“In Pakistan, I graduated from a highly-respected university and started working with a health firm, where I worked my way up to an executive position in marketing. But I was eager to continue learning and growing my career in the land of opportunity.
I was excited to arrive in the U.S., but then I hit a wall trying to find a professional job. The cultural difference between job searching in the U.S. and Pakistan was so great that with each passing day I was losing my confidence. I worked a few survival jobs to get by—mowing lawns and working the overnight shift at a fast food restaurant.
Here, people say: ‘when it rains, it pours.’ I experienced that when the place where I was staying fell through and I ended up homeless. I spent several nights outside in freezing weather. Almost as hard was having my dreams of achieving a stable life fall apart. I had a choice: I could either go back to my country and start all over again, or could push back, be resilient, and try to make a life here in the U.S. I started looking for ways to get my life back together.
One day while talking to a friend I came to know about UpGlo. Luckily, I had access to a computer and Internet at the office where I was working, and I filled out an application. After I completed the training, my job coach sat down with me to map out a plan of that would align with my career objectives, and within three months I landed my first professional job with a major digital marketing company. Getting that job turned my life around. I was able to move into an apartment, make friends, pursue my hobbies, and visit my family back home.
Everyone’s life, challenges, and opportunities are different, but working hard and being patient is something we can all achieve.”