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Andrew McGough

Andrew McGough


Portland, OR USA

"When we help everybody and everybody has a fair chance, we all wind up in a better place."

Career Roadmap

Andrew's work combines: Business, Non-Profit Organizations, and Helping People

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Day In The Life

Executive Director

I help create resources and opportunities for job seekers to succeed in their careers.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    General Studies

    University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Graduate Degree

    Urban Economics

    Roosevelt University

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be an Executive Director:

Bachelor's Degree: General Studies

Graduate Degree: Urban Economics

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

  • 1.

    I grew up in southern Chicago.

  • 2.

    After high school, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, so I decided to take some time to travel around Europe to explore and reflect.

  • 3.

    When I got home, I spent some time doing maintenance work in an apartment complex. I realized I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life, so I decided to go to college.

  • 4.

    I earned my bachelor’s degree in general studies with a concentration in political science.

  • 5.

    After graduating, I worked for a law firm in Chicago—I worked on a bankruptcy lawsuit where the company came out fine but the workers were left without pensions or benefits.

  • 6.

    The experience motivated me to help other workers avoid that same fate—I got a job working in contract negotiations for the city of Chicago through which I learned more about labor organizations.

  • 7.

    I went to graduate school and earned a degree in urban economics with a focus in labor issues.

  • 8.

    I’ve since spent 25 years in workforce development—I currently work as the executive director of Worksystems, which is the Portland-Metro Workforce Development Board.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Myself:

    I don't know what I'm doing.

  • How I responded:

    I didn't experience much noise from others, but I did struggle with my own doubt in myself. When I was first starting out in the industry, I doubted my abilities. It took a little while to get my footing and gain confidence. You have to remember that no one starts out fully confident and knowledgable. It's okay to ask questions. There really are no dumb questions when you're trying to figure out how to do your work.