Khushbaht (Kush) Addulloev has lived in Lincoln, Nebraska for the past 15 years. He’s been a Nebraskan for more than half of his life, but it’s only by chance that he ended up here at all.
Kush was born and raised in Tajikistan until he was 15, when he was prepared to move to Colorado by himself as part of a business education exchange student program. When his original host family was unable to take him in as planned, he ended up staying with a family in Lincoln.
“I consider them my American family,” Kush said.
While his move to Nebraska may have been coincidence, Kush’s decision to stay was anything but.
“I have had nothing but good experiences here,” Kush said. “I love the community in Lincoln.”
Kush met his wife in a philosophy class at Southeast Community College, and the couple is now raising their 5-year-old daughter in the city where they met. Initially, Kush says, he didn’t intend to stay in the state after graduating, but the career opportunities proved too good to pass up.
Kush has worked in marketing and human resources at Spreetail, an ecommerce company, for seven years. Between the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, which Kush worked with on incentives while Spreetail was opening its new offices, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which provides a great talent pool, Kush has found that business in Nebraska is booming.
“I think the business climate is very supportive of growth,” he said.
In his role as a recruiter at Spreetail, Kush has struggled to get out-of-staters to consider Lincoln due to misconceptions about Nebraska, but once they see the vibrant downtown atmosphere and feel the sense of growth throughout the city, he said most peoples’ perceptions change.
“People are surprised how awesome Lincoln is,” said Kush, noting the city’s quality trails, parks, libraries and restaurants as some of his favorite parts of life in Nebraska—after the people, of course.
When he’s not busy with work and family, Kush also meets twice a month with his TeamMate. Kush says he’s trying to give back to the community in Lincoln that he’s always felt supported by.
Nebraska is anything but a flyover state for Madeline Sullivan. She was born in Omaha, raised in Omaha and even attended college in Omaha. When she graduated with a degree in aviation, though, she was ready to take flight.
Her interest in transportation policy brought her to Washington, D.C., where she worked for Senator Deb Fischer as a transportation intern. She worked with the legislative staff on transportation issues like shipping and railroads and wrote summaries for the senator about issues currently being addressed by the senate.
After five months of the big city, she was ready to come home to the Big O to be back with her family and friends.
“I had lived in Omaha my entire life, so leaving was a bit difficult for me because I really love it,” Madeline said. “While I was in D.C., I realized that D.C. definitely wasn’t the place I wanted to be.”
While still living in D.C., she interviewed with Jet Linx, a membership-based private jet company located in Omaha. Madeline had interned at the company while on the flight team at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
“I had a really good connection with them,” she said.
Madeline is currently a fleet optimization specialist at Jet Linx, where she works with their customer service team and operators to schedule flights for their members.
Madeline loves the wide-open spaces Nebraska affords its residents. Some days she’ll just get in her car and drive—or even get in a plane and fly. Since getting her pilot’s license at 18, Madeline has logged more than 100 hours of flight time. For her, Nebraska isn’t in the middle of nowhere, it’s the middle of everywhere.
“Since Omaha has always been my home base, it’s always been a place I’ve set my roots and I can just do my traveling from there,” Madeline said. “It’s a good place to be, and leave from, and then come back to.”