Sulmaz has secured a permanent role with John Holland

Like many others who come to Australia, Sulmaz arrived in search of new opportunities and professional growth.

Sulmaz settled here in 2017. Having worked as a chemical engineer for four years in Iran, she was full of optimism about her new life. Sadly, Sulmaz realised how challenging it can be for skilled migrants to secure work in Australia.

Determined to do everything she could to succeed, Sulmaz enrolled in a course at Melbourne Polytechnic to secure a local qualification and volunteered with a range of organisations.

But still, she received knockback after knockback for the 40 or 50 job applications in her field of expertise.

Sulmaz was eventually connected with Jesuit Social Services’ Jesuit Community College, and was supported with job readiness training such as resume, cover letter and interview advice.

“It was different from any other experience, and a really pleasant one,” she says.

Through Jesuit Social Services, Sulmaz learned about the John Holland Pathway Program. Established in 2018, the program provides a foot in the door at one of Australia’s leading engineering, contracting and servicing providers for qualified engineers from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Sulmaz was thrilled to discover she was one of 23 successful applicants accepted into in the program’s first intake.

Sulmaz says the training provided by Jesuit Social Services “really gave me an insight into Australian corporate culture, ways of doing things, thinking and expected behaviours. It set me up on the pathway to success,” she says.

Over the six month paid program, Sulmaz worked as a junior engineer with responsibilities in Quality Assurance, cost tracking and reinstatement.

Her Project Manager, Matt Razkenari, says Sulmaz had made herself “indispensable.”

“I need her on this project – she’s brilliant,” he says.

After successfully completing the six month program, Sulmaz was offered a permanent role at John Holland as a Junior Engineer as part of the Melbourne Water team.

“This program has finally given me the opportunity for my skills and talents to be given expression and I’ll be forever grateful for that.”