Heather Schrock, Human Resources Administrator at Maiker Housing Partners, had always planned on getting her master’s degree. “It was always a ‘someday’ kind of vision,” she remembers. When she learned about Maiker’s tuition reimbursement program, that ‘someday’ came a bit sooner.
After a year of continuous service, Maiker employees are eligible to receive a tuition reimbursement if they choose to go back to school. To qualify, employees must take courses that are relevant to their current job or a position within the organization that an employee could reasonably qualify for in the future. When Maiker’s Executive Director Peter LiFari had the opportunity to expand the company’s tuition reimbursement plan, he jumped on it will full board support.
“Earlier in my career, I was the beneficiary of a tuition reimbursement plan that assisted me in obtaining my MBA, so I understand the value and positive impacts of the benefit,” said LiFari.
Schrock first heard about the program when she was working as a Property Accountant for Maiker. She loved the organization but was beginning to realize that accounting wasn’t her passion. Schrock reached this realization as Maiker’s Director of Human Resources was leaving – allowing her to take on some additional responsibilities outside of accounting. This got her thinking about a future in human resources.
She remembers thinking, “This is what I want to do, this is it.”
When she applied to get a master’s in organizational leadership with an emphasis in human resource management from Colorado State University, she feared that her studies were too removed from accounting to merit a tuition reimbursement. But when Schrock expressed her interest in human resources to Maiker leadership, they supported her without hesitation and agreed to cover two-thirds of her tuition, leaving her very little to pay out of pocket.
“I don’t expect most employers would sponsor someone through the whole process of getting their master’s degree, especially in something they aren’t already doing at the company,” said Schrock. “But Maiker is pretty remarkable.”
At CSU, Schrock’s favorite courses were on human resource theory. By diving into the industry’s most complex legal and ethical scenarios, she was able to develop a thorough and objective understanding of the field.
As her expertise grew, she set her sights on the organization’s human resource vacancy. Once again, Maiker leadership was supportive. When she received her diploma, she began to transition into this role. On January 1st, 2021, Schrock officially became Maiker’s full-time Human Resources Administrator.
Even before she went through this program, Shrock knew that Maiker was special. Today, she is even more sure.
“I’m proud to work for an organization that believes in the power of investing in employees to further their career development,” she said. “I want all of my colleagues to consider how they can benefit from this program and advance their careers with Maiker.”