Grace and Dedication in Uncertain Times Help GTA Grad Land Her Dream Job

Lily Liu

An established engineer with seven years of experience working for both Ford and GM, Lily Liu could not think of a better location than Michigan to further her education and take a deeper dive into advanced automotive technologies. But after Lily received her master’s in engineering management from Kettering University in December 2019, she had a difficult time landing job interviews. That’s when she met Guiqiu Wang from Global Detroit at one of our job fairs and learned about our Global Talent Accelerator. The Global Talent Accelerator is an intensive program that offers one-on-one career coaching and mentoring, employer meet and greets, and workshops on resume writing, elevator pitches, networking and interviewing skills, and more. In March 2020, Lily joined the GTA program’s second cohort of international students. 

Lily was one of the program’s most dedicated students. Committed to attending all of the sessions, Lily planned to take an Uber from Flint to Detroit every week even though she did not own a car. We were just one week into the program when the first state-wide stay-at-home order went into effect. We asked the students if they wished to continue the program, and despite dealing with the closing of their universities and many other concerns, everyone said yes. We got the program up and running online within 24 hours and hosted Zoom graduation later that month. Despite the uncertain times, Lily’s dedication and past work experiences helped her land her dream job as an algorithm engineer contractor for Ford Motor Company in May 2020.

Lily credits the GTA program for helping her navigate the job search process. “GTA had a lot of discussion and seminars, which helped us to step out of our comfort zones from different perspectives,” she says. Learning how to personalize her resume to meet online resume scanners’ requirements and prepare and deliver an effective elevator pitch for each interviewer gave Lily the strategic tools she needed to stand out as a job candidate. After the program ended, the support she received from Guiqiu allowed Lily to remain hopeful even during a pandemic. “Job hunting is a stressful process for everyone, but if you know there is a person who is always staying with you, you feel much better,” Lily says.

International students bring diverse perspectives and ideas that help American companies create innovative products, and Lily notes: “Talent is not all in one country, they are worldwide.” 

Since launching in 2019, 32 students from nine different universities and countries have graduated from the GTA program. Today, 68 percent of our graduates have secured employment, with 60 percent securing positions in Michigan. Stay tuned for updates on the 2021 cohorts. If you’re an employer interested in connecting with our students, contact us at talent@globaldetroitmi.org.