Transferable Skills and Changing Careers: An International Professionals Program Graduate’s Experience

Dominika was born, raised, and gained education in Poland. At the end of 2017, she moved to Philadelphia, her husband’s hometown. She earned a master’s degree in Public Health and Electroradiology  in Poland, but she was unable to get her degree accredited in the United States due to the large differences in curricula. This meant that to work in healthcare in the U.S., Dominika would have to repeat almost all her university courses.

This situation troubled Dominika. She wanted to find meaningful work in the United States but she did not want to repeat higher education. Motivated to not give up, she began preparing for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam whilst improving her English. At this time, she also started to work part-time in a rehabilitation medical center as an assistant office manager.

Dominika enrolled in IPP where she learned skills that would help her find meaningful work

After several unsuccessful months of searching for a job in Philadelphia that would utilize her years of higher education, Dominika came across the International Professionals Program at the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. Dominika enrolled in IPP where she learned skills that would help her find meaningful work, such as interview preparation and questions to ask so as to best represent herself to prospective future employers. Dominika says, “IPP proved to be extraordinary with enormous staff support and practical knowledge that made me  realize I needed to adjust to this new country.”

Pictured: Dominika

She discovered that she had a number of transferable skills and experiences.

While going through IPP, she worked with her coach and other professionals. She discovered that she had a number of skills and experiences that she gained at universities in Poland that she could use as transferrable skills when applying for jobs in the U.S.

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Dominika (right) with fellow International Professionals Program participants

“I am so grateful for IPP as now I have started working full time in the city in a professional role. I enjoy creative problem solving and really appreciate the impact I have had at my workplace.”

In addition to the new skills she gained by going through the IPP, Dominika recounts meeting amazing people from different parts of the world who also had university degrees and professional experiences. “It comforted me to know I was not alone in my struggles in starting a career in a new country,” she says.

After graduating from IPP, Dominika landed an opportunity with a Philadelphia financial brokerage company as marketing associate. “I am so grateful for IPP as now I have started working full time in the city in a professional role. I enjoy creative problem solving and really appreciate the impact I have had at my workplace.” Recently, Dominika was promoted to become the company’s marketing director.

Thanks to IPP, Dominika learned to leverage her knowledge, skills, and experiences to find a meaningful career in Philadelphia.

Thanks to IPP, Dominika learned to leverage her knowledge, skills, and experiences to find a meaningful career in Philadelphia. She looks forward to continuing to build her professional experience and helping those that may need support, as she was once helped through her time at IPP.

Dominika contributed to this blog article. She is a graduate of the Welcoming Center’s International Professionals Program (IPP). Learn more about workforce development at the Welcoming Center.
Are you interested in learning more about IPP and joining the program? Our next cohort starts on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. Enrollment is now OPEN! 

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