The beginning of the fellowship is always stressful and exciting for all fellows. Changing a job is hard, moving to another part of the world to change everything is twice harder! Check how new fellows from Class 36 adapt to a new place, and what they already learned during the first two weeks in the US.


How to join a host organization?

Name: Wissal Khadrouf

Hometown: Casablanca, Morocco

Host Organisation: Microsoft

Role at Organization: Program Manager Fellow

Social Issue: Youth Development

“Last year if you told me I would be serving at Microsoft Redmond, WA. I would probably laugh at you. And yet here I am, spending my second week in Microsoft Headquarters. “, — wrote Wissal Khadrouf in her first blog post.

Follow the link to learn more about Wissal’s role at Microsoft and her first impressions of the organization.

Name: Meriem Touami

Hometown: Tunis, Tunisia

Host Organisation: BoodleAI

Role at Organization: Business Analyst Fellow

Social Issue: Women and Youth Empowerment

“I am serving at BoodleAI as a Business Analyst, an IT startup passionate about working with nonprofits and tech empowerment. A great opportunity for a geek and a curious one like me!”, — said Meriem Touami.

Would you like to know what Meriem is doing at BoodleAI and how she adapts to all new challenges in the US? Check her blog post!

How to improve your professional skills and to open new horizons?

Name: Busayomi Sotunde

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Host Organisation: Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI)

Role at Organization:

Communications Fellow

Social Issue: Rural development

“While staying at U street hostel, I saw Meriem and Wissal, other fellows from Class 36, designing their country presentations. I loved the aesthetic design of their presentation and I blurted out that “I am definitely adding learning and sharpening my design skills to my list of goals in the US”. I want to learn how to make beautiful power-point presentations that rock!” — thought Busayomi Sotunde on the first week of the fellowship.

Learn how Busayomi improves her skills in graphic design with the help of her Host Organization by checking the link.

Name: Azza Nadir

Hometown: Khartoum, Sudan

Host Organisation: YLabs

Role at Organization: Talent & Ops Fellow

Social Issue: Mental health

Sometimes you do not realize the challenges you’ll face in the new place. As Azza Nadir said, “In San Francisco, I discovered that I’m not technologically or geography challenged as I managed to go to my host organization office on my own without getting lost, it was a proud moment for me.”.

To learn more about Azza’s first impressions of the fellowship, read her blog post!

Tips for everyone who are going to move to the US!

Name: Karam Yaaqba

Hometown: Ramallah, Palestinian Territories

Host Organisation: Microsoft

Role at Organization: Cloud Solution Architect Fellow

Social Issue: Refugee/Humanitarian Relief

“Life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, it is a very mean and nasty place”, that is not me, it is Rocky Balboa speaking. DO NOT get me wrong, you will enjoy your journey, and you will have several people around you in the good and bad. However, you will (or say may) feel bad, especially at the beginning of your journey. I am here to help you through this.” — wrote Karam Yaaqba for the Atlas Corps blog.

Learn how Karam survived in Seattle by checking his blog post.

Name: Becky Makhuwira

Hometown: Blantyre, Malawi

Host Organisation: BronxWorks

Role at Organization: Retention Specialist Fellow

Social Issue: Gender

“I commonly used the word “adaptation” when I worked in an Agricultural project that had to do with adapting to climate change back in 2017. Little did I find the meaning of this word to personal life rather than what it meant for project participants until my first two weeks of Atlas Corps Fellowship.” — said Becky Makhuwira about the fist days in the US.

Would you like to know what lessons Becky learned from the first two weeks of the fellowship? Please follow the link.

Name: Julia Allayarova

Hometown: Chelyabinsk, Russia

Host Organisation: Global Communities

Role at Organization: Communications and Public Affairs Fellow

Social Issue: Girls education and empowerment

“I’m from Russia and I feel comfortable when it’s cold. On the contrary, anything more than 23 C is killing me. So I have had to manage it as, unfortunately, winter is not coming in the foreseeable future and Washington has recently been too hot to survive.” — shared Julia in the blog post.

And finally, useful tips from Julia Allayarova, how to survive the extreme heat using a sweater in her blog post.