Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Immigrant from India helps others find first jobs

Often the people who can help immigrants the most are other immigrants. They know what is needed. DP

By ANASTASIA USTINOVA, Houston Chronicle Harb Hayre has helped thousands of legal immigrants find their first jobs in the United States since he founded the nonprofit CEI Education Specialists in 1994.

Hayre, who came to the United States from Punjab, India, more than 40 years ago, helps evaluate foreign diplomas and offers career counseling to professionals from all over the world.

Hayre recently spoke with the Chronicle's Anastasia Ustinova about his job.

Q: Many immigrants who come to the Unites States have received education in their native countries. How can you evaluate their diplomas?

A: We look at their credentials, and we check if they have finished high school. We discuss their background. We check their experience. We evaluate the transcripts of all countries and all subjects, and for various purposes: for jobs, for admission to colleges and universities, for professional certifications like teachers and engineers.

Q: Adjusting in a new country may be hard even for those with professional experience and good résumés. What are some common challenges your clients face?

A: They usually don't know where to go, what to do, unless someone guides them in a professional sense. To clients who don't know the language, we recommend they start speaking English at home and with friends right away, or go to a church where they teach English. If they go to the colleges, it sometimes can take years. They can pick up an intensive English program in a church.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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