Ornella Audrey Ngoh Ekongolo explains why she took a menial job in Dubai despite her academic background.

She holds a Master’s Degree in banking and finance but couldn’t end up with a suitable employment in her country because she “did not have anybody inside.” Instead, she took on a job as a call center agent for a Paris-based company.

Finally, she decided to try her luck in Dubai, where she has been working for a year now as a waitress and a go-getter: Ornella Audrey Ngoh Ekongolo.

“I like it at the end of the month when I receive notification that am not more broke,” Ornella said, referring to her paycheck.

She had to start somewhere and so didn’t wince a bit at the thought of doing menial work despite her diploma.

“In my country,” Ornella explained, “I wouldn’t have had the chance to even be a cashier.”

She said she tried internship at a commercial bank, but in vain. “I have never been able to put my toes in because I didn’t have anybody inside,” Ornella, a single mom, lamented.

“So, you can just imagine, if it’s so hard to have an internship. What more a good job? Everything is locked,” Ornella said.

Dubai, on the other hand, offers a promise, she said.

“This city has it very clear: Come, work, help us to develop our world, and go back home when you think you’ve finally made it good. Once you’ve got this, once your brain has digested this information properly, you’ll know how to get by…or at least you should try,” Ornella said.

“And that’s why I am here. At least here, you can find a job with your own potential and it’s encouraging,” she said.

Ornella said Dubai, aside from being a safe place to live in, is very cosmopolitan, “which makes it more interesting.”

“It’s like being in many countries in one place and discover other cultures –  all that without traveling…it’s a ‘world map,’” she says.

Ornella is from Cameroon.