As a daughter of immigrants to the United States and growing up in a predominantly immigrant community, I was surrounded by many talents of immigrants on the economy of the city of Detroit and Hamtramck. 


I was also exposed to the challenges that many international talents faced in using their skills and finding jobs. There are individuals who hold advanced degrees who are working minimum wage jobs because they are unable to attain higher level work due to multiple barriers to employment such as visas, cultural differences and lack of a network. 


When the opportunity to work with international talent presented itself, I jumped at it. I had the pleasure of partnering with Global Detroit, a nonprofit that works on empowering immigrants and elevating their economic impact on Southeast Michigan’s economy. I worked closely with the Global Talent Accelerator, a pilot program, that worked on improving the soft skills of recent international grads so that they had the tools necessary to land a job. 


Shaffwan Ahmed, creator and director of the GTA program, included workshops that taught resume writing, networking skills, business etiquette, interviewing skills as well as tours with top companies in the city of Detroit. 


GTA being a pilot program, my role was to collect the feedback of program participants as well as measure retention of skills and goal attainment of both the program and its participants. Through attending workshops and tours and checking in with participants throughout the duration of the program, I learned more about the goals of the program and its participants. It is through immersing myself in the program that I created a survey and assessments to measure retention and gather feedback that would be used for future cohorts.


It is my hope that my work helps bridge the gap between academic success and securing jobs in the job market for many international talent here in Michigan.