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Businesses rely on the strength of their workforce. For that reason, the most forward-thinking and innovative companies understand the value of investing in their employees. Ensuring that staff members have affordable access to education could make all the difference to a company’s bottom line. Telecommunications company Comcast is pioneering the way by offering their employees tuition reimbursement benefits.

Sharon Welgoss had been a Comcast employee for a long time when she made the choice to undertake a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program at University of Phoenix. As a mother of two with a fast-paced career, deciding to continue her education was not easy. While she had always wanted to further her skills and knowledge, she had yet to find a good time to get started and life got in the way.

However, her mindset changed when she learned about the tuition reimbursement options offered by Comcast. Welgoss could undertake an 18-month MBA program with her employer covering the majority of the fees. With the financial implications lessened, she took the opportunity to advance her education and build upon her bachelor’s degree in accounting, which she earned back in 1996.

The move quickly proved to be career enhancing. In an unexpected turn of events, one of the self-assessment assignments within her leadership courses propelled Welgoss toward a new career pathway under the Comcast brand.

“I’m more of a people person than I realized. I did some career soul searching after that assessment,” explained Welgoss. The eye-opening assignment encouraged her to identify her intrapersonal strengths and use this knowledge to look for new ways to advance her career.

Welgoss realized that her finance job did not utilize her skill set to its best advantage. Since she boasted relationship-based strengths, she wanted a role in which she could make use of them. She spoke to her mentors and enquired about the best options for her. She set up appointments with department leads to learn more about their sectors. By understanding other departments on a deeper level, Welgoss was able to make an informed decision regarding where her talents might be best suited moving forward.

Today, Welgoss works as senior manager of service delivery and employee experience at Comcast. In this role, she oversees the service and staff benefits for the company. Without the opportunity to further her education and learn more about her skills and strengths, Welgoss may not have made the move into this new area, one that suits her talents and personality.

Many employees are unaware of the tuition assistance schemes their employers offer, according to Jay Titus, vice president of the Workforce Solutions Group at University of Phoenix. He works with hundreds of businesses across the United States to provide excellent education opportunities to staff. Titus believes that employer-sponsored programs benefit both staff members and the wider organization.

“We have been having this same conversation with leading employers across the country, and Comcast continues to serve as a great example of the part an employer can play in contributing to the success of their employees,” Titus said.

Caze Barnes is another Comcast employee who took advantage of the tuition reimbursement program. He completed his associate degree program at University of Phoenix. Last summer, Barnes took the opportunity to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Thanks to the employee benefit, the decision was an easy one.

“Utilizing both my tuition benefit from University of Phoenix and my employer’s tuition reimbursement program helped me to finish my degree,” he explained. “Even though I was working full time here at Comcast, University of Phoenix made it easy for me to complete my degree and balance work and life. It was a great experience.”

Now in her new role, Welgoss embraces the opportunity to give employees the development chance she had. She explained that the support of her mentors throughout her education made a huge difference to her overall experience. This is a lesson she wants to pass on to other leaders.

“I couldn’t be happier with the role I have that is a result of the same initiatives I’m helping other employees discover,” said Welgoss. “My manager was such a huge inspiration while I was working on my MBA. I felt like [he] backed me and championed for me.”

About University of Phoenix

In 1976, Dr. John Sperling started University of Phoenix to provide adults with more options to achieve higher learning. This educator and entrepreneur understood the economy on a deeper level and quickly recognized that it favored those with the advanced training and skills achieved at a university.

The University offers higher education opportunities to help students foster their knowledge and skills. From orientation to graduation, every step of the student’s journey is driven by their needs. The curriculum combines academic theory and professional practice, a proven way to reinforce skills and experiment with real-world applications.

University of Phoenix is known for its online education. Since every University of Phoenix student represents a different background, experience and perspective, educational approaches are adjusted to give context to lessons. Whether a student chooses to learn online or at one of the campuses, the goal is to give them the context to apply their newfound skills to any situation. Career services, social networks and innovative learning platforms support the student experience.

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