From engineer to community leader
Mohammad Shishani was working as a civil engineer when he learned of DOT Jordan’s Social Innovation Journey program. He thought it was a good opportunity to develop digital skills, but he didn’t know it would also change the trajectory of his career.
“I felt it was a great opportunity to further develop my skill set. I always try to improve myself and this seemed like a good option,” he says. “I was also interested to be associated with an organization that has local networks in many countries – I like to network and I’m always interested to meet new people and be exposed to new perspectives.”
DOT Jordan’s social innovation workshop in Sweileh met and surpassed 23-year-old Mohammad’s expectations. He developed his digital skills, expanded his professional network, and became more aware of his community and its needs. As he identified those needs, he realized he could do something to meet them – he was inspired to change his career trajectory.
“I realized that I want to help people, and I want to create direct, positive social change,” he says. “Working with buildings as a civil engineer isn’t the same as seeing the impact on people.”
Mohammad made a big decision. Rather than pursuing his career as an engineer, he found a job leading social impact projects for War Child, a Canadian non-profit organization. Now, instead of spending his time thinking about infrastructure, he spends his time thinking about people.
Mohammad works to create opportunities for a diverse group of youth and refugees, including Jordanians, Syrians, Palestinians and Chechens. He considers it particularly important to help Syrian refugees integrate into Jordanian society “so they feel that we are one.”
While there has been a learning curve in his transition from engineering to social impact, Mohammad says the skills he learned at DOT were invaluable. “DOT helped by giving me the push to practice public speaking, and the peer-to-peer model also helped lay the foundation for the sessions that I lead now.”
Mohammad has big dreams for the refugee youth he works with and young people throughout Jordanian society. “I hope to raise youth to be be in charge,” he says. As a young community leader inspiring hundreds of other young people by example, his ripple effect is already being felt in his community.
“Mohammad works to create opportunities for a diverse group of youth and refugees, including Jordanians, Syrians, Palestinians and Chechens”
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