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Mahsi Kamooneh is a young Army National Guardsman who proudly enlisted for service immediately after graduating high school. With her petite stature, this service member from “small town” Minnesota is no stranger to hard work and refuses to succumb to the usual stereotypes, having a background in masonry and construction. Mahsi met PAVE counselor, Jim Arndt, during a Minneapolis employment event in late February 2017, where Jim was conducting outreach to local veterans and active duty service members. Jim introduced the PAVE program, highlighting the unique services offered to all veterans and service members, regardless of disability status. Within a few days, Jim and Mahsi began working one on one to devise an appropriate job search strategy.

During the initial assessment, Jim learned that Mahsi was a college student and seeking a “job” that would, at minimum, support her while she was completing her courses. Although unrelated to disability, it was clear from the onset that Mahsi still faced significant barriers to civilian employment. “My most significant barrier is my age”, Mahsi shared during a recent interview. “I am kind of young, and have not finished college yet”. With such limited civilian work experience and still more college courses to complete before graduation, Jim recognized that Mahsi’s success hinged on her ability to revitalize her resume and develop effective job search and interview skills. One of the most crucial steps in overcoming Mahsi’s vocational barriers was to develop a professional resume that would adequately market her transferable job skills, professional accomplishments and potential. In addition, Jim conducted extensive interview skills training to build Mahsi’s confidence during interviews, an area about which many jobseekers feel anxiety. “I was amazed with how much [my PAVE counselor] worked with me and talked me through applying and how to interact during an interview. There was a lot of great tips that I knew nothing about”, Mahsi reflects.

“[PAVE] gave me confidence to go for what I wanted.” Mahsi Kamooneh, Army National Guard and PAVE client.

By March 2017, Mahsi had applied and interviewed for several positions for which she received numerous job offers. Among these offers was a position with the State of Minnesota Department of Corrections. Mahsi accepted a position in March 2017. “I am a Corrections Officer and honestly, I love it. Every day is something new”, Mahsi says of her new position. Mahsi anticipates deployment this year, but her new position promises advancement opportunities from which this young service member can begin building a lifelong career.

“I would recommend [PAVE] because it's a great resource whether you are entering the job force or getting back into it.” Mahsi Kamooneh, Army National Guard and PAVE client.




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