“I was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. I finished my degree in business administration in Syria and started my career as a personal banker at Byblos Bank. Within two years I was a branch manager at Qatar National Bank. But because of the situation and the risk in Damascus, I had to leave. I believed that because I built my career once, I could do it again.
The road to Jordan to the U.S. Embassy was four hours driving and very risky. Rebels were on the road with many military checkpoints, and snipers were shooting at cars. At any time the rebels could shoot you or stop the car.
I arrived in the U.S. in June 2013 and got my work permit in six months. But my job search was very difficult because everything is different here. Employers don’t even call you. I was thinking, ‘if I can’t get even a low position in a bank, I will leave because I don’t want to waste my life. I will go to another country.’ Then my ESL teacher told me about Upwardly Global. I contacted them, filled out the application, and started to attend the activities and seminars.
It was very beneficial to know more about the U.S. business culture. From my resume to how to fill out an application, business etiquette, and emails for thanking the person I met—I started to be recognized by banks. I got two offers and went with Bank of America because it is the best.
The end of my first quarter was the final quarter of the year, 2014. I was informed that I had earned top performer for that quarter. My numbers were so high I also won for the entire year. Over the next three quarters, I got the top performer award three more times. When they had an opening for Senior Small Business Relationship Manager, I applied and got it. Now, I have my own office. I have everything.”