I am an international business professional.
I am Melissa Powell. I am passionate about global talent, culture, and immigration. I am convinced that diversity can lift a nation.
Where it all started...
I often think I was made to bring the world together. My roots spring from a long line of immigrants from all over the world, across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean, all with great ambitions to make a positive difference for their families and environment. I was no different. As a young adult, I decided to make a move in order to gain greater experience. I had a good and privileged life at home but I knew cross-border movement would facilitate greater growth than spending all my years in the same place being influenced by the same things. I needed more diversity to make a more worthwhile impact.
So, from Jamaica, I charted a new course to the United States of America where my overall stay, though still good and privileged, was not as welcoming as I had originally thought. The reason was the immigration process is unnecessarily daunting, especially for the professional immigrant. In fact, in many developed countries adequate resources are not available to guide the productive process of professional immigration. In the USA, I had mixed experiences when it came to movement in my career because perfectly willing companies had to wait up to a year before they could offer full-time employment, while others just could not bother to take on the immigration challenge.
My experience would have been the same in most countries, as I found out first-hand when out of frustration, I moved to Spain in search of a more fulfilling experience. The difficulties of being a foreigner in a new culture were very pronounced. The people were great but again, with all of the opportunities that abound for me in Spain, I was told by immigration professionals, “Just stay here for three years. Don’t go home and then you’ll be better off than going home and applying for the work permit." All this despite the efforts of companies perfectly willing to offer employment.
Eventually, I went back to Jamaica where I worked with people and organizations of amazing talent. But their growth was stunted by lack of diversified experience, limiting innovation in the process. Lack of diversity limits vision of what is possible. I kept hearing “it must be this way because it always has been.” This brought me endless frustration as well as an immense drive to do something about it. So, instead of retreating and giving up, I have learned ways to navigate the global professional movement and have made it my mission to help others to join the global talent pool because I believe that diversification can lift a nation - just like it lifted my life and the lives of those I have worked with.
my experience has lead me to My mission...
My mission is to shape culture and change the stigma of diversity into one that is more facilitating to lifting a nation and creating a better world. If we facilitate diversity for innovation, it will lead to much greater opportunity for inclusion. To facilitate this, we must look outside of our culture and be willing to integrate the good cultures of others. This union is what facilitates innovation.
I would love to hear about your thoughts, experiences, triumphs, and pains around professional immigration, global talent, and culture. Please join me in the discussion.