C3 Fellow Profile: Alfred Djei

C3 Fellow, Alfred DjeiAlfred Djei is dedicated, responsible, and thoughtful in his personal life.  His commitment to these values has carried through to his professional life choices. Currently a surgical instrument technician at Regions Hospital, Alfred gives credit to the C3 Fellows Program for helping him with his biggest challenge in school: the fear of graduating without employment.   

Previously a video broadcasting professional from the Ivory Coast, Alfred immigrated to Minnesota to be with his wife, and was determined to become successful in the United States.  In 2012, at age 34, Alfred was a student at Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC) studying for a technician certification. While he was studying to become certified, a great fear came over Alfred.  “I was drawn to be a student at MCTC because they have every specialty in healthcare you want to study,” Alfred said. “But I also needed a job and I didn’t know how to maximize my resume in school.”

Landing a Mentor

Feeling overwhelmed with the pressure for his studies to lead to gainful employment, Alfred went to MCTC’s Career Services Center, and happened upon a C3 Fellows program poster.  The Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows program connects MCTC and Saint Paul College students to healthcare employers.  It is one key strategy for the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership to pursue its goal of hiring more local residents, especially in health care careers.  The Partnership hopes to boost the percentage of local residents in the anchor institutions’ workforce by five points to 18% in five years. 

Alfred contacted Brian Mogren, career counselor and C3 Fellowship program coordinator, and a successful mentorship began.  “Brian was able to give me the point of view of an employer insider,” Alfred explained. “Every question I had was answered -- if I emailed a question at 11:05, I had my answer by 11:07.” 

Brian’s reliable guidance became a beacon for Alfred.  “He worked with me on matters specific to me,” Alfred said.  This high touch attention allowed some of Alfred’s fears to subside, so that he could start mentally focusing on his certification.  He then successfully applied to become a C3 Fellow.

A Fellowship with Results

After being accepted to the C3 Fellowship, Alfred’s engagement with his specific interests in healthcare began to flourish.  He not only renewed his commitment to study and focus on his certification, but he found new energy for job exploration.  Under Brian’s direction, Alfred became exposed to networking opportunities, career fairs, and volunteer positions.  “I wouldn’t have found these things,” he noted, “without being a C3 Fellow.” 

Alfred decided to volunteer at Regions Hospital and he began volunteering with surgical instrument technicians.  “It is a great place,” Alfred said. “My peers were friendly and professional.”

As it turns out, Alfred’s peers and supervisors must have felt the same way.  After Alfred received his certification, he began employment at Regions Hospital as a surgical instrument technician.  Alfred takes his job very seriously and is dedicated to expanding his impact in his specific field. 

And Alfred is not done with his education.  Currently enrolled in business management classes at MCTC while working at Regions, Alfred is a very busy, and very happy professional student.  He feels that his C3 Fellowship keeps on bringing benefits.  “Brian and I still keep in touch,” Alfred affirmed.   “He helps me with each new direction I take.”