How Global DSM Welcomed My Skills and Helped Me Find a Career
My parents came to the United States from India to seek opportunity and the vision of a more fulfilling life for myself and my sister. Neither of them had ever attended college, and they were willing to pay for my education so that I could pursue my dreams. We lived in Massachusetts for 9 years, and after earning my master’s degree in New Jersey, I had attended medical school in the Caribbean at Ross University School of Medicine, which is owned by the American institution, DeVry. I earned my doctorate in 2013. However, my parents and I were unaware that attending school in at U.S. territory, such as the Caribbean islands, did not mean that I could utilize my degree right away in the 50 states.
My M.D. didn’t have a full value until I would complete the residency requirement, which I struggled to get a residency position for years, leaving a gap in my resume. On top of that, I had to overcome the stigma attached to earning education outside of the United States, in addition to the required standardized testing I needed to take. I struggled with having a degree that didn't allow me immediate entrance into the medical field without continued training, which isn't true for the other degrees in healthcare, like nursing or Physician Assistant.
Overcoming Barriers in DSM USA
Soon after graduation, my husband and I moved to Des Moines after he had found a job at Principal. I had a harder time finding a job that matched my qualifications due to state regulations, required continued education, and having a large gap in my resume. I had applied to various laboratory jobs but was told that I was overqualified for the positions. I felt frustrated and a sense of dejection by being very educated but unable to utilize my skills to make a positive impact in the world. This is a common barrier for many high-skilled immigrants looking for work in the United States. Employers can also be hesitant to hire foreign-born individuals despite the qualifications they have earned in other countries because of possible barriers such as degree validation, sponsorships, or required paperwork. The Talent Development team at the Greater Des Moines Partnership is working to bridge the gap when it comes to educating employers on hiring diverse talent while working with foreign-born job-seekers to prepare them for the American workforce and to find adequate job placement that matches their high skill level through the Career Readiness for International Professionals and Global DSM programs.
Matthew Romkey, Vice President of Enrollment and External Engagement at Mercy College of Des Moines, is an active board member for the Global DSM Talent Initiative through The Partnership. After seeing my resume and hearing about my extensive education, he was excited and more than willing to set up an in-person interview for me. At last, through connections with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, I was recently hired at Mercy College as an adjunct faculty member in the Adult Human Physiology department.
I am very grateful to Matthew for being open-minded to hiring foreign-born talent and to the Talent Development team for utilizing their connections with employers throughout DSM to help others like myself in finding suitable employment. I’m proud to call DSM home because people here are open-minded and overall accepting of ethnic diversity. It is the perfect place to raise my family and continue my career in an inclusive and welcoming community.
Through the Global DSM international talent strategy, The Partnership works to establish Greater Des Moines (DSM) as a global community attracting and retaining foreign-born persons to the region. Check out more Global DSM stories.