From humanitarian migrant to accountant – a career story of hope, resilience, and possibility

November 16, 2023
migrant career story

When Husna Nabi Abid was 17 years old, she was the oldest eleventh grader not only in her group, but likely in the history of her school.

But she didn’t mind.

It was an opportunity – her opportunity – to build the life she wanted.

From the moment she arrived in Australia as a humanitarian migrant until her recent promotion as an accountant at global energy company EDL, Husna has taken advantage of every big opportunity that came her way.

And it’s been opening doors for her that not too long ago may have seemed just out of reach.

Husna’s story is a testament to the power of resilience, hard work, and putting yourself in the best position to turn possibilities into reality.

Here’s a look at her journey.

Rolling with the punches

“I am a proud first-generation migrant in Australia. I am originally from Afghanistan, but I was born and brought up in Karachi, Pakistan. When I was in middle school, we returned to Afghanistan for a year before being displaced yet again. Eventually, to our great relief, we were accepted into Australia’s humanitarian program in January 2014.”

A journey like this could easily trap someone in a sense of helplessness and despair, but Husna was determined early on to avoid this.

“All these experiences – of displacement, movement, and eventual settlement in Australia – have empowered me and not necessarily diminished my potential.

“I was 17 years old when I arrived in Australia. I always thought it was a bit of an awkward age to be making this move. But if anything, life has taught me to roll with the punches.”

And roll with it she did.

“Life has had its ups and downs. But I have dealt with it all, to the best of my ability, and always with the help of my family.”

Instead of breaking her, Husna’s experiences have only strengthened her resolve to succeed.

migrant career story

“I made sure I went to high school, the oldest eleventh grader in our group – who knows, probably in the history of Kedron State High School.”

She continues:

“During grade 12, I finished Certificate 2 (Hospitality) and Certificate 3 (Business Administration) courses at TAFE Queensland. I made great friends, who helped secure my first job as a Program Worker at a primary school and helped me enrol for a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance at the Australian Catholic University. I would work and study for the next three and a half years.”

A chance encounter and a welcome return

Husna joined EDL as a graduate accountant in 2022, but she actually worked there as an intern for a few months just the year before.

After that initial internship, she took on a one-year contract with another organization as a Financial Accountant.

But her experience with EDL lingered and kept calling.

“Closer to finishing my contract in my previous role, I contacted EDL and asked whether they had anything for me. I had such fond memories. I was keen to come back if anything could be offered. Luckily, they welcomed me back with open arms.”

Husna knew there was something special with EDL, and it was undeniable.

“Aside from the nature of the industry, its environmental ethics, and knowing EDL was committed to decarbonizing the energy market, it was the people at EDL that drew me back. They are all friendly and treat you just like family.”

Finding her perfect fit

Looking back on her career so far, Husna isn’t surprised that EDL turned out to be such a great match for her.

“I am very environmentally conscious, always have been. Once I figured out that EDL is a renewable energy company, I was quite keen and wanted to be part of this industry.”

And the more time she spent with the company, the more she wanted to build her career here.

“I soon realized that EDL was doing such an amazing job. They are at the cutting edge, contributing to a global effort to address environmental degradation. I feel proud to be working for a company like EDL, doing my part.”

But the real clincher for Husna – the one that made her realize she made the right choice – was the company’s approach to her growth and development.

“The amount of time my team dedicated to training me was telling. I knew I would do more here and that this was a great opportunity to grow in this sector. I felt comfortable engaging with people, asking questions, sharing opinions, things that continue to be so for me.”

Husna also made a point to highlight the company’s flexible working arrangements, which was an important draw for her, especially with her first child on the way.

A photo of Husna Abid with her husband

“Working at EDL is flexible, and I have the option of working from home twice a week or when I need to. My work at EDL not only works around my tasks but also works around my personal commitments, and I appreciate that a lot. There is a level of trust there.”

She adds:

“Work-life balance is important to me, especially now that I am starting my own family. EDL has supported me immensely in this regard.”

Want to discover more about EDL’s flexible working arrangements, and inclusive hiring practices

Check out their employer profiles

Investing in her future

Just as Husna saw better possibilities at EDL, the company sees the best possibilities in her.

That’s why it continually invests in her future.

“I feel EDL wants me to grow and upgrade my skillset. They have agreed to provide financial assistance for my Chartered Accountant studies and have encouraged me to pursue further studies.”

This support has meant a lot to Husna, who was promoted from Graduate Accountant to Accountant early this year.

“As my team supports me in my growth journey, I want to finish my studies in becoming a Chartered Accountant. I also want to gain knowledge and experience and expand my skill set. I hope to gradually promote within the organization each year and eventually become a Financial Controller.”

And this, it turns out, is just the start.

She shared with us her bigger, long-term dream:

“I have ambitions to become a Management Accountant of a bigger region. I am aware that might come, but only by increasing my task list, experience, and skill set.”

A life of possibilities

For Husna, the possibilities are indeed endless.

But they’re possibilities that she knows can become reality with the right opportunities and the right choices.

Because she’s living such a reality now – thanks to her determination, her family, and an employer that supports her efforts to live her best life.

Want to learn more about the benefits of a career at EDL?

Share this article:

Discover more about these Endorsed Employers

Related articles

Get informed

Sign up for monthly updates on news, advice, inspiration, and career resources

About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

Want to keep the conversation going?

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job.

Want more articles like this sent to your inbox every month?

Just let us know what kind of support you’re looking for so we can sign you up to receive the right newsletter for you.