The Importance of Networking
OnWord Partner regularly networks with like-minded individuals and organizations in order to establish a cohesive database of resources for clients.
On March 30th at the Boston Public Library, OnWord Partner participated in a networking workshop hosted by the African Bridge Network (ABN). The workshop’s key purpose was to introduce skilled immigrants to organizations aiming to support them in their journeys to integrate into the U.S. workforce. Representatives from organizations from around the Greater Boston area took the opportunity to contribute to the collective, providing information about how to navigate the U.S. systems and how to take advantage of their organizations’ career development opportunities.
To represent OnWord Partner, President and Founder Shelly Hedstrom presented a series of job search tips: “The Do’s and Don'ts of Applications, Resumes, and Cover Letters.”
“What I’m trying to tell them is that you have to be intentional about building your career and learning where the tools are, where the resources are, where the information is,” says ABN Founder and Executive Director Emmanuel Owusu.
With these principles in mind, ABN was founded in 2015 by Emmanuel Owusu and his colleagues Ahamdou Balde, Peter Obour-Mensah, Vyto Jasper and Komba Lamina. They established the African Bridge Network in an effort to create a platform on which to build “a supportive environment for African immigrants to leverage their foreign degrees and experiences to reach their potential.” Over the years, they have found these informative workshops to be an effective way to do so.
Owusu says that in these workshops, one of his main goals is to teach foreign-trained professionals to be “enterprising,” as they need to learn to advocate for themselves in the workplace after learning the difference between “working” and “building a career.”
In the network of organizations that ABN has developed, OnWord Partner “is the resource that I am pointing people to. If you work with Shelly, she will help you to build a career,” Owusu says.
“So few organizations in Boston understand the unique circumstances and challenges that skilled immigrants face. African Bridge Network is one of those organizations that truly has fingers to the pulse of foreign-trained professionals,” Shelly says.