Name: Mohamad Khir Alassas
Profession: Accounting and Finance
Current U.S Position and Company Name: Accountant and Station Manager, Unlimited Trading
Education: B.S. Accounting, Damascus University, Syria
First Job in U.S: Loading and moving packages at a local warehouse
Story Author: Munir Mujadidi
Photo Credits: Mohamad Khir Alassas
When Mohamad first arrived to the U.S. in August of 2016, he describes feeling like “a newborn baby.” He was resettled in Salt Lake City, Utah by himself and did not know anyone in the city. Though Utah was to be his new home, it felt completely unfamiliar.
Three months after his resettlement, Mohamad started looking for a survival job to pay the bills. He thought this would be easy, but his experience proved otherwise. Searching for a job can be challenging for anyone, but even more so in a foreign city and language.
Eventually, one day at Walmart, Mohamad met a woman who referred him to a job loading and moving packages at a local warehouse. While working at the warehouse, it was hard for Mohamad to believe that one day he would work again in his professional field, even though he had extensive experience working as Director of Finance in Jordan.
In spring of 2019, Mohamad learned that Global Talent recently opened an office based in Salt Lake City through the coordinator of University Neighborhood Partners. He felt a glimmer of hope and quickly enrolled in the program.
As Mohamad worked with his Global Talent advisor, he realized how much he had yet to learn about the job search process in the U.S. Since he did not yet have a professional network in Utah, Mohamad found Global Talent’s program vital to networking and building professional connections.
“Before going through Global Talent’s training, I had no idea that the resume style was different in the United States,” Mohamad explains. “Global Talent not only helped me to improve my resume, but they also coached me on cover letter writing, job search strategy, and professional communication. I learned how to prepare and confidently interview for jobs. Before Global Talent, I had applied for hundreds of jobs, but got no interview requests. After Global Talent’s training, I received many phone calls for job interviews.”
Mohamad was highly motivated in his job search and was offered and accepted a position as a Station Manager and Accountant at an international shipping company named Unlimited Trading. He worked in this role as he continued to search for a higher paying job.
In July of 2019, Mohamad was offered an accounting position with the State of Utah. His current employer, however, did not want to lose such a valuable and high-performing employee. When his supervisor found out that Mohamad had received another job offer, he provided Mohamad a counteroffer to entice him to stay. Mohamad negotiated a 25% salary raise and additional vacation days, to which his employer agreed.
Though Mohamad met his short-term goal of attaining a higher paying accounting position, he’s not stopping there. Mohamad plans to take his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams soon and has already enrolled in the prerequisite courses with support from Global Talent grant funds. Mohamad feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Global Talent and is excited to continue growing in his career and give back to the Salt Lake City community which welcomed him.
Mohamad says that he is eternally grateful to Global Talent for everything and hopes that the new Global Talent office continues to grow and connect with the many other new American professionals in Salt Lake City who, “like me [Mohamad], just need a little direction to achieve their career goals.”
Mohamad encourages other immigrant and refugee professionals to enroll in Global Talent’s program: “Any refugee who has a degree and professional career from their home country should contact Global Talent to get direction and support to rebuild their career.”