Senior Spotlight: Shelby Sammons

Shelby Sammons is a recent NKU graduate who says she’s gotten a leg-up in her career after working with EAW for almost two years.

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Shelby Sammons is a recent Northern Kentucky University graduate who says she’s gotten a leg-up in her career after working with Education at Work for almost two years.

“EAW set me up so well,” says Shelby. “I’m picturing having to start fresh right now, with no experience, and I feel like I’m so much further than people who are my age and graduating.”

Shelby graduated this spring with a degree in organizational leadership and a minor in communication. Her college journey took many turns, including a switch in studies. Originally, Shelby was studying elementary and special education. Once Shelby made that switch, she says EAW helped her gain the career skills she needed to succeed in her new major.

“In my head, I thought, ‘I’m not going to have to be prepared to get a job for a couple years because I’m going to be a teacher, and you can’t really start looking for a teaching job before you get your degree,’ but then I changed my major,” Shelby says. “I was pushed out of my comfort zone and I learned a lot of networking and communication skills – both tied to my major.”

“I felt like support was always here,” Shelby says of EAW. “They treat me like I’m a professional, just like them.”

While changing majors may have shaken up her college plans, Shelby says EAW allowed her to feel more comfortable and secure in her new career path.

“Before, if I would have walked into an office building, I would have felt like, ‘Oh I don’t belong here,’ but now it’s a comfortable space,” says Shelby.

Senior Spotlight: Robert Witt

Robert Witt earned approximately $19,000 in tuition assistance during the four years he was employed at Education at Work.

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Robert Witt graduated from Northern Kentucky University with his degree in business management this spring and earned approximately $19,000 in tuition assistance during the four years he was employed at Education at Work (EAW). 

Robert learned about Education at Work through a friend of his mothers. He had just begun his college career was applying to a various jobs when he learned about the opportunity at EAW. He says the tuition assistance plus a weekly paycheck caught his eye. Initially, Robert applied to Education at Work to receive a steady income but it transformed into something more – a true career that he was passionate about.

Robert found himself in a management role in his program which helped him gain a great perspective on what he wanted as a future career. “I was given the opportunity to lead our team and help delegate tasks effectively,” says Robert. Robert gained leadership skills, learned how to work in a team and how to network properly.

“EAW has given me the tools and experience necessary to network and help in my career,” says Robert. “The opportunities given to me have allowed me to network for success.”

Robert values the knowledge and skills he has gained through working at EAW but says he has an immense appreciation for his fellow coworkers as well. Working with a team helped Robert feel valued and included. “They care about me and helping me develop which is really important to me,” says Robert. During his time at EAW he has been able to watch his coworkers graduate and go on to do great things, with is something that he says he finds inspiring.

Once Robert graduates this spring he plans to get a job in HR role or a management trainee role to further develop his skills. “I just want to blossom into that great career that I know I can have,” says Robert.

Senior Spotlight: Jerylle Guanso

Jerylle Guanso is an ASU graduate who earned a degree in biological sciences and worked at EAW during all four years of her college career.

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Jerylle Guanso is an Arizona State University graduate who earned a degree in biological sciences this spring and worked at Education at Work during all four years of her college career.

After learning about EAW from a friend, Jerylle applied to her first job in college.

At EAW, she found a network of peers that allowed her to develop friendships and professional relationships.

“This is the first job I’ve had working with a lot of other co-workers,” Jerylle says. “At other jobs, I’ve worked with small groups, maybe four or five people, and they’re all who I’d talk to. Now, with EAW, I have a lot more people to interact with and people in the same branch as me.”

Jerylle says she learned networking skills, built her confidence and became adaptive to an evolving work environment while at EAW.

Jerylle earned more than $10,000 in tuition assistance and graduated debt-free.

She plans to pursue a career in the medical field and says that the tuition assistance she received from EAW is a huge financial relief and will allow her to achieve her career goals. Jerylle's dream job is to become a physician’s assistant. She enrolled in a physician’s assistance program - a career that she was inspired to pursue after watching her mother gain her degree to become a nurse practitioner.

Senior Spotlight: Anahi Parra

Anahi Parra has been a student with EAW for over a year and is among the first agents to work at EAW’s Downtown Phoenix site.

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“I’ve grown more into becoming a team player.”

Anahi Parra has been a student with Education at Work for over a year, starting during her junior year at ASU, and is among the first agents to work at EAW’s Downtown Phoenix site.

Anahi is an Arizona State University senior preparing to earn her degree in criminal justice with a minor in social welfare.

“It’s always been a field I’ve been super interested in,” Anahi says. “I wanted to give back to my community and I thought by majoring in this, with a social work background, might help me reach that goal.”

Anahi has always wanted to give back to her community in any way she can while also sticking with a field she loved. She is set to graduate in May, and looks forward to beginning her career within the criminal justice system.

Anahi joined EAW when it was just beginning in Downtown Phoenix which was the first offside location for EAW. Anahi found herself learning, adapting and adjusting alongside the program and other student employees.

“A lot of professional communication, I did gain, because I was able to be open with my supervisors and now, being here for over a year, going through different changes, I can be more adaptive and be more vocal and be more open with everyone,” Anahi says.

One of the benefits of an evolving program, according to Anahi, is learning how to take initiative with the rest of the team. Anahi has developed soft-skills, including communication and professionalism.

“I’ve also developed a lot of leadership skills,” Anahi says. “In the beginning, I was really focused on myself, and I feel like now I’ve grown more into becoming a team player and wanting to help everyone on my team.”

Anahi has earned more than $5,500 in tuition assistance, which allowed her to delegate other scholarship monies and financial aid to other things.

“It relieved a lot of financial stress,” Anahi says. “Because of the assistance, I was able to manage my finances better and pay for a bus pass and pay for my books, little things like that which I would have been struggling with.”

After she graduates, Anahi plans to begin applying for jobs in her field of study. She says the skills she learned and the support she has received has helped her along the way.

“Once I gave this job a chance, I started getting involved and vocalizing any concerns I had, I realized my team was there for me,” Anahi says.


Senior Spotlight: Abilash Madharam

In spring 2018, Abilash Madharam discovered EAW through a flyer in his advisor’s office at NKU. Abilash is now graduating with a degree in finance.

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In the spring of 2018, Abilash Madharam discovered Education at Work through a flyer in his advisor’s office at Northern Kentucky University. Abilash is now graduating this spring with a degree in finance.

He’s been with Education at Work (EAW) since the spring of 2018 and has earned more than $10,000 in tuition assistance.

Abilash was able to gain the real-world experience he needed within his field by working for Education at Work. His position at EAW not only complimented his major but also engrained the importance of communication and professionalism within a business setting.

“EAW has installed a lot of great knowledge about the real world, like how a real professional setting is,” says Abilash.

Along with these newfound skills, Abilash has been grateful for Education at Work’s tuition assistance program. “Being an independent student and paying for tuition assistance all by myself, EAW has helped me a lot,” says Abilash. “I’ll be graduating with a lot less debt that I originally thought.”

Abilash was appreciative of how caring and nurturing the program was at Education at Work. “Not a lot of companies invest so much time and energy into their employees, and I think EAW did show that they cared about me.”

Once Abilash graduates this spring, he’ll transition into a full-time role for one of our current partners! He originally planned on returning to his home town in Philadelphia but decided to stay when EAW was able to help him network and help him receive a full-time offer at a leading financial services company.

Senior Spotlight: Mohanad Warrayat

“Being able to graduate with no debt is amazing.”

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“Being able to graduate with no debt is amazing.”

Mohanad Warrayat is an Arizona State University senior who has grown with his program at Education at Work during his final year in college.

Mohanad has always loved outer space and while navigating college, he found the perfect major for him: aerospace engineering.

“It’s really corny, but I’ve been interested in space,” Mohanad says. “I didn’t really know how I wanted to manifest that, at first. Out of high school, going into college, I wanted to go into astrophysics, but one of my friends from electrical engineering recommended aerospace engineering so I thought I’d give it a try.”

Mohanad says his dream job is to be a team lead working on rockets for space exploration.

While customer service and technical support may not directly contribute to his major, Mohanad says he still gained important skills and experience from spending his senior year with EAW. Above all, he’s gained confidence and problem-solving tactics.

Mohanad says the phrase, “that’s not possible,” is never the answer with EAW, as there is always a way to solve the problem, even with help from peers or coaches.

“You have to be able to come up with an answer, and you learn how to do so confidently,” Mohanad says.

While Mohanad had developed valuable resume-building skills, learned to network with peers and management, and received personal support from his EAW team. Mohanad also received irreplaceable financial support during his last year as a Sun Devil before he graduated.

Mohanad has earned over $3,000 in tuition assistance and is graduating with his degree in Aerospace Engineering debt-free.

“I think just being able to graduate with no debt is amazing,” Mohanad says. “Finding a job that also offers tuition assistance, I thought, was really cool. And that’s why I applied.”

Working with customers from all over the world has left a significant impact on Mohanad professionally. He says he learned how to communicate with people of various demographics while on the job and stressed the importance of networking with his community of coworkers. Mohanad says he developed a mentoring relationship with his supervisors along with a network of friends.

“What surprised me was how open of an environment it was,” Mohanad says. “I thought it would be a lot more mundane. At my other job, I didn’t really look forward to coming in the next day. I think it’s because of how open this environment is, I’m able to walk into work each day without having to dread it.”

Senior Spotlight: Seth Cole

Seth Cole has worked with EAW for nearly ten months, with his team being one of the first to focus on technical care and software support.

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“I got a better college experience from working with EAW.”

Seth Cole has worked with Education at Work for nearly ten months, with his team being one of the first to focus on technical care and software support.

A senior at Arizona State University, Seth always knew he wanted to work in business, and he will graduate with a degree in professional sales from the W.P. Carey School of Business this coming May.

Seth found his way to professional sales after he developed a passion for public speaking and human relations while in high school. At ASU, he found a major that allows him to work in a field he enjoys while opening up job prospects. Seth says EAW further prepared him for jobs in his career and was flexible with his academic needs.

“I have a pretty chaotic schedule, I do a lot of work for ASU through clubs, I’m very involved, I do freelance work, so I needed something flexible that would fit my lifestyle,” Seth says. “That’s what EAW promised as a workplace for college students.”

For his last year in college, Seth got experience working with a collegiate workforce, helping him develop professionally alongside his peers.

Seth has gained skills in networking, communication, and problem solving during his several months with his program. He has learned to problem solve with his co-workers, as opposed to relying on supervisors and upper management.

“There are a lot of unique minds where I work and there’s this really good network of smart students who are able to help me sort through my thoughts on the problem,” Seth says.

Seth has earned approximately $3,500 in tuition assistance.  “It was that last bit to push me over the top,” Seth says.

During his previous three years at ASU, Seth said that even with scholarships and financial aid, he had to take out $2,000/semester in student loans. With the financial support from EAW, he has not had to take out another loan for his senior year.

“I was able to manage to pay off most of my student loan debt and that’s been a really big stress reliever.”

Even though Seth did not spend the majority of his time in college with EAW, he did grow and develop right alongside his EAW team, which was one of the first to partner with a multinational technical support and software service. During his final year as a college student, Seth gained professional skills which directly support his career field, and eased financial stresses along the way.

“It was a really nice way to spend my time in college and I got a better college experience from working with EAW,” Seth says.

Senior Spotlight: Emir Sabic

Emir Sabic is a theater performance major at Westminster College who will be graduating this spring after earning $2,500 in tuition assistance.

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Emir Sabic is a theater performance major at Westminster College who will be graduating this spring after earning $2,500 in tuition assistance during his time at Education at Work.

Emir spent six months at EAW after hearing about the opportunity through a family member. After being laid off at his past job, Emir saw this as a perfect way to gain skills and pay for school.

Emir knew a bit about EAW through his family member but was surprised to see how relaxed the environment was and how EAW put academics for their students first.

“As a theater major that was really great because I also had rehearsals, so being able to work around that made it way easier to be in shows and work at the same time,” says Emir.

During his time at Education at Work, he acquired many skills. He especially values his ability to communicate to customers effectively. Emir says, “EAW has taught me to really converse with people to better solve issues. I’ve learned how to communicate effectively with customers when they are frustrated.” Alongside his customer service skills, Emir says that he has also gained leadership skills and teamwork skills.

After graduation, Emir dreams of acting on a professional level as soon as he can. He hopes to pursue his dreams in either Chicago or New York.

Senior Spotlight: Christopher Fried-Ochoa

Christopher heard about Education at Work by job searching online. When he saw the job posting, he thought he would be the perfect fit for the role.

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Christopher Fried-Ochoa graduated with his master’s degree in international affairs and global enterprise from the University of Utah this spring.

Christopher initially heard about Education at Work by job searching online. When he saw the job posting, he thought he would be the perfect fit for the role.

“I applied for the real time analyst job, and I already had my 4 year degree, so I wanted to go into a job that would work well with my academics and that would allow me to graduate at the speed I wanted to, and EAW fulfilled that mission from the get go,” says Christopher.

When Christopher first applied for the real-time analyst position, he was unaware of the tuition assistance program for students but was pleasantly surprised.

“It was a great experience to try new things out especially with all the benefits,” says Christopher. “It made me appreciate the job I was going into.”

During his time at EAW, Christopher earned $8,000 in tuition assistance from Education at Work.

Christopher says he deeply valued the professional experience he gained. He learned more about Microsoft Excel and how to work well in a team. Christopher also had the unique experience of having team members from across the country, which helped him develop his virtual communication skills before he graduated with his master’s degree.

After graduation, Christopher dreams of getting a full-time job in his field, specifically a government-type job in a foreign policy section, like the Department of State or Homeland Security. “I’m just trying to jump-start my career and be committed to it, and get going,” says Christopher.

3 Tips to Help You Work From Home Effectively

It’s essential to remain efficient during these times. Here are our 3 tips on how to keep working from home effectively.

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By: Brittany Collier, EAW Student Marketing Assistant

You may have been working from home for a while now, but it’s still a very different feeling! It’s not something that many of us are used to. It’s important to note how we’ve adapted to this great change, and how quickly we’ve done so. It’s essential to remain efficient during these times as we slowly ease back into our work environments. Here are our 4 tips on how to keep working from home effectively. 

Set up a designated workspace

Working from your bed sounds nice, but realistically, it might not allow you to get a ton of work done. Find a desk, or any flat surface like a table and chair to create a similar work atmosphere that you have in an office setting. It’s also important to distance yourself from places of distraction in your home. Create a designated space – you want to create a separation from work and home. 

Practice clear communication 

Now that we are social distancing, we have to adapt our communication as well. Luckily, with technology like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype, we have the ability to communicate with our bosses, managers, and team members like how we would in the physical office. It’s important to establish with your superiors what tasks need to be done that day, and have conversations about expectations while working at home. Technology is not a barrier to clear communication, it’s just a new form of communication with its nuances 

Schedule out your day 

Not being in the office can feel a little bit unstructured, so making a schedule can really help guide you as you adapt to working from homeWe thrive on structure in our lives, and without it we often feel lost. Schedules help guide us and give us the motivation we need through the day to get our work done. With your already established clear communication with your boss, you have your tasks lined up for the day, now all you need to do is plan them