“When I started at MCTC, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do. That’s why I studied Liberal Arts—it gave me the most options for transferring,” said Ahmed Abdulle, MCTC alum and current University of Minnesota student.
Ahmed’s story represents the experience of many students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College: he went to high school in the Twin Cities, knew he needed to go to college, but didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do, so he entered with a broad plan to get his generals out of the way and then transfer to a four-year college.
“I needed a work-study job while in college, but I wasn’t even sure of where I could work,” Ahmed said. “I connected with MCTC’s Career Services department and they helped me so much. I actually wound up working with them in a work-study job. While helping to pay for some of my studies, I learned about how to be professional, develop confidence and keep my mind open.”
Through Career Services, Ahmed connected with Minneapolis Urban Scholars, a 12-week leadership development internship program aiming to provide students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with professional experience in order to develop leadership skills and create career pathways to positions of influence. “Through my internship with the City, I had the opportunity to meet the mayor and the City Council several times,” said Ahmed. “The people I met working with the City are people who both live and work right here. They know the community well, and they were committed to diversifying the city’s workforce specifically with programs like Urban Scholars.”
Now studying IT Infrastructure at the University of Minnesota, Ahmed has a goal. “I’m focusing on the strategic, business, planning side of IT along with the traditional topics like networking and storage,” he said. “I’m a tech-savvy person, but I’m more interested in focusing on planning.” Ahmed is currently interning with a cloud team at Thomson Reuters to support some of its business units.
“When I started college, I didn’t know what I wanted to study or what my skill level was,” he said. “The Career Services staff helped me understand my strengths, areas for improvement, how to develop work ethics and how to network. I was able to drawn on their experience and knowledge base to get ahead in life.”