Building the Foundation to Your Dream Job

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Name: Ghulam Sakhi Fikrat
Profession/Industry: Electrical Engineering
Current U.S. Position and Company Name: Electrical Designer, DC Engineering
Country of Origin: Afghanistan
Education: Bachelor of Science, Power Supply Engineering, Kabul Polytechnic University, Kabul, Afghanistan
First Job in the U.S.: Parking Lot Attendant, ParkBOI
Story Author: Global Talent volunteer, Alisa Bondurant

On September 11, 2001, Ghulam was 12 years old and living in Jaghori, a small village in Afghanistan when the World Trade Center was bombed and the war in Afghanistan officially began. Ghulam’s life would forever be changed.

Thanks to the security and financial support provided by NATO and American troops, Ghulam and his family lived a fairly peaceful and prosperous life after the Taliban Regime. Ghulam pursued his bachelor’s degree and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Power Engineering in 2013. Ghulam then served as an Electrical Engineer for a U.S. construction firm for the U.S. Embassy. Three years later, in 2017, he was given a Special Immigrant Visa (granted to those who provided valuable services to the U.S. government in Afghanistan) and Ghulam and his wife, Zahra Rahmani, moved to Boise, Idaho where they knew family friends.

Only months after arriving in Boise, Ghulam was determined to find a position in electrical engineering comparable to what he did back in Afghanistan. He immediately leveraged the resources offered by the Agency for New American (ANA) to take ESL classes and access employment services. ANA helped him secure an entry-level position with parkBOI but Ghulam was eager to return to his profession. Then Ghulam was introduced to Global Talent and was inspired to hear peoples’ stories about Global Talent’s resources helping refugees.

Global Talent trained Ghulam to create a professional US resume and the staff supported Ghulam in his journey to prepare for his career. Ghulam recalls, “I am very grateful to Global Talent for all the help provided to me on even the basics of life. Global Talent staff even coached me on how to negotiate my salary and benefits, so I was able to secure a better salary in my new position.”

Global Talent provided Ghulam with the foundational skills and tools to job search on his own, which he put into practice and landed a new position as an Electrical Designer at DC Engineering. He is now pursuing his EIT (Engineer-in-Training) certificate so that he can work as an Electrical Engineer to obtain his own engineer stamp on his drawings.

Ghulam hopes to make enough money to provide a good life for his family. While he attributes most his success to the encouragement he received from his wife, he remains truly thankful for all the help that Global Talent gave him.

His message to current and future Global Talent job seekers is to “never give up and try to be persistent in your job search. Even though it is hard to get a job in your industry when you first arrive in U.S., push yourself for your future goals because no one else will do it for you. Your hard work, motivation and positivity will pay off one day. Your destiny will not be changed unless you change it yourself.”