Sajjad Tariq was in the first cohort of CCI students at Pierce College in 2010-11. During the program he studied human resources, started a cricket club, and was awarded Outstanding International Student of the Year! Here he shares what he has been doing in the six years since graduating and describes how the cross cultural communication skills he developed on the CCI program have helped him get a job and succeed in an international business environment. He also gives great advice for current students – focus equally on educational growth and cultural exchange.
First of all I need to explain that I feel proud to be part of the NWCCI program, as being part of it, I met nationals from different countries, which was a fabulous experience to have friends from all over the world. My coordinators, teachers, and the International Office staff were very cooperative and helpful in the reference of studies and social activities both within the college and outside.
After completion of the program I found a job in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, working as a Senior Human Resource Specialist with one of leading healthcare groups in the Middle East. My selection was based on my experience and studies.
Dealing with different nationalities in NWCCI program, I developed cultural adjustment skills which helped me with professional communication with my colleagues in Saudi Arabia, because Riyadh is a place of inhabitants from different nationalities.
My favorite memories from my time on NWCCI program are spending weekends doing outdoor activities, celebrating national holidays, camping with host families, and attending cultural events arranged by college and different organizations. These gave me the opportunity to know about the culture.
I suggest to participants of the CCI Program who are going to graduate in the near future, make the maximum benefit of the time which you are spending under the CCI program. It will add value in your life professionally and socially. Share your experience within your community for better understanding within the societies after you return to your home countries.
The CCI Program is planned for educational growth and cultural exchange, so emphasis should be equally on both sides of the program. This will provide opportunity to mature you professionally through studies and offer better understanding, knowledge, and respect of different cultures after interacting with people from different nationalities.
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The opinions expressed in this blog by writers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Northwest Community College Initiative program, Edmonds Community College, Whatcom Community College, Pierce College, the United States Department of State or any employee thereof. NWCCI and Edmonds Community College are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by the student bloggers.