WORCESTER (CBS) — The custodian who graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute last month after spending nearly a decade cleaning the school now has a job at an aerospace firm, the school said Monday.
Michael Vaudreuil, 54, who earned his degree in mechanical engineering this year, has been hired by aerospace company Pratt & Whitney as an engineer on the company’s Production Integrated Product Team.
“I feel like I kind of won the lottery,” Vaudreuil said in an interview published Monday on WPI’s campus news publication, The Daily Herd.
Vaudreuil told WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager last month that he took a job as a custodian at WPI shortly after losing his home, business, and life savings in the recession in 2007. Once there, he took a tuition-free class the school offered to its employees. He was introduced to the world of lab work, and designed his own prototype of a reusable dust fuel cartridge.
Eight years later, he graduated with a class of students less than half his age.
Pratt & Whitney said Monday they are “proud to add Michael to our talented team!”
Vaudreuil credits his new gig in part to the media coverage he received.
“To the degree that it took off was a bit surprising,” he told The Daily Herd. “It was almost an out-of-body experience. You see this happen, things go viral—now it’s happening to me.”
He says he will continue his custodian job at WPI through June.