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Possible discrimination against a UOP grad?

By jpbr ·
I'm an eMarketing professional (until I was recently laid off) within the pharma industry and had completed my degree from UOP while working. As I understand the market might still be a little soft, I feel in some instances, I might be discriminated against as I received my Bachelor's from UOP. Keep in mind I've project managed challenging CRM programs, have managed several downstream resources including offshore groups, handled projects in the millions and have solid references. I've been in pharma for approximately 15 years with 5 years of PM experience and looking to break out of the PM mold but feel I'm being slighted, without anyone outwardly admitting to it. Any insights?

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Are you reading discrimination where none exists?

by Tigger_Two In reply to Possible discrimination a ...

I think that there have been some issues with UOP degrees in the past, but I also think that a lot of that was more due to the average HR person not understanding the value of an online education. The education paradigm has been a more difficult shift than say, enterprise computing.

At the point you are at in your career, your education really is a footnote to the whole of your experience. My husband held BS degrees from a good brick-and-mortar school that is locally well respected. His degrees were in Mathematics and Economics. What mattered to his employer was that he could design and build application solutions for complex business challenges. They didn't really care about his degrees.

What matters in your resume today is your Project Management skill set, your years and familiarity in the pharma world and your flexibility in managing teams and people. I think that the issue you might be facing is really more your desire to break away from project work.

If you have never heard of, you might want to check them out. Their program is faith based so if that is an issue, only consider them as a resource for links. I am in a small group currently that uses their approach to finding work that is truly relevant to the job seeker.

One of the things that I really like about their approach is that it forces you to really consider if you want to go to your next role trading time for money. You may be fine with that, and there is nothing wrong with it. But it really sounds more like you are looking at making some fundamental changes around what you want to be doing in your next role.

Yes, the market continues to be soft, but that doesn't change the fact that you are a solid candidate with a proven track record, regardless of where you got your degree. If PM wasn't acting so strange, I would invite you to PM me- I have an e-copy of the Crossroads workbook. Even if you don't do a small group, the book has a ton of good information that will help you to clarify what you want from your next employment and position you to get it. I think you can also download it from their site.

I'll close this long winded response with this thought- you *could* be the reason you are feeling this veil of discrimination. If the thought is with you as you go through your job search, it could be read by others as a lack of confidence in your skills. If that is the case, you need to take some time and recognize that no one cares about your education. They DO care about your solid track record.

Good luck in your search!

Edit- clarity

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by jpbr In reply to Are you reading discrimin ...

Thanks Tigger_Two, I appreciate your insights and will check out!

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JP, a couple of things to keep in mind

by Tigger_Two In reply to Re:

Job hunting can be a totally soul destroying experience. As you go through the process, make sure that you have a good support system that can keep you energized and will let you vent about just how much it bites.

The Crossroads program is sponsored by a number of churches all over the US. It might be worthwhile to see if you can find one near you offering a small group environment.

Another good thing to check for is a Job Transitions group. They are most often sponsored by churches as well but are really dynamite resources for support and networking.

Another resource you might not have thought of is local or national associations that speak to the work you do. PMI probably isn't a first choice if you are looking to move away from the project management role, but I know that there are some great marketing groups out there. There might also be an association of pharma professionals. If you can find a group that is aligned with your career goals, it might be worthwhile to get involved. If nothing else, the networking opportunities will be good.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on Crossroads as well.

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