Work, School, Family, Growth: Here’s How to Make It All Happen

Q & A with Working Adult Student & Mom, Tiffany Borgstede

Enthusiasm can truly be contagious—like when we caught up with GameStop Manager of Store and Field Communications Tiffany Borgstede, who is embracing a time of personal growth and career development. Seeing how she is taking charge of her path and investing in herself…well, it’s hard not to be inspired!

When Tiffany began working as a store manager for GameStop seven years ago, she had left behind her first college experience in Alabama where she began a degree in meteorology. Before she knew it, work and family became her number one priority and her education took a back seat. But she’s given her own growth a starring role again since she began attending DeVry University last year, and is breezing right past what she once thought were barriers to reaching her potential.

There are challenges, to be sure, but she’s fueled by her goals, and even more so by the idea of setting an example—both for her kids and for the team she leads at work. Because Tiffany firmly believes that “Everyone should always be learning… strive to use every chance to maximize your knowledge, whether it’s a class here and there or a full program. Lifelong learning is how you grow.”

She began to fully realize the value of an education when she moved into her corporate role four years ago and discovered a wealth of opportunities she was interested in, but simply wasn’t qualified for—yet. Ultimately, while sitting in a meeting that was explaining the enhanced education partnership between DeVry and GameStop, her vision emerged. “I’ll write about all these benefits for store and field associates, but this is something I have to take advantage of myself.”

Though she wasn’t one hundred percent sure if this was really the right time, she decided to jump in and get the degree she wants and needs. Now with a few sessions behind her, Tiffany tells us that there are not only no regrets, but plenty of motivation:

Q: What challenges do you face as a working adult student and what helps you overcome them?

Tiffany: The biggest challenge is probably the same for most people in my situation: balancing work, life, and now adding in school. What you need to do is find the energy after working eight or ten hours, to go home to read, study, contribute to discussions and so on. You can’t just hope to find the time, you have to be intentional about it. What works for me is to set a schedule and stick to it. And to have the kids do their homework at the same time as I do mine. We all commit to that routine.

Q: What opportunities are you most excited about on your education and career path?

Tiffany: I feel confident that the degree I earn will help open a lot of doors. It can take me further down the track of my current career field or help me expand beyond it. And when I see other opportunities I’m working to be qualified for, I can see how my college degree is going to open up my salary potential, and that I’ll finally be able to be in the running for roles I’m really interested in pursuing.

Q: What highlights can you share about your education and DeVry University?

Tiffany: At the top of my list are the flexibility I’m experiencing with my schedule, and the support I’m getting from advisors. It’s been great that they made it super easy to get started, and they are also helping me maintain. That support helps me stay dedicated to the path I’m on, which is finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Management, and taking my courses online. What I’ve found is advisors have chosen to reach out to me when it’s a good time for ME, and that’s not necessarily when it’s a good time for them. That is the kind of support and communication I need.

Q: What would you say to your GameStop colleagues about going back to school?

Tiffany: I would stress that there really is no perfect time. You need to put yourself first—it’s not selfish. And, if I’d have known how easy it would be to do this, I would have done it a long time ago! In fact, I was married with children when I started this journey back in May, and now I’m a single mom, working full-time, going to school, and I am still sticking with it. It’s that valuable to me.

Tiffany Borgstede has made it a priority to develop her knowledge, skills and qualifications through education, and to show her kids and her team how it’s done. No doubt, she sets a great example for anyone seeking their own opportunities for growth!