How One Blue Cross Employee Earned a College Degree While Working Full Time

Anyone who has earned a college degree knows both how rewarding the achievement is, as well as how much time and energy goes into it. The hours spent studying for exams, attending classes and completing assignments requires a good deal of dedication and commitment. Now imagine doing all of those things while also working a full-time job.

That was the exact situation for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employee Nathan Hogan, who worked full time while also attending Eastern University. The recent graduate (he received a degree in business management) took advantage of BCBSM’s tuition reimbursement program and other educational resources. Here is a little more about how Hogan, who is a senior account representative, balanced his educational and professional lives:

How long have you worked for BCBSM?

“I started as a customer service representative back in 2009. I was so excited to get my foot in the door and I learned so much that I ultimately became a team leader in my department. I knew that was just the start and that there was room for me to grow professionally within the company.”

What sparked your desire to go back to school?

“I wanted to make myself more valuable as an employee. I felt that with a degree, I would be better suited to accomplish not only my own professional goals, but the organization’s goals as well. After I found out about the tuition reimbursement program that BCBSM offers, I knew I was one step closer to getting there.”

What was it like—working full time while also attending school?

“Honestly, it was a huge time commitment. I was working full time during the day, then heading out to night classes or spending the evenings studying for exams. Luckily, BCBSM offers a variety of resources that helped, like access to a quiet learning center where employees can work and study.”

What was the biggest challenge?

“It’s obvious, but it was how little time there was in a day. Because my plate was so full, I was always looking for the best ways to make use of what time I did have. That motivation to accomplish everything I needed to get done taught me a valuable lesson in time management.”

Besides the tuition reimbursement, have there been other ways BCBSM has helped you grow within your career?

“Oh absolutely—Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is always offering resources to employees who have a desire to grow. The mentor program was a huge help for me, which is why I think every employee should take advantage of it. Even in my own department, my managers were always there to offer their insight and support. I was also able to attend online courses on everything from effective communication to changes in health care reform.”

For more information about careers at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, please visit bcbsm.com.

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