Jim Linerode is a professional who understands the importance of networking when looking for new opportunity. This is why he partnered with MicroTrain when starting the next chapter in his career. After talking with other MicroTrain alums at job fairs, he saw a good fit.
Jim knew he wanted to pursue his Project Management certification but was looking for guidance on where to start. He found the instructors’ real world experience crucial in his education at MicroTrain. When reflecting on his experience at MicroTrain, Jim said, “I would say instructors provided industry insight. They were able to show how to apply these skills in the real world. [For example,] I didn’t know that the Business Analyst role existed. So just to understand how these roles fit in different industries was helpful.”
According to Jim, his PMP certification led to interviews and job offers from multiple companies and he ended up in his current role after a recruiter with whom he had been working contacted him. Employers respected that he was using his employment gap to broaden his skillset. One major piece of advice Jim has for students is to follow through with the certifications; take them seriously and use them as a networking opportunity.
Today, Mr. Linerode serves as Reliability Senior Technical Specialist for Navistar. Even in his new position, he has kept in touch with some of his classmates and has even referred some MicroTrain students to Navistar. Jim encourages those in similar situations to his to get out and talk to people and says that staring “Staring at the screen all day long is not recommended… I’m still in touch with several students, helping them through their interview process and sharing lessons.”
Before advancing her career by gaining professional certifications, Tracee Jones was already a success story. Tracee started her career in retail and worked her way up from an Assistant Manager at Aeropostale to the Business Development Manager of Apparel at Sears. With 10 years of experience, she demonstrated skills in marketing, staff training, and change management. Yet when Sears eliminated hundreds of positions in 2016, Tracee was laid off.
After being contacted by MicroTrain, Tracee decided to take advantage of her time off by gaining certifications through the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act. When explaining why she decided to complete her training at MicroTrain, Tracee stated “I heard about [WIOA] through my outplacement, but they made it seem like we had to do a lot of the leg work...MicroTrain guided me through the whole process. I was really appreciative of that.”
Once at MicroTrain, Tracee took ITIL and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt classes and studied hard to receive her certifications. In addition to the new skills she learned, Tracee took advantage of MicroTrain’s career services by going through a job search workshop. “I think the class really helped,” Tracee said. “The instructor guided us on how to set up our LinkedIn and add our certifications. Doing that really helped my profile get noticed.” Adding her new certifications to LinkedIn made all of the difference as it got the attention of her new employer.
Now, Tracee is a Field Engagement Manager at a loyalty and marketing services provider in the Chicagoland area. In her new role, Tracee supports clients by training in-store teams on new loyalty programs. When reflecting on her MicroTrain experience, Tracee remembers the support she received from MicroTrain staff as being a great help. “Even when I didn’t pass my exams, they said ‘We’ll help you do this.’ They were very supportive.”