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Egypt to St. Louis: Baroma Pursues More in Manufacturing

Friday, January 21, 2022

“I started from zero.” Mohamed Baroma wearing a backpack from his world travels

Egyptian by birth and world traveler at heart, Mohamed Ali Baroma stepped away from all things familiar when he moved to St. Louis with his wife. His electronic engineering degree from Egypt did not transfer. And he knew the career he had pursued was not the right fit.

In need of a job, Mohamed accepted a position as a phone technician. But he was confident that a manufacturing career was his target. He just had to find a way to get started.

Opportunity presented itself in the form of a Continuing Education catalog from St. Louis Community College (STLCC). Mohamed flipped through the pages and noticed an ad for the Missouri Manufacturing Technician program. It seemed like the right step toward his target of manufacturing. He did not take any action that day, or for several months, but he held onto the catalog and considered the opportunity.

Mohamed eventually decided to give it a try. While working full time, he applied and was accepted into the program. He juggled work life and education, getting a refresher of some of the information he had learned in previous education and learning so much more.

Mohamed resigned from his steady job as a phone technician to pursue his new-found passion in manufacturing. The COVID-19 pandemic was just starting to ramp up in the U.S., but despite the challenges of the pandemic and the pressure to find work before his wife gave birth to their daughter, Mohamed secured a job. He met a representative from bioMérieux, Inc., a multinational biotechnology company, at a job fair held at STLCC, completed a phone interview and was offered a position as a senior assembler.

It all happened just in time for his daughter to be born.

The Pursuit of More

Mohamed’s work at bioMérieux provides security for his family and an outlet for him to do what he loves. “I found that I really enjoy building things. I didn't know that before.” Mohamed’s work ethic and attention to detail were noticed early on. The support and trust of his teammates made it possible to also build trust with his supervisors. Just eight months after starting his new job at bioMérieux, he was promoted to a role inspecting and finishing work in assembly.

“I am going all the way with quality engineering,” he said. After learning more about this field, receiving feedback from others and considering his personality, he believes, “Everything is telling me this is the right path for me.”

Once his engineering degree credential from Egypt is evaluated and recognized in the U.S., Mohamed plans to earn a master’s degree in quality assurance with the goal of advancing his position in the company.

Despite starting from zero, Mohamed and his wife have since purchased a condo and put down roots in St. Louis, giving this world traveler a new place to call home.

“Imagine how many good things happened after taking the course.” He believes everything in his life now really depended on that decision of pursuing more in his education. “You don't know until you try.”

As the father of a young daughter, he wants to inspire her to relentlessly pursue opportunities despite the fear of challenges. “If there's a door, you have to knock on it. If the door closes, try another. Don't close the doors by yourself.”

Learn more about STLCC's Missouri Manufacturing Technician program at stlcc.edu/MfgTech.

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