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Former government worker offers insight to graduates

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As May draws near and many Bobcats are preparing to graduate, some may feel the pressure of becoming successful.

A seasoned professional with an extensive career in the U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wrote a book in hopes of teaching students lessons not taught at universities.

Brad McMurrey, published author and poet, organized the knowledge from his 30-year career into a consolidated list of actions students can take to make themselves successful. He said The Success Ladder can help students suffocating under the pressure to make something of themselves.

“When I started work, I saw all of these experienced people and they knew how to do all these things I’d never hear of,” McMurrey said.

He said students aren’t equipped with time management, project planning and leadership skills in college.

The author graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with degrees in mathematics. He became a civilian employee of the Navy, working on a project to track Soviet submarines.

As other team members left the project, McMurrey gradually took on more responsibilities until he became the project lead.

He took part in projects with DARPA, in addition to White House decision-making and anti-terrorism projects. He worked with the former National Security Advisor Admiral John Poindexter.

McMurrey said he wants to give new graduates the same information he wanted right out of college.

“I thought, ‘Why should everyone have to go through what I went through?’” McMurrey said. “It’s a lot of hard work, you know.”

He said his book is the best one out there for teaching people the actions they need to take to become successful.

“This is hundreds of things successful people do condensed into actions,” McMurrey said. “They don’t teach this in schools. Look, here’s a lifetime of lessons. Here’s decades of research all condensed right here at your fingertips.”