Last summer, long-time friends Abdulahi M. Ahmed (Abdul) and Mohamed Muhumed were Achieve college interns together at Ameriprise. They both made such a strong impression that they were invited to return after graduation to participate in the Ameriprise leadership development program, which offers full-time paid positions to high-achieving emerging talent, with dedicated support from a senior leader and rotations on various teams.
Abdul couldn’t speak English when he came to the United States from Ethiopia at age 12. Now he’s an Augsburg University graduate and will soon begin the Ameriprise leadership program with a full-time salary. Abdul happily accepted the company’s invitation, knowing it would give him a strong and early start in defining his career. “I take advantage of every opportunity available,” he says.
After graduating from Edison High School, Abdul was the first in his family to complete a four-year college degree. He connected with Achieve College Internships through Achieve’s partnership with the Minnesota Private College Fund, where he participated in the Black Men’s Success Initiative. With interests in both technology and business, Abdul shadowed Ameriprise employees on both the technology and wealth management teams. “By the end of my internship I had offers from both teams,” he explains. “I decided to work in technology with a focus on user interface and data modeling.”
Mohamed came to the United States from Somalia when he was 10 years old. He met Abdul in middle school and they have been friends ever since. Like Abdul, he attended Augsburg University and is also interested in a career in technology. “We were rivals on the Augsburg soccer field sometimes when we were growing up,” he says. “So when we both started college there, the campus felt like home.”
While a student at Roosevelt High School, Mohamed completed two Step Up internships at U.S. Bank in the summers of 2017 and 2018. He says he’s thankful for the hands-on skills and networks he developed through Step Up and then his Achieve college internship. “I was paid during all of these experiences and also made lots of connections with people who continue to provide career support.”
Mohamed was surprised to land a job so quickly after college graduation. “I thought I would be searching for months, but thanks to my Achieve College Internship I’ve got a full-time, paid opportunity right away. I like the corporate environment and being surrounded by experienced people, and I always benefit from the insights they give me.”
Because the Ameriprise leadership program is rotational, Mohamed and Abdul will have the opportunity to continue learning from leaders in several departments, which will help them further define their areas of interest and strengthen their career advancement. Mohamed says, “I would love to get to be a vice president one day!”
Abdul plans to work hard at Ameriprise and eventually save enough money to start his own business. A professed problem solver, he says that this skill will serve him well in the workplace, along with his ability to understand people’s needs and build his professional network. “I’ve made a lot of connections and I know I can go back to any of those people at any time.”
The dream of having a great career right out of college is now reality for Abdul and Mohamed, and they’ve worked so hard to achieve it – from learning English by studying with tutors and watching the Disney Channel as youth, to landing full time jobs at a major financial institution while still in college. “I really advise other college students to be part of this program, which encourages you and helps you look for jobs and build your career,” Mohamed says. “The Achieve College Internship program is the reason I’m starting my career right out of college.”