Mystee Thompson, junior lead at SYKES DeLand, wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she entered college. She tried nursing, and then dental assistance, but decided both were the wrong fields for her. She likes crunching numbers and briefly thought about accounting, but decided she didn’t want that for her life’s focus.
“I was searching for degrees,” she recalls, “trying to find something I was passionate about. Then I saw technology. And I thought, ‘I love computers. I love technology. I love building, taking things apart.’ “
She took her first class and was hooked. “This has to be it,” she recalls thinking to herself. Today she’s certain – she’s found her passion. She sees her dreams of becoming a network administrator within her grasp as she completes her bachelor’s degree at Seminal State College of Florida.
SYKES is helping her make her dreams come true through the Tuition Assistance Program. Through the program, eligible employees receive up to 80 percent reimbursement for coursework with a passing grade, per calendar year.
Says Tim Dugan, senior director HR Benefits and Shared Services, “SYKES is committed to helping our team members work, learn and grow as members of the SYKES family. The Tuition Assistance Program is one of the many opportunities employees have at SYKES to sharpen their knowledge and skills, whether it be through internal training, career growth, or support for higher education.” Since 2011, SYKES has helped more than 180 colleagues pay for their tuition.
“SYKES’ Tuition Assistance is very helpful to me because I’m paying out-of-pocket right now, hoping to get financial aid but I don’t have it right now,” says Mystee. “It’s such a blessing and I’m definitely grateful.”
One reason that working in technology appeals to Mystee is that she’s always loved repairing things. “I was the ‘Miss Fix-It’ of the house,” she says. “If something was broken I would put it back together.”
She loves this problem-solving aspect of her job at SYKES as well. “I love talking to a merchant and we get their problem solved, and they appreciate it. We get what they need and we can move on and help the next person.”
Mystee feels supported by her team in her studies, and her supervisor helped her rearrange her work schedule so she could attend a tutoring session for a difficult class. “Everyone encourages me and tries to help in whatever way they can so I can achieve my goals.”