Middle-Aged Custodian Graduates College And Lands Dream Job

by Rebecca Landman
Rebecca is a writer living the Los Angeles dream. She loves hiking, music, and crocheting on her couch to the background lull of Netflix. She believes our world is complex. By sharing and listening to each other’s stories, we unpack that complexity layer by layer, learning more about who we are and how we want to live our lives. She writes to keep learning.

Last month, Michael Vaudreuil graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute along with so many other undergraduates in his class. Vaudreuil’s situation, though, was a bit different than the rest, as he graduated at age 54.

In his past life, prior to the 2008 financial crisis, Vaudreuil ran his own 24-year-old plastering business. Once the economy took its unfavorable nosedive, Vaudreuil lost everything. So, he took the only job he could find, on the custodial staff of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Once on staff, he was afforded the privilege of taking classes for free, and began studing mechanical engineering.

While completing his degree took a bit longer than it might have taken other students, this survivor graduated to all sorts of amazing fanfare. News outlets all over the world shared his story of incredible perseverance.

Though most folks responded to his story with praise, some severely doubted that, at his age, he’d ever land a quality job.

This week, Vaudreuil proved his haters absolutely wrong. He was offered a dream job he likely would have never thought to pursue had his life not taken all of those unforeseeable twists and turns.

Keep reading to learn all about Vaudreuil’s new dream job.

[H/T: The Washington Post]


In 2008, Michael Vaudreuil’s 24-year-old plastering business floundered.

Unable to weather the consequences of the time’s economic crisis, he was forced to close shop and search for other opportunities.

With debts to repay and a family to support, Vaudreuil took the only job available, as a custodian at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

While the pay wasn’t great, the job did have one helpful perk — Vaudreuil was allowed to take free classes.

Vaudreuil began studying mechanical engineering in his non-working hours, and just last month, graduated with his undergraduate degree.

janitor graduates

Since graduation, this 54-year-old’s story has since been shared all over the world.

While most folks showered Vaudreuil with praise for taking productive steps toward carving a new future path even after his past crumbled down, others were not so nice.

janitor graduates

Vaudreuil’s haters shared all sorts of pessimistic thoughts, certain he’d never find a good job at his age, despite having his new degree.

As he told the Washington Post, “That stirred the fire in my belly.”

janitor graduates

However, these haters’ thoughts didn’t get the best of him for too long.

The sheer volume of media coverage surrounding Vaudreuil’s graduation story sparked all sorts of different job offers to flood in his direction.

janitor graduates

Ultimately, Vaudreuil had his pick of dreamy jobs — a lucky break for someone whose luck had previously fallen so far out of favor with the powers that be.

This champion ultimately narrowed down his decision, choosing to accept an offer from Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut — a multibillion-dollar company!

He’ll now be an engineer with their aerospace manufacturer’s Production Integrated Product Team.

Also, oddly enough, back in 1982, Vaudreuil had actually completed an associate degree in aeronautical engineering. However, at the time, he’d chosen a career path that veered away from his passion, and more toward the practical.

Now, it’s as if the universe has rerouted him back toward that initial love — an opportunity he’ll likely cherish like none else.

mand and wife

When life dealt this man a rough hand, he embraced every new opportunity that came his way, and years later, has finally landed his dream job.

What do you think of Vaudreuil’s story? Have you ever landed your dream job? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Please SHARE this amazing comeback story with other folks in your community!