JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- For Brightway Insurance Customer Service Team Lead, Katrina Adams, pursuing a Business degree was something she had started, but she had put her own education goals on the backburner so that she could put her children through college.
Adams started working at Brightway four years ago and wanted to fulfill a desire within to not only get better at her trade, but also to further her career. She completed coursework through USLI University* then spoke to her manager about what else she could do to move up the ladder, and her manager encouraged her to take advantage of the Tuition Assistance Program Brightway offers to full-time employees who have worked for the company for at least one year continuously. It was then that Adams decided it was time to finish what she had started many years ago.
“If it hadn’t been for Brightway's tuition assistance, I probably would not have gotten the idea to go back to school. I had a multitude of credits toward a bachelor’s in Business already, so I started enrollment into classes so I could complete my degree. Brightway’s offer of tuition assistance is a great benefit and it allows me to continue my education,” said Adams. “I'm very appreciative of that. I've learned so much in all the programs."
Adams is attending Florida State College at Jacksonville and said she has 10 more classes to take to earn her bachelor's degree in Business. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, she was able to work from home and take courses online. She successfully completed some classes in April, looks forward to her new courses and appreciates Brightway's assistance through it all. She anticipates she’ll graduate by the end of 2021.
"This is my second completed term that I've taken advantage of the Tuition Assistance Program,” said Adams. “The process is very smooth. I just make sure I stay on top of my academics, submit my documentation and it's a seamless process.”
When employees wish to apply to the program, they go through their managers to request acceptance into the program and provide Brightway’s Human Resources Department with information on the courses they plan to pursue prior to enrolling in them. Once they complete the coursework, they submit their transcripts and receipts for tuition, books and other academic-related fees to HR. Once HR reviews the paperwork, employees receive reimbursement in their next paycheck.
“The process is really simple and easy,” Adams added. “Every time I'm reimbursed, I turn around and invest it in myself. It's a wonderful thing, and I’m very appreciative of it."
While Adams is pursuing a degree that she can apply in her role at Brightway, one of the unique attributes of Brightway’s Tuition Assistance Program is that employees can pursue education in any field or program they wish. So, if employees want to be a nurse or an engineer, they can pursue such a degree with Brightway’s support.
“To be eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program, an employee must be full-time and have worked for our corporate office for a minimum of one year and be in good standing,” said Brightway Senior Director of Human Resources, Linda Hill. “We may reimburse an employee a maximum of $3,000 for undergraduate coursework or $5,250 for graduate coursework in a calendar year.”
"I'm happy that they did put the tuition reimbursement in place,” said Adams. “I feel like I'm moving forward in my life. And I feel like I'm being super productive at work and in my personal home. You always have to have that balance, so I'm just happy that resources are available to me.”
Being a full-time, working mom, Adams says the key is to prioritize and stay ahead of everything.
“Staying ahead is how I balance it all, and also I don't bite off more than I can chew,” she said. I'll take two to three classes at a time, and that way I can balance them with my work schedule, my personal life and also invest in myself and successfully take advantage of the investment from Brightway."
She added, "Brightway is a family oriented company. That's one thing that I do love about it. I love how personal the owners are and how personal Leadership is to make sure everybody is in a position to be successful, whether that's in your position at Brightway or it's in your future. The Leadership here really cares and believes happy people produce more. And, when you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to be successful. That's one of the things I love about Brightway, tuition reimbursement and working here. It makes you feel like someone cares, so let me go that extra mile."
When asked what advice she would give to those who want to go to school but need a way to pay for it, she suggested, “If you don't have the financial resources to get money as far as loans or things of that nature, you can invest in a company like Brightway. Get into a position that offers tuition assistance. That way you can make wages and build your education at the same time."
The Tuition Assistance Program is one of the many benefits Brightway provides to employees. Click here to learn more about other benefits the company and working for Brightway.
About Brightway Insurance
Named one of the Best Places to Work in Northeast Florida for the past two years, Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty distribution company that sells through a network of franchises and independent agents throughout the U.S. The company is among the largest Personal Lines agencies in the country and has been recognized as a Franchise 500 company by Entrepreneur for seven years. Founded in 2008, Brightway has since grown to over 200 across 22 states serving customers in all 50 states, and we’ve been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in Northeast Florida by the Jacksonville Business Journal for 11 consecutive years. At Home Office, our employees are focused on delivering holistic business support that empowers agents to sell more.
Brightway employees enjoy:
- Competitive salary
- Paid time off
- Medical/Dental/Life/Disability Insurance
- Market-leading 401(k) with 4% match
- Tuition reimbursement regardless of course of study
- Comprehensive paid training
Most importantly, they enjoy a family-based culture of inclusiveness where they can build positive, supportive relationships with co-workers, customers and agents.
Learn more about open positions at Brightway and starting a career with the company at Brightway.com/careers.
*United States Liability Insurance Group (USLI) is one of the many insurance brands that Brightway Insurance Agents represent.