Participant Story: Ruth Maust

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The transition from college to the “working world” can be tough.  It often leaves many in a position that they’ve never experienced. Empowered with a degree, new ideas, inspiration and (possibly) fear, recent college graduates are often filled with anxiety about what to do with it all.

For Ruth Maust, PULSE provides a safe place to try something new and test her capability.

“Any transition will have its challenges, but PULSE provides us with the people and the setting to process the newness,” Ruth said.

The newness for Ruth stretches into many areas of her life; her setting, her current industry and her job description to name a few. She serves in her PULSE placement at Green Building Alliance as the Research and Resource Coordinator.  She has no prior work in her industry. Still, she is positive about the learning potential it gives her.

“My hope and expectation is that I’ll be a much more effective young professional by the end of the year,” said Ruth. “Not so much in terms of climbing the professional ladder, but in terms of good communication, meaningful work, valuable connections and making a positive contribution to something. PULSE definitely attracts people interested in those things.”

PULSE attracts such people because of its dedication to life-long learning and development. Each week, participants gather for seminars  to further develop their social, cultural, professional and personal experiences. PULSE participants also engage in community service projects. Rather than leaping from student to professional, PULSE bridges the gap with continuous self-reflection, intentional community and learning.

Not only is Ruth in a new professional setting, but her surroundings are quite different as well. She grew up in Indianapolis, IN and studied chemistry at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. Before making the leap to Pittsburgh, she knew nothing about the steel city.

“One of my favorite things in Pittsburgh is the murals,” Ruth shared. “Whenever I get a chance I stop to take pictures of them. Something that has surprised me is how distinct some of the neighborhoods are.”

Only a third of the way into the program, Ruth already identifies with the lasting effects of PULSE.

“The best part of PULSE by far is the group. I genuinely enjoy everyone’s company, and we know how to have fun together. I continue to learn with this group of people.”

Story by Sarah Spicuzza) Davelaar, alumna of PULSE 2011-2012.

Read more stories about the Participant experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.