When Liz Abitante began her journey at Ashford University*, she already had an undergraduate degree under her belt. Nevertheless, she knew that continuing her education and increasing her knowledge could only benefit her in the long run. So when the right opportunity presented itself, Liz jumped at the chance to return to school.
“I knew that I never wanted to get to a point where I stopped learning, and I felt like it was the right time in my life to jump into a program and dedicate the time needed to be successful,” Liz explains.
At work one day, Liz found out that her employer, T-Mobile, participated in Ashford’s Leader Development Grant program. Under the terms of the program, T-Mobile’s tuition assistance benefits combined with a grant from Ashford to cover the costs of a master’s degree.
“I learned about the tuition assistance program one day at lunch through other people that were doing it,” Liz explains. “They were loving the program and the experience with Ashford, so I decided to look into it. I called, got all of the information, and on that same phone call, signed up.”
Looking for a business degree that would help her progress in her career, Liz opted for the Master of Arts in Organizational Management at the Forbes School of Business & Technology™. Balancing school with a full-time job wasn’t easy, but Liz was able to handle all of her responsibilities by maintaining a structured weekly schedule – a process that was simplified by some of the tools Ashford provided.
“One of the great things about Ashford and this program is that you’re able to see up to six weeks ahead so you see what’s coming,” Liz says. “If you have a vacation, you can plan ahead.”
A T-Mobile manager when she began her program, Liz was able to apply what she learned about organizational management to her current position.
“It was so exciting to me because I wanted to be an inspirational leader,” Liz says. “I wanted to learn about different management styles, and going through some of these classes where they’re getting you excited about how to be that kind of manager, it really allowed me to apply it right away.”
Liz completed her degree in 2017 and attended the commencement ceremony in San Diego in May of that year. She is looking forward to exploring all of the new opportunities that her master’s degree can provide her.
“I think it really puts me at an advantage against other applicants when I’m applying for a job now,” Liz says. “I have this degree and all this wonderful knowledge that I can apply in my future.”
She also has a little advice for anyone else who is thinking about returning to school.
“I feel as though going back to school is always a challenge because it takes up a lot of time and a lot of energy,” she says. “You’ve got to be fully dedicated, but at the end, it’s worth it. So feel confident that you’re doing the right thing by making that move.”
* Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus