic people function better in a context where we are integrated. I don’t know if integrated is the best word, but I use it in relation to systems, among other things. If they are integrated, they can talk to each other. And you can easily transfer that concept to people.”

It is a known challenge at Specialisterne that autistic people are often rejected in traditional recruitment processes, even though they have the right skills for the job – simply because they have a harder time playing the social games that are expected in a job interview.

Read more in our other insights.

William turns this to his advantage and mentions his experience at Specialisterne as part of the job interview. For him, his autistic brain is a strength. He describes how his diagnosis makes him good at being curious, asking clarifying questions and making difficult, loosely defined problems easy to understand.