Flexible Classes for Busy Employees
Anthony Ashford started college at 18, playing NCAA Division III basketball, but he put his degree on hold to pursue business opportunities, start a family and coach basketball.
He has since worked at Abbott for nearly 13 years, most recently as a production specialist on the team that produces Similac ready-to-feed infant formula. He has trained and mentored about a dozen new hires over the years. Now, he's taking the next step to develop his own career after starting coursework with FreeU to earn a bachelor's degree in business management.
"FreeU by far has been the smoothest process," Ashford said. "It fits a busy, working family employee who wants a higher education. I’m already incorporating teachings in my work. I can only imagine what’s possible as I move forward."
His motivation to earn his degree comes from his 18-year-old son who is a freshman in college, his 15-year-old son who is on the honor roll, his 11-year-old daughter who has earned school district honors and his wife, who has a master's degree.
"I want to practice what I preach to my family, that education is key," Ashford said. "I want people to see that even if life has been busy and stopped your college path, you can use those past experiences to get back on that path."
His goal? "To take my years of Abbott experience along with my degree to really make a true impact as a leader at this company."
Lacey Henry, a field clinical engineer in Abbott's Medical Devices division, is a busy mother to a 12-year-old son. She has an associate’s degree, but even though she's wanted to earn her bachelor's degree for the last 20 years she hasn’t found a program that offered the flexibility she needs to complete her studies and balance her work and personal lives.
Now FreeU is giving her the chance to do just that. Henry is pursuing a business major with the goal of ultimately obtaining an MBA.
"I'm so thankful Abbott has allowed me to do this," Henry said. "I don't know when – or if – this opportunity could come around again."