My credentials now afford me opportunities that may not have been previously available to me. I got to read amazing books, meet amazing staff and classmates, and learn so much relevant content.
Tiffany K. Barthelmy
Tiffany K. Barthelmy, a 2016 graduate of Ashford University, discovered a simple equation for academic success: “Desire plus opportunity allowed me to pursue higher education.”
The opportunity portion of Tiffany’s equation was furnished by her employer. As a Project Manager at Autotrader, a division of the Cox Media Group, Tiffany was able to take advantage of Cox’s participation in the Leader Development Grant program. Through the program, Ashford partners with businesses to offer tuition assistance to eligible employees who want to advance their education. The program is a win-win for both the employees who receive professional development and the companies that develop more knowledgeable employees.
The other half of Tiffany’s equation was desire and she was solely responsible for the drive that prompted her to return to school. Previously, Tiffany had earned bachelor’s degrees in both International Relations and Spanish. Her goal with those degrees was to find a position at an international organization. While working at Autotrader, however, Tiffany discovered a new direction.
“My career at Autotrader afforded me the opportunity to manage and oversee projects, which stirred up a passion that I did not know existed,” she said. “I enjoy working with groups of people to attain a unified goal. Getting a degree in Organizational Management with a specialization in Project Management seemed most appropriate. I was able to address both the soft and hard skills associated with the discipline.”
In February of 2015, Tiffany began her Ashford journey. “Ashford had the curriculum that I was interested in and it was the most convenient option as well. It catered to my time limitations; with a full-time job and extra-curricular activities, I had to find a school that would allow me to learn comfortably.”
Tiffany admits that she had “never been a fan of distance learning,” but she quickly had a change of heart during her time at Ashford. “The convenience of having a classroom wherever I went proved to be quite suitable,” she said. “I could learn on a plane, in a lobby, or in the comfort of my house. The online environment proved to be a great learning avenue.”
A little more than a year after she started at Ashford, Tiffany completed her Master’s program. She attended the graduation ceremony held in San Diego in May of 2016.
“Ashford helped me further my education,” Tiffany said. “My credentials now afford me opportunities that may not have been previously available to me. I got to read amazing books, meet amazing staff and classmates, and learn so much relevant content. I now have new experiences to take with me on my personal and professional journeys.”