Matt Mauer was at freshman orientation in August at the College of Mount St. Joseph when he learned of a company, Education at Work, hiring college students that would not only pay a nice wage, but would offer to pay up to an additional $6,000 a year of college tuition, based on the student’s GPA and courseload.
“I needed another job to help pay for college and then I heard the company say they were also offering tuition reimbursement on top of a salary,” Mauer said. “I called on it right away.”
Mauer, a 2012 graduate of Elder High School and Price Hill resident, was a member of the first training class of students for Education at Work, a non-profit company founded by former Convergys president and CEO Dave Dougherty as an opportunity to bring jobs back to the United States that may have been outsourced to other countries, while creating employment for college students who can provide high-quality skills. Currently two companies, Macy’s and Cincinnati Bell, contract with Education at Work for students to perform customer service duties such as following up on phone installations or helping customers place orders. Mauer’s training put him on the Macy’s line where he helps customers when they have questions with their orders.
“I’ve always had outdoor-types of jobs in landscaping and this is my first ‘inside’ job,” Mauer said. “I’m really enjoying it because it’s all college students, so everyone is very laid back and the employer understands the need to be flexible with our work schedules. I feel lucky to have found this job as a college student.”
Education at Work hires students from local colleges, but the Mount will be the first Cincinnati campus expansion to open a call center in Delhi. The SC Ministry Foundation awarded a grant to the Mount to fund a portion of the program’s start-up costs and the initial scholarships for Mount students.
“The Mount’s investment to provide this opportunity is another way we are trying to help our students afford a Mount education and lessen their student debt,” said Tony Aretz, Ph.D., president of the Mount. “The Education at Work concept not only offers employment, but it’s also an incentive for students to maintain a higher grade-point average while earning real-life job skills that employers seek.”
Mauer, who is studying international business, agrees. “This isn’t just another job, but a stepping stone for me to be successful in my career later in life,” he said. “That’s what they want for us—a successful start that will help us become career ready.”
The College of Mount St. Joseph is an undergraduate and graduate Catholic college that provides an interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional curriculum emphasizing values, service and social responsibility.