Concord, NH – On Sunday, June 10, 2018, Granite State College celebrated the graduation of more than 500 students from its associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs at the AllWell North Complex in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Among the honored graduates were two Bank of New Hampshire employees: Jennifer Schaffner and Elizabeth Brothers from Laconia, New Hampshire.
In 2016, Bank of New Hampshire and Granite State College established a partnership that provides 100% tuition assistance for eligible Bank of New Hampshire employees who enroll at Granite State College. Schaffner and Brothers are the first two Bank of New Hampshire staff members to finish their degrees.
Jenn Schaffner, a long-time Bank of New Hampshire employee, is just one of the staff members taking advantage of the education assistance benefit.
“Because of the partnership with Granite State College, I could worry less about paying my tuition and student loan debt because my tuition is covered. The amount of money that I was able to save by using this education assistance is absolutely incredible,” said Schaffner.
As a Business Management major with a Human Resources minor, Schaffner finds that her coursework has helped her gain confidence as she grows her career at Bank of New Hampshire.
She explains, “I am constantly using what I learned in class at work—it’s just so relevant. Working full-time while being a full-time student is tough, so when I was able to apply what I learn, it just reinforced that going back to school as an adult student was 100% the right decision.”
Elizabeth Brothers is another Bank of New Hampshire employee taking advantage of her education assistance benefit by pursuing a degree in business.
“I was extremely nervous to go back to school after all these years with work, motherhood, and everyday life. After just a few weeks in my Organizational Behavior course, I realized that this couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. Effective July 1, 2017, I was promoted to Associate Vice President of Retail Lending! My education at Granite State College is a contributing factor to my success and has helped me become the type of leader that I want to be,” said Brothers.
The enhanced education benefit serves as an extension of the organizational culture at Bank of New Hampshire and speaks to their core values as an employer of choice. Kathy Nelson, Associate Vice President, Recruiting and Employee Relations Officer, explains:
“So many of our employees are looking to better themselves personally and professionally. We have respected colleagues that have been working in banking since they were 16 or 18 years old and have decades of experience, but just never had an opportunity to go to college. Our education benefit and partnership with Granite State College gives them a chance to go back and get that degree not only for their own personal achievement, but also to just enhance their knowledge to be used in their jobs.”
“Supporting our employees in this way gives them another reason to say they are proud to work for Bank of New Hampshire.”
In a celebration following Commencement, leaders from Granite State College and Bank of New Hampshire came together to honor the employees and their special accomplishments. Schaffner graduated summa cum laude as a member of the College’s Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society and Brothers graduated with high honors.