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Upfront Tuition Coverage Is a Game-Changer for Medtronic Employees

MAPS program helped remove barriers to education; Candi Sneed becomes first link in a chain of future engineers

Upfront Tuition Coverage Is a Game-Changer for Medtronic Employees

MAPS program helped remove barriers to education; Candi Sneed becomes first link in a chain of future engineers

Published 02-22-24

Submitted by Medtronic

Medtronic MAPS program

Candi Sneed had always been passionate about pursuing higher education and a career in engineering. However, the cost of tuition and the lack of flexibility in traditional academic programs have been a barrier for her. That was until she discovered the Medtronic Advancement Pathways and Skill-building (MAPS) program.

MAPS is a powerful program for Medtronic employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico to take control of their education and career development, starting on day one of employment with no strings attached. The program pays 100% of tuition directly to eligible academic institutions, allowing employees to pursue their academic goals without needing to cover the cost of courses up-front. Employees have access to 90 online undergraduate degree programs.

Candi, a Senior Analyst at our Tempe, Arizona facility, jumped at the opportunity to take part in MAPS. “I was excited because there were no upfront costs. It was a game-changer for me,” she said.

She immediately enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering program at Arizona State University. The program was specifically designed for working adults, with flexible schedules and online coursework that allowed her to balance her work and academic commitments. While initially apprehensive about returning to school after a long gap, the support Candi received from MAPS and her professors helped ease her nerves.

“I find that I can convey technical concepts more clearly, fostering better collaboration and understanding amongst my team. The technical knowledge and soft skills I’ve gained through this program elevated my job performance and positioned me well for career advancement here at Medtronic,” said Candi.

We know that degree requirements can be a barrier to talented candidates, including ethnically diverse groups and veterans, when it comes to advancing their careers. Candi is among the first group of MAPS graduates and obtained her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2023. Her story is just one of many that have emerged from MAPS, which has helped hundreds of Medtronic employees pursue their academic goals and advance in their careers by removing barriers to education.

The best part of her experience? “My 11-year-old daughter wants to be a software engineer and my teenage son wants to design lifesaving equipment for first responders,” she said. “I am thankful to be that first link in our chain of future engineers.”

February is Black History Month, and the Medtronic African Descent Network is celebrating with the theme Ubuntu meaning, “I am because we are.” It is a collection of values and practices that people of African origin view as making people authentic human beings. Read more stories of how Medtronic is driving impact year-round in the Global Inclusion, Diversity & Equity annual report.

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In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary.

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