“Deciding to go back to school was really about career growth and progression,” says Timothy Renner. “I had finished my associate degree many years ago, but I never really took that step to complete my bachelor’s. And I know the only way to move up is to really own your own development.”
Fortunately for Timothy, he works for a company that encourages employee development. Timothy is a Retail Store Manager at T-Mobile, where he has worked for five years. T-Mobile participates in Ashford University’s* Full Tuition Grant program. Under the terms of the program, T-Mobile’s tuition assistance benefits combine with a grant from Ashford to cover tuition and other educational costs.
“When I made the decision to go back to school, I was looking to see what partnerships T-Mobile had with different universities and I came across Ashford and the Full Tuition Grant. I was initially reading about it going ‘this almost sounds too good to be true, but I’m a little intrigued,’” Timothy admits. “I submitted the form online to get more information and found out everything was on the up-and-up.”
Timothy continued to investigate Ashford and was pleasantly surprised by what he found.
“The reviews on Ashford were really good,” he says. “I was really excited that it fit everything I was looking for as far as an online university. Between trying to have a work-life balance with a family and work, I needed something that allowed me the freedom to work around my schedule and my time without being tied down to a classroom specifically. The program at Ashford University was perfect: 5-week courses, everything was online. It was a perfect fit.”
Timothy enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration program at the Forbes School of Business & Technology™. He was impressed by the experience.
“The Forbes School of Business, the content of the classes: everything is just really relevant,” he says. “Nothing is outdated. It’s all very current and you can really see applications for it.”
The curriculum was so relevant that Timothy immediately saw ways to implement what he was learning into his work at T-Mobile.
“Almost everything that I’ve learned has been very relevant to my current job,” Timothy says. “In fact, when I was interviewing for my last position, I had just gone through a class and we were talking about SWOT analysis, so I was able to do an analysis of my team and bring that to my interview as something that I thought would set me apart from other people. And now, it has become a living document that I use with my current team to help coach them to be better associates.”
In 2017, Timothy completed his degree program and attended Ashford’s commencement ceremony in San Diego. With a bachelor’s degree in hand, he’s thinking about going for his master’s. But for now, he’s already seeing how his new degree is helping his career prospects.
“My degree from Ashford is going to help me,” he says. “It’s going to open up a lot more doors and opportunities. Obviously, when you’re applying for higher level positions, education is something they definitely look at in terms of what have you done for your own development.”
Earning a bachelor’s degree has also had an impact on Timothy’s personal life.
“I decided to pursue my degree as an example to my kids,” Timothy says. “I wanted to show them that no matter what age you are, that degrees are very important, especially for career growth and progression. And you can really set a goal and attain that goal if you work hard enough.”
* Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus