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Tuition reimbursement and leader support help Lada Yang pursue her degree

Lada Yang comes from a family of eight children, four of whom have at least a bachelor’s degree. With the help of Securian Financial’s Tuition Reimbursement Program, Lada is on her way to becoming the fifth family member to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Lada, a senior administrator in Business Operations, began her career at Securian in April 2019 as a contingent worker. Just three months later she was hired fulltime. It was during her onboarding that she first learned about Securian’s tuition reimbursement program; but she didn’t act on it right away.

It took a new supervisor’s support and encouragement — and knowing she’d get financial help through reimbursement — to get her back to the classroom. Lada graduated high school in 2012 and had attended Saint Paul Technical College shortly thereafter, but she didn’t finish her degree until she was working at Securian.

“My supervisor, Matt Dooley, was so helpful. He encouraged me to pursue my degrees. He has been a tremendous supporter,” Lada said. “He’s great about giving me advice and tips for balancing work and school.”

Lada received her associate degree in accounting from Saint Paul College in December 2022 and is now working on her bachelor's degree in accounting from Metro State University.

Matt, Business Operations supervisor, said it took several conversations to encourage Lada to first finish her associate degree. “Once she had that, we talked about next steps and attending Metro State. I graduated from there and thought it would be good fit for her. A bachelor’s degree would be an asset to broadening her career perspective,” Matt said.

Tuition reimbursement program

“Our Tuition Reimbursement Program is a tremendous resource,” Matt noted. “We have a couple other team members using it.”

Tuition reimbursement is available after one year of employment for associates who achieve their performance expectations. It covers costs for external courses and programs at accredited colleges, universities and vocational schools.

Balancing work, life and school

Balancing work, life and school is challenging, Lada admits, especially now going to school fulltime and working fulltime. It helps that most of her classes and schoolwork are online for flexibility.

“I talk with my advisor at school and Matt at work. They offer advice on making sure I’m caring for my mental health, and on practical things like how to balance my time to get things done,” Lada said.

“It’s quite a challenge, but I know, it’ll be worth it,” she said. It will be worth it to not only Lada but also her parents, who have been her biggest inspiration in life and work.

“My parents always demonstrated and stated that ‘working hard will take you to where you want to be.’ That is an inspiration for me till this day. It was hard to understand from the very beginning, especially when I was little, but as I grew older, these words hit me differently, in such a positive way.”

Lada looks forward finishing her degree and finding a role in Securian’s Accounting Department.

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Securian Financial’s tuition reimbursement program described herein is based on the current benefit amount and requirements as of the publication date. It may be subject to change in the future.

Lada Yang and Matt Dooley are Securian Financial employees and therefore have a financial connection to Securian Financial. Their statements were give freely.

DOFU 2-2024