Arab American TEKsystems employees share how their career journeys have shaped them personally and professionally.
April 19, 2023 | By TEKsystems
At TEKsystems, we’re committed to nurturing an inclusive workplace culture and welcoming diversity into every aspect of our business. To celebrate Arab American Heritage Month, we asked employees from our company’s Arab Employee Network (AEN) to share their perspectives.
Growing up in a middle eastern family, as a third-generation Palestinian American, I have watched the generations before me come to this country with nothing and become successful through discipline and hard work. I’m grateful to have also benefited as TEKsystems has played a huge role in helping me achieve both personal and professional goals.
Personal growth for me is continuing to challenge myself to live up to the examples of strong work ethic that came before me. Aside from chasing numbers and a yearly contest goal, professional growth for me is to continue to do everything I can to support others on their road to success.
It’s not a secret that this job comes with challenges and stress, especially when you’re just starting your career. Having a good mentor and support system helps get you through those tough times.
As someone who was born and raised in the U.S., I’m proud to be Palestinian and have always felt connected to my culture. Cooking is something I enjoy, especially cooking middle eastern food and desserts. Some staples in my house are kebobs, falafel, shawerma, mlookhia, hummus, grape leaves, knafa and katayef.
As a mother, I hope to pass that on to my 22-month-old daughter. She is already dancing and singing along to Arabic songs in the car, so I think we are off to a good start.
I was born and raised in Morocco, a North African country known for its uniquely rich culture, delicious cuisine and warm hospitality. Seven years ago, I decided to move to the U.S. and start a new life from scratch, and let me tell you, it was not easy! Not only because of the language barrier, the culture shock and the insecurities that come with it, but also I was leaving behind my loved ones, my friends and everything I had known, up to that moment.
I overcame these difficulties by immersing myself in American culture and by learning and experiencing something new every day. The new perspectives that I gained from these challenges have helped me to become more adaptable and resilient. Meeting people from around the world has helped me to discover how much we have in common, regardless of our cultural backgrounds. It not only has given me an appreciation for the amazing diversity on our planet but also a recognition of the number of harmful stereotypes and misinformation against Arabs. As an Arab American woman, I owe it to my community to showcase our goodness to the world and educate others.
For me, professional and personal growth are linked to the challenges I face daily, being constantly forced to get out of my comfort zone. No matter how scary it gets, this helps to build my confidence and pushes me to become stronger every day. TEKsystems enables me to impact people’s lives positively by helping them see the potential to change their realities for the better, and that has been the biggest reward so far.
I began my TEKsystems career in recruiting in applications and development, then shifted to my current role in sales, supporting our emerging customers within security.
Learning and self-improvement are central to my personal and professional growth. I’ve noticed my progress in mind and body through improved work-life balance that includes activities like sports and weightlifting. I’ve also developed professionally as I continue to sharpen my business and sales skills.
TEKsystems has accelerated my growth by providing flexibility around my personal growth and the resources to cultivate my professional growth.
Although I was born and raised in Canada, I have Palestinian roots. I enjoy cooking and take pride in sharing Palestinian cuisine with my friends and colleagues, especially when I get positive feedback from those who haven’t tried it before. I’m also proud of the strong bonds that my community has with our families. Maintaining a close and healthy relationship with immediate and extended family is very important in our culture.
San Diego, California, 5 years at TEKsystems
I was born and raised in Lebanon—a Palestinian refugee until the age of 10. An educational opportunity presented itself for my family and me to move to the U.S., so we took the leap in 2002 to start a better life.
My parents’ generation experienced a lot of hardships due to living in a conflict area and sacrificed a lot for their kids to have a better life. When I have my own family, my goal is to raise kids who will understand and proudly embrace their Palestinian roots. I feel a sense of joy and pride in our community’s generous hospitality, strong family bonds and high expectations to excel in life. Palestinian homes are full of life with frequent social gatherings, food, sweets and Arabic coffee.
Since moving to the U.S., I was always the only Arab in my friend groups, making it hard for me to stay connected to my roots. Joining the Arab Employee Network (AEN) gave me the chance to connect and make friends with other Arabs for the first time. Speaking Arabic and relating to others culturally outside of my family has been very rejuvenating, and sharing life and work challenges with Arab colleagues has enriched my career in all aspects. One of the things that piqued my interest in joining and leading the AEN is building relationships with other Arabs across the U.S. and Canada.
Navigating corporate America as an Arab woman has presented its own challenges that I am able to overcome because of the AEN. It has also allowed me to successfully mentor other Arab women, which has been so rewarding.