Ford engineer directs credit for his career success to his education at Henry Ford College

YAN – Dearborn

Henry Ford College (HFC) alumnus Ahmed Alkirsh was promoted to senior electrical engineer within the last several months at Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn. Alkirsh, who was a non-traditional student, credits this promotion to the education he received at HFC.
“This promotion was a big stepping stone for me, career-wise. I would not have been able to get it, as well as my bachelor’s degree, if I didn’t attend HFC,” said Alkirsh, who lives in Dearborn with his wife who also completed some coursework at HFC – and their four children.

Alkirsh, a lifelong Dearborn resident, spoke about his educational journey. Although he was an outstanding student upon graduation from Edsel Ford High School in 2000, Alkirsh was unsure what to study. In 2001, he enrolled at HFC due to cost, location, convenience, and ease of access, while working a full-time job. He took several pre-requisite classes but didn’t declare a major.

In 2003, several factors prevented Alkirsh from continuing his education, including the fact that he was unsure of which career to pursue. Making the decision to quit school was one of the hardest Alkirsh ever had to make in his life. Still, he had no doubt in his mind that he would finish his education.

“Working a full-time job in the auto industry and interacting with electrical systems and electrical engineers gave me more of an insight into what that particular career was about. I started to do more research into the different engineering professions. The years were moving very fast while I focused on making a living and starting a family of my own, which delayed making the return to school. Once I did, however, I was more focused and had a clearer vision for my future,” explained Alkirsh.

In 2007, Alkirsh resumed his education, returning to HFC, which he called the “perfect place” having attended HFC previously. His prior credits at HFC were still in effect and he was familiar with the campus. This time around, Alkirsh knew he what he was majoring in – engineering.

Alkirsh transferred to the University of Michigan-Dearborn(UM-Dearborn), where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (EE) in 2012. Recently, he has been accepted into UM-Dearborn’s master’s program in EE.

“HFC played a critical role in my decision to restart my education,” he said. “Throughout the period I was not attending, I received reminders in the mail which kept me engaged mentally and always thinking about going back to finish what I started. The College has one of the best starting platforms for kicking off an education and reaching career goals. One piece of advice I would give to high school students who are undecided is to utilize all available resources like early college programs and visits to potential schools like HFC to get more information about the different career paths they are willing to consider. That will certainly save a lot of time and effort in realizing their goals.”

HFC President Russell Kavalhuna stated that Alkirsh’ssuccess reiterates what an invaluable asset the College is to the Dearborn community.

“Ahmed Alkirsh’s story is not just inspirational, it is a demonstration of how Henry Ford College helps students succeed throughout their lives,” said Kavalhuna. “Our College is rooted in our community, and we will do all we can to help every student achieve their goals in life. Congratulations to Ahmed on becoming a senior electrical engineer at Ford. We welcome every student who wants to achieve a better future.”

“Our college is rooted in our community, and we will do all we can to help every student achieve their goals in life.”
HFC President Russel Kavalhuna

“Deciding to stop taking classes was one of the toughest I’ve had to make. Making the decision to restart my education was one of the best choices I’ve made.”
Ahmed Alkirsh