Student success story: Jennifer Kolde

by | May 27, 2022

Jennifer Kolde began her career in the HR field. However, after juggling caregiving responsibilities, she moved to Ohio and started a role as a salesperson at Macy’s in 2013. Within a year, she had been promoted into a salesfloor supervisor role and quickly advanced to becoming a training coordinator and then instructional designer and learning solutions designer for Macy’s, building courses and modules to help Macy’s sales, customer services, and collections employees perform critical elements of their jobs.

Nine years into her career at Macy’s, Jennifer was eager to keep advancing and wanted to pursue new opportunities. When Macy’s rolled out education benefits a few months ago, she decided to sign up for Pathstream’s Tableau Data Analytics Certificate. As she was working through the first course, one of her coworkers forwarded her an internal job opportunity that she thought sounded perfect. It was for a Labor Relations Coordinator role based out of Macy’s corporate office that would allow Jennifer to leverage her past expertise in HR. However, the job also required data analysis skills including the ability to generate reports, tables and graphs to reveal HR insights. Jennifer says that her experience in the Pathstream certificate is what essentially allowed her to ‘seal the deal’ and land the internal promotion. 

“Sometimes you need that final piece that puts you a step ahead of other candidates,” Jennifer says, “I landed this job in part because I knew what a pivot table was. Prior to taking the Pathstream program, I couldn’t have answered questions about pivot tables in an interview. Those skills were the cherry on top of my resume.”

 

“In my new role, I’ll be doing things like payroll deductions and I’ll need to make sure that those types of things are accurate. From the Pathstream course, I learned about how to clean data which will be essential in this role. I’m confident that they want pivot tables and heat maps with the data so that the data can speak for itself. Before I got access to this benefit through Guild, Macy’s had not offered anything similar through other universities or anything like that… in the Pathsream courses I took, the labs were helpful because they were hands-on. Pathstream taught practical, real world things. You described how these skills played out in real life and that was very valuable.”

Jennifer says that this education benefit has definitively made her a more loyal Macy’s employee.

“They’re really committed to having people advance their careers. It’s a great ROI for them. These programs help people get broader in their own roles and enable people to master some of the tools that are required to do our jobs better. And they also create a general feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment and you can say, ‘my company helped me do it and I didn’t have to pay money.’ That definitely increases my loyalty to my company. At Macy’s, it is part of the corporate culture to invest in their own people. One of our core values is to get better every day. And this offering is a very clear indicator that, yes, you really do have the opportunity as a Macy’s employee to get better every day.”

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