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Achieving Career Goals Through Tuition Assistance

By Ashley E.

With the support of Capital One’s tuition reimbursement program, and in partnership with Bright Horizons, a child care and education assistance provider, associates can make their education goals a reality. Learn how Ashley feels supported and encouraged to earn an advanced degree while working full-time and experiencing motherhood for the first time.

The last 7 years of my life have been full of bold decisions and changes. It all started when I moved across the state to start fresh and find a career where I could grow. After leaving a job that felt like a dead end, and trying out a few temporary and part-time positions, I accepted a role at Capital One, and it has been a truly life-changing experience. Now, I’m in a supervisory role, pursuing my master’s degree in digital marketing and Mom to a beautiful 9-month-old baby girl. With the support of the education and family care benefits at Capital One, I’m looking ahead to a new and exciting career path and the doors my degree will open for me.

A new role unlocks opportunities to grow

In 2014, I felt stuck and unhappy with where I was in my career. I had two college degrees that I wasn’t using and had been in the same position I had held for 10 years with no chances of moving up. I was seeking out new roles and opportunities, but they weren’t lining up. So, I left the Florida town where I lived half of my life and drove across the state to start anew. After a few months of working odd jobs, and finding my footing in a new city, I applied to a work from home call center agent role at Capital One and was offered the position. It was here that I found a job that gave me the fair pay, growth opportunities and respect that I had wanted, but never experienced in my previous roles.

Within 2 years of starting at Capital One, I was promoted to a supervisory role within my department and started working in the office, rather than remotely. This offered an exciting chance to get involved with both community and networking opportunities in the office. I immediately wanted to find ways to volunteer my time and put my education to good use. I attended onsite events organized by local chapters of our Business Resource Groups and connected with the chapter leads to deepen my involvement. I started out volunteering to write and share some of the chapter communications with members. Later, I took on additional projects with both the local and national HOLA chapters, like editing the monthly member newsletter. Through these experiences, I discovered a passion for digital marketing and communications and began thinking seriously about building a career in one of those fields.

Ashley, Capital One associate, sits at her computers at her home office talking about tuition reimbursement

Benefits that help further education goals

While having a one-on-one conversation with my manager shortly after starting at Capital One, I learned about the tuition reimbursement benefits offered to all associates for their coursework in higher education and associated expenses. Though I wasn’t ready to use that benefit yet, it was always in the back of my mind as something that I would come back to when the time was right. In March of 2020, I made the decision to go back to school and work toward a new role in digital marketing and communications. I had recently discovered that I was pregnant, and I was determined to use this moment to take advantage of the opportunity in front of me. Not only was I advancing my career, but I had a chance to teach my future child the value of perseverance.

After doing some research into our available benefits, I learned that Capital One would assist me in paying for a portion of my school fees. To obtain this reimbursement, I submit certain documents through an easy online portal, such as an unofficial transcript showing passing grades and proof of payment for tuition. Additionally, I learned that because of Capital One's partnership with Bright Horizons, associates can attend certain schools at a discounted rate. Taking advantage of the educational resources and benefits available to me as an associate made my goals financially attainable. I quickly found a program that I wanted to attend and enrolled to begin working on completing my degree.

Capital One’s partnership with Bright Horizons doesn’t stop there. Even academic coaches are made available to answer questions and provide insight where you need it along your educational journey. During the appointments, Bright Horizons coaches review your course work, help you design your pathway to success and plan out your next steps. These coaches are an incredibly valuable resource during the admissions process and can help break down what’s needed to put your best foot forward. They also provide college financing advice and resources like discounted program information, available grants and scholarships, and workshops for students and their families.

Support for a busy full-time associate, mom and student

I’m now juggling being a full-time employee, student and mother. None of this progress I’ve made would have been possible had I not been able to complete my graduate program online or had not been afforded benefits to help me with child care. Working from home, Capital One has given me the flexibility in my schedule to balance work and child care myself, saving me from paying for outside help. Having a baby is expensive and daycare can be a big part of that expense. For those days where I need the additional help, Bright Horizon Back-Up Care provides 15 free days service where a babysitter can help at home or I can have my daughter attend a local day care facility.

I have used Bright Horizons’ in-home childcare services on a few occasions when I knew I had a long work day ahead and needed the extra help. I felt apprehensive about having someone else take care of my child but they were responsible, respectful and caring with my baby. The peace of mind they gave me was priceless.

I’m currently 6 months away from graduating with my Master’s Degree, and I am so proud of the hard work I’ve put into furthering my education. I have been with Capital One for the last 6 years, and I hope to move into a marketing position within the company. With all of these great lessons, and the support of wonderful benefits that have made it possible, I’m ready to tackle a new career.