Alum extols ProSTAR's virtues during a career change

“'You get out of this program what you want to get out of it.' I remember when Mark Schuver said that to our cohort,” said Micah Green of his his first day of classes. “When he said that, I remember feeling this profound sense of freedom from all of the responsibilities that come from enrolling in a master's program. The reason I felt that freedom was because I knew that at that level, grades were important, but what was more important was the practical knowledge I was about to gain from the program. How I would carry that knowledge into my career path, and the life lessons that were going to be imparted to me.”

Seventeen months after he graduated from program, Green found himself looking for a new career in order to fulfill several personal requirements in his life.

“I remember, initially, being really afraid to look for a new career in this challenging job market. Honestly, I didn’t know where to start. I knew I needed to revamp my resume, but I had no clue how to begin looking for a new career path," he said. "After coming up empty-handed, searching down several paths, I decided to rethink my strategy. I remembered Mark Schuver’s statement — ‘You get out of this program what you want to get out of it.’— and that’s when I realized that I needed to implement the research skills, problem-solving skills, and interpersonal skills I learned from the ProSTAR program.

“Everyone’s heard that the best way to land a job is through networking.  Well, that’s exactly what I started doing.  I talked to anyone and everyone that would lend me their ear and through whom I had some sort of connection about what it was they did for a living, what I did for a living, what I wanted to do, and if they knew anyone else I could talk to.  I researched different industries and careers that I wanted to become a part of, and I discussed with multiple professionals how my education and experience would translate effectively onto a stellar cover letter and resume,” Green said. “Finally, after several months of rubbing elbows, brushing up on my interviewing skills, and finding some leads that were dead-ends, I got a call from a friend that I had met months before at a party.  After several phone calls and interviews, I secured a fantastic, new challenging job with a stable company, and I even increased my salary significantly.”

Green’s advice to those ProSTAR students who are looking for new careers:

Get help revamping your resume and cover letter from a professional.
Network. With anyone and everyone.
Use the prestige of your degree to get your foot in the door.
Do your research.
Don’t let problems get in the way.  Find creative ways to solve the problems that lie in your path.
Once you are offered a job, don’t be afraid to negotiate your worth.
“Besides the ProSTAR program, looking for a new career was the most challenging thing I’ve done in my life. But with the confidence I gained through working full-time and completing the ProSTAR program at Purdue at the same time, I knew I could take on any cognitive challenge that lay ahead of me,” he said.