Helping employees climb the ladder through education
“I don’t think I would have gone for my degree without the Mercury tuition-reimbursement program,” said Joe Pausma, who began his career at Mercury Marine in facilities engineering in 2008. Pausma often squeezes homework into lunch hours at his desk, but says it is worth the effort as he envisions advancing from technician to manufacturing engineer.
Sandy Brodnax, who wants to grow beyond her position in Mercury’s international exports group, shares Pausma’s sentiments. She’s currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in business while caring for her three children and aging parents. Brodnax wants to build on her accounting degree from Marine Park Technical College, just as Pausma wanted to build on his associate degree in mechanical design. Both are about halfway through their respective programs at Marian University and plan to graduate in the next few years. Both agree that education is an important benefit, and they appreciate the opportunity of continuing their education.
Amy Weisner, who started at Mercury in 2002 administering extended service contracts, has worked her way up to a management position and now wants to earn a master’s degree. With Mercury’s assistance, she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and in two or three more years, while juggling work, marriage and a two-year old, she plans to complete her MBA online at Southern New Hampshire University. Weisner enjoys applying what she learns to new areas of her current position and hopes the degree will help her move up at Mercury.
Jackie Kottke reached her goal this year, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on operations management. She came from technical college to Mercury in 1987, performed data entry, then moved to planning and to outboard engines, parts and accessories. She is currently a project manager. Kottke said she enjoys strengthening her ability to manage projects and plans to add another certification. Though reaching her goal took seven years, Kottke said she received continual encouragement and support from her supervisors.
“I see myself as a lifer here,” she said. “Mercury is a great company, and they’ve treated me well.” Investing in facilities and technology is necessary for any business to grow. For Mercury Marine, investing in its employees to achieve personal and professional growth is equally important.