It Starts with a Dream!

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Name: Aleksandr Burakov
Profession/Industry: Information Technology
Current U.S. Position and Company Name: Systems Administrator, Mission Aviation Fellowship
Country of Origin: Russia
Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Programming, South-Russian State University of Economics and Service
First Job in U.S.: Intern, Systems Administrator, Mission Aviation Fellowship
Story Author: GTI Volunteer Becky Breshears

Aleksandr (Alex) Burakov had a dream to come to America. Born in Siberia, he first read about Alaska as a young person and decided that he really wanted to move to America. In 2010, he resolved to make this dream come true for him and his family. While Alaska was too cold for his wife, Idaho was more temperate so they agreed to come to Idaho – Alex had heard of Boise from a computer game. It took them 5 years to obtain their refugee status but finally in December of 2015 they made the journey and landed in Boise, Idaho.

Alex was trained in Shakhty, Russia at the South-Russian State University of Economics and Service where he majored in Computer Programming. From 2006 until 2015, Alex worked for various IT companies and even owned his own Computer Service Center. His dream of coming to the USA and to Idaho included finding a job in IT so that he could continue his career path and what he loved.

Upon arriving, Alex was determined to make the most of the refugee help that he received for the first 7 months and took advantage of all the programs offered to him by World Relief. While he had some relatives in Idaho, Alex was intent on immersing himself into the American culture, speaking English as best as he could, and learning all about the customs and beliefs of the people he met. He joined Global Talent Idaho in January of 2016, where he was helped by many of the staff, including Judi and Gina, to write a U.S.-style resume, prepare for job interviews and improve his English skills. He participated as much as he could, enrolled in CWI ESL classes and most recently in the BSU Intensive English Program. Alex is determined to make life work for himself and his family in America.

While he admits that English was struggle at first, his studies have led him to begin to think in English and to understand others. His communication skills, for having been here for such a short time, are very strong. This ability, along with coding classes from New Americans Code, have propelled him ahead in the workforce. He attended a Job Fair at Boise State with GTI staff, and interviewed that day with Mission Aviation Fellowship, a company located in Nampa, Idaho. They interviewed him again a few days later and invited him to volunteer with them to start. In August 2016, he was offered a paid internship as a Systems Administrator for Mission Aviation Fellowship. It’s a great start in his career path in the US and in IT. He is still working on his advanced English program and continues to propel himself into the future.

Alex is a great example of making your dream come true. He had the dream, hung pictures of where he wanted to go and stayed on the path for five years to make it happen. Alex didn’t slow down once he arrived in Idaho – but kept taking the next step forward. While life is not always easy for refugees, it gets easier with time and education. He has a great opportunity with his job to further his skills and to work full time in the future for Mission Aviation Fellowship. His example is one of hope and belief in a brighter future. Alex is determined to make things go right! He truly appreciates the help and opportunities that were afforded to him through both World Relief (Refugee Center) and GTI. Immersing himself into the culture and learning the language are the secrets to his success. Alex will be a great asset to the Boise community. He loves Idaho and hopes for a bright future in IT here.