A majority of our part-time students have company sponsorship that usually takes the form of partial tuition reimbursement and/or acknowledgement of time to participate.
Here are some tips to help with securing sponsorship through your employer:
1. Understanding of your company’s policies.
Look for any existing company information on tuition reimbursement. If your organization has no formal policy, your company may offer financial compensation for professional development or training that may apply to degree programs as well. Find out if anyone else in your organization has received compensation for an advanced degree or if other companies in your field have helped employees with educational goals.
2. Identify the decision maker.
Who makes the financial decisions? Ultimately, you’ll likely need to approach and work with this person directly, but if he or she doesn’t know you well, finding an advocate may prove valuable.
3. Showcase your impact at work.
Collect evidence of your contributions and accomplishments over time to convey the positive impact you have made, currently make, and will continue to make on your organization.
4. Highlight the value your degree will bring to the organization.
With all you’ve been able to accomplish before earning your degree, think what you could do during and after your studies. Outline specifics of the curriculum for your employer to emphasize the new skills you’ll gain in everything from leadership to new technical skills and frameworks for strategic thinking and implementation.
5. Highlight the Master of Engineering program’s cross-pollination with other industries.
Our students come from different industries and job functions, so students are exposed to many different points of view and perspectives. The result is a dynamic environment where you glean insights on strategy and innovation that you might not be exposed to within the culture of your own industry.
6. Consider what else you might give back in exchange.
Some employers agree to offer financial assistance in return for an employment contract specifying a length of time you will remain at the company. Ensure that your conversation with the decision-maker is aimed at meeting both party’s needs.
Much of this article was adapted from a similar blog post for MBAs of the Haas Business School.