After twelve years at the University of Illinois as a Finance Manager, with more than a decade of management experience, Michael Smith, jumped back into job search. To help get started, Michael sought assistance from National Able Network and enrolled in the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act program (WIOA).

With the resources available in the program, Michael worked with career coaches Stephanie Mena and Coral Duarte. Once working with his coaches and setting career goals, Michael determined that to advance his career he would enroll in courses for Agile Scrum, Business/Data Analytics, and Project Management.

As he worked on these courses, Michael also attended a variety of job search workshops. From resume building to LinkedIn profile development – Michael learned a lot about how to find the right fit for him!  His career coaches, specifically Stephanie, also provided valuable resume feedback. Michael says, “I can’t thank Stephanie enough for the changes she has helped me make on my resume. I get contacted almost every other day by an employer!” Career Coach Stephanie says, “Throughout his time in WIOA, Michael has been determined to obtain his goals of certifications and employment.”

Michael’s determination worked! He is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and is currently studying for his next exam to become a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP). His enrollment in WIOA allowed him to further his education, he says, “I would never have had the opportunity to go back and re-educate myself.”

In addition to this success, Michael’s LinkedIn profile caught the attention of Blue Cross Blue Shield where he is currently employed as an Accounting Consultant! Michael says, “In my current role, I am utilizing the skills I acquired [while participating in WIOA], and it has been very useful in my career.”

When asked for advice to other job seekers, Michael says, “You have to go out there and network…It doesn’t matter what level you are in your career, unforeseen things happen…Build your confidence, take the classes, and believe that you can find the role you are looking for.”