Meet Our International Professionals Program Participants (Summer 2022 Cohort)

On Thursday, June 16, The Welcoming Center hosts a recognition ceremony for the Summer 2022 cohort of our International Professionals Program (IPP).

IPP is an eight-week course for career readiness training followed by six months of job coaching. It brings together a diverse group of international professionals with bachelor’s degrees or higher and U.S. work authorization seeking to enter the U.S. workforce through meaningful employment or fellowship opportunities.  

Some our participants shared more about themselves. Learn more below.


Agata Dippel

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Agata is a Polish linguist who moved to the U.S. in 2018. She has six years of experience working as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, a translator, and an interpreter for people with limited language proficiency.

Before moving to the U.S., Agata has lived in Poland, Spain and the Netherlands. She is also passionate about holistic health and is getting her health coach certificate in October 2022.


Amine Abdelkrim Benkadour

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Amine is an Algerian immigrant architect who moved to the U.S. in February 2022. He has a master’s degree in architecture, town planning, and housing with more than five years of experience in designing commercial and residential projects. His expertise consists of site monitoring, conducting reports on the status of the design progress, and providing professional creative concept solutions.

Amine is looking for opportunities as an architect.


Ardisa Sinanaj

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Ardisa Sinanaj has a master’s in accounting and auditing with several years’ experience in financial analysis, accounting, and financial operations. Ardisa worked as a finance and AP/AR specialist at the Ministry of Energetics in Albania for more than five years where she administrated and documented payroll and workers compensation expenses for over 200 employees.

She moved to the U.S. three months ago and is looking forward to pursuing her career and developing more professional skills in order to adapt to the U.S. job market. Ardisa speaks Albanian and Spanish. She is looking for accountant positions as well as account receivables/account payables specialist positions.


Bleona Hoxha

Bleona Hoxha is a graduated nurse. She started her career as a young staff nurse in a health center and improved her nursing skills in a hospital.

Bleona received a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Tirana, where she graduated with honors. During her experience in hospital, she worked in several departments including as an instrumental nurse, anesthesia nurse, and as a nurse in infection and pulmonary diseases department.

While working in the health center she managed different situations with patients who suffered from many diseases.

Bleona has great communication skills and a kind soul that makes her a great nurse.She is an empathic nurse who is always ready to help people and is very passionate about her work. She is interested in continuing her career in the medical field.



Ezatullah arrived in the U.S. from Afghanistan in September 2021. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree.

He has worked with the Afghan government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He worked as a legal advisor at the Afghanistan Speaker of the House (parliament) for more than two years, supplying legal, health, sports, and employment help to the representatives. He also worked as a coordinator for the (MSI) NGO after working as a Kabul transport manager for two years in the Transportation Ministry. Ezatullah also worked as a direct office manager for the Afghanistan National Standard Authority (ANSA) to create the meeting agenda, manage the meetings, notify all employees, and interact with other non-governmental organizations. He started working with the Interior affairs Ministry as a director officer to hire and fire the crew members, make the meeting’s agenda, manage the meetings, notify all employees, and make a connection with other non-government organizations.

Ezatullah’s goal is to continue learning and finding his career in the U.S.


Marzia Ebrahimi

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Marzia Ebrahimi is a job seeker who entered the U.S in January 2022 from Afghanistan. She holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and she has plenty of experience back in Afghanistan.

She started her first job as an art trainer with a German organization that helps new refugees that come back to their country. She worked there as an art trainer and also a center manager for one year. After entering university, she got an internship opportunity to work with a non-U.S governmental organization called Catholic Relief Services as a field officer. She was working in the field to help formers in animal husbandry subjects like poultry, beekeeping, lamb fattening, and training too. She then worked at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as an assistant project officer for year. She helped women farmers earn income by training them on how to cultivate mushrooms, kitchen gardening, food processing, and also linking them to markets to sell their products.

By the time the situation in Afghanistan got worse, Marzia had to shift her career to a safe area inside the city. She got a job in a very large project in Afghanistan called Promote, that works with women in the economy. She was hired there a job placement officer. She was connecting thousands of students to hundreds of employers for their first job opportunities. She was able to guide interns perfectly as she started as an intern too. She coordinated all activities like analyzing data by utilizing an online data portal called the knowledge management portal. She received the best employee award in this position and completed her job to the end of the project for four years.

Marzia is now open to jobs specializing in recruiting and in HR.


MD Shah Alam

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MD Shah Alam was a merchandising manager at the Mega Denim Limited before emigrating to the U.S. in December 2021.

He worked in the garments industries for over a decade, started as assistant merchandiser to being promoted to merchandising manager. As a merchandising manager he specialized in garments consumption, costing, budgeting, sampling, tracking, production planning, sourcing, material procurement. He ensured product selection was aligned with market trends.

He has a bachelor’s degree in business studies, a master’s in management and a master of business administration (MBA) in apparel merchandising. He speaks Bengali fluently and has notions of Hindi. He is actively looking for positions ranging from production coordinator to sourcing associate.


Olena Horoshko

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Olena has over five years of teaching experience as a primary school teacher in Lviv, Ukraine. She currently working as a daycare teacher in Philadelphia and is open to new and exciting teaching opportunities.

Olena holds a master’s degree in English language and literature from National Ivan Franko University in Lviv, Ukraine and speaks Ukrainian, English and Russian fluently.


Philomene Bado Kanzame

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Philomene Bado Kanzame worked as an administrative and human resources assistant in Burkina Faso for 25 years, where she helped the biggest engineering company for 10 years to set up its human resources management system and other companies for 15 years to improve their administrative organization.

In 2018, Philomene moved to the U.S. from Burkina Faso. She worked as a data analyst providing data entry and accuracy in checking clerical activities and as a caregiver assisting people in their activities of daily living.

Philomene holds a double master’s degree in human resources management and in business management.  Philomene speaks French and three other national languages of her country (Gurunsi, Moore, and Dioula). She is looking for positions in HR.


Redouane Alili

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Redouane Alili is from Algeria and graduated with a master’s in industrial engineering and innovation management from Ecole Nationale Polytechnique, the most prestigious engineering school in Algeria. He has bachelor’s degree is in mathematics which he received with honors.

Redouane has multiple experiences in multinational companies. Most recently, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank, where he analyzed Algeria’s trade activities, especially in relation to agricultural commodities. His other roles at various companies include data analyst, internal auditor, and maintenance management analyst.

As a recent immigrant to the U.S., he is seeking to find a career as an auditor or credit/data analyst. Redouane speaks English, Arabic, and French.


Sihem Tounsi

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Sihem Tounsi is from Algeria. She graduated with a master’s degree in hydraulics engineering in July 2021 from Ecole Nationale Polytechnique, the most prestigious engineering school in Algeria. Her graduation was with top honors as class valedictorian and it provided her with an excellent background in both engineering and mathematics. Additionally, Sihem excelled at extracurricular activities throughout her academic career. In the External Relations Department of the school’s multipurpose activities club (CAP), she represented the club in acquiring sponsors and was organizer of the first online hackathon in Algeria. She was chosen ‘most innovative’ during the U.S./Middle East Partnership Initiative’s “Be Innovative Camp” program. She was also an active participant in the Enviro Challenge program organized by HSBC Bank.

Among her internship experiences during her college career, Sihem was assigned to several significant projects for multinational companies. For example, her graduation project involved an assignment to Schlumberger. There she developed a methodology that reduced fluid loss during oil and gas drilling. It was the first time such a solution had been proposed in Algeria and it was widely recognized as an outstanding innovation.

After her studies in Algeria, Sihem emigrated to the U.S. in November 2021. She speaks four languages: English, Arabic, French, and Berber. She looks forward to developing her career and life in the Philadelphia area.

Our participants are a highly skilled group of bilingual and multilingual talent with global experience who bring years of knowledge, skills, and experience with themTo connect with any of our international professionals for employment or fellowship opportunities, please contact Rochelle T. Cooks, Director of Workforce Development, through our contact form. 

Do you want to apply for IPP? Visit the IPP page to learn more and apply!

About The Author

The Welcoming Center