When Sundt employee-owner Allison Joseph earned her college degree earlier this month, she walked at the commencement ceremony without carrying the burden of student debt.
That’s because she used our company’s tuition reimbursement program to fulfill her long-standing goal of completing her education after years away from the classroom. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University’s Global Campus Program in Marketing and Organizational Leadership.
“Without Sundt’s tuition reimbursement program, pursuing my degree would have been impossible,” said Allison, a Senior Marketing Proposal Specialist in our Sacramento office. “When I went back to school I was a single mom with two pre-teen daughters. Any money that could be spent on college would go to saving for my girls’ education, not mine. Because of Sundt’s generosity, I could focus on my family, work and school, and I am finishing debt-free.”
Employee-owners must have worked for Sundt for at least one year (2,000 hours) prior to the start of classes to be eligible for the tuition reimbursement program. The company reimburses approved participants 100 percent of the cost of basic tuition for courses they pass at a state community college or university, plus books and incidental fees. The maximum reimbursement is $10,000 per fiscal year.
Allison began working for Sundt in 2012. After learning about the reimbursement program, she talked with her children and future husband about her going back to school. They were all in favor so she started researching programs and began taking classes in 2014.
“Not finishing college has always been a major regret of mine, but I was busy raising my girls and building my career, and it just wasn’t a priority,” Allison said.
For the past few years, Allison had to constantly juggle work, school and home life. She even studied and took a final exam while on her honeymoon.
“There hasn’t been a weekend or many evenings in the last three years that haven’t involved school work,” she said. “The nature of my job is that my workload varies greatly depending on when statements of qualification and proposals are due, so it has been a balancing act of getting my school work done ahead of time when I knew a crazy work week was coming. I would use my drive time home from the office to switch gears and think about what assignments I needed to work on that night.”
Education was never far from Allison’s mind; she says she chased the dream of a college degree for 20 years. She believes the shared experience will inspire her two daughters, ages 13 and 15.
“It was hard work, but the pride I have in this accomplishment and in what my daughters have learned through being on this journey with me is incredibly rewarding,” she said.
Allison Joseph is a Sundt Senior Marketing Proposal Specialist. This item is part of our series of posts about career-related subjects.