After ten years in the United States, Noe R. is finally living his dream – working full-time as a nurse while completing his bachelor’s in nursing. The journey was not always smooth; Noe had to defeat language barriers, overcome personal family challenges and stand out in an extremely tough economic climate. But through intense training and support that he received from Madison Strategies Group’s Career Directions program, Noe landed the right job.
After emigrating from Brazil in 2002, Noe enrolled in LaGuardia Community College in 2006, first for ESL and then in the nursing program. He obtained his New York State Registered Nurse license and an Associate’s degree in 2009. Following his licensing, Noe intended to work as a nurse for a large agency or hospital while completing a bachelor’s degree at a SUNY college. Unfortunately, at this juncture Noe’ plan was derailed by circumstances beyond his control. First, Noe discovered that entering the job market during the worst recession in decades without experience in his field can be incredibly challenging. Despite sending resume after resume and attending multiple interviews, he could not compete against nurses with a rich professional background and continuous work history. Combined with an arduous economic climate, Noe was also facing personal hardships that demanded much of his time and attention. His sister was gravely ill and required his care for almost two years, significantly limiting the amount of time he could work. In the two years following his graduation from community college, Noe lost almost all confidence in his technical skills and, convinced that he would not find work in his profession, had all but given up. When he was finally referred to Madison Strategies Group, he had little hope that the Career Directions team could actually help improve his situation.
The Career Directions team had a different view of Noe’ situation and was determined to help him. In the five-day training program offered, the Career Directions trainer helped Noe build up his resume such that it highlighted his strengths and worked with him to personalize cover letters targeted to specific employers. Moreover, the Career Directions team also helped Noe feel confident in his skills and capabilities. By coaching him to answer interview questions such as why he chose nursing or what are his weaknesses, as well as addressing the gaps in his resume, Noe was able to put his best foot forward. “They prepared me for the interview very well” said Noe. “I learned how to answer frequent questions they ask in an interview.”
Following the training program, Madison Strategies Group referred Noe to interviews that matched his skills and job preferences. Despite his sparse nursing experience, Noe, equipped with the ability and confidence to answer tough interview questions, charmed his interviewer and landed a community health nurse position with Dominican Sisters. “The interview was crucial” he said. “I got this job because of the interview.” He now earns $64,000 annually working as a Community Registered Nurse while completing his bachelor’s degree online, with financial assistance from his employer.
So would he recommend the Career Directions program? “Definitely! It’s a great opportunity to learn how to get a job.”