If you currently are a college student, you may feel that the last thing you want to do is pursue additional degrees. Or maybe you feel the opposite and would love to continue your education, but the cost is a barrier. Don’t think you have to give up on pursuing your goals! If you are a working professional looking for your next growth opportunity, additional schooling may seem like a promising step. Here at ONEOK, we believe in lifelong learning and offer a continuing education tuition reimbursement program for full-time employees. A great example of the benefits of this program is the success of processing operations manager, Oyetunde Oyewo.
"My career goal was to better understand the business side of the energy industry, as my undergraduate and first graduate degrees are in engineering," said Oyewo.
Yes, you read that correctly. He has multiple degrees and just earned an additional Masters of Energy Business degree last spring. Oyewo has high expectations for himself, according to Joe Steffens, director, pipeline operations in Medford, Oklahoma, and Oyewo’s former supervisor.
"He has always wanted to learn as much as he can to help him develop in both his current role and for future opportunities," said Steffens. "Education at work and from academics has been a priority for him, and receiving his master's degree has been an important goal of his. It’s great to work for a company that not only sees the value that can be created by encouraging employees to further their education but also to provide a means to help them realize their goals."
Oyewo, who has worked at ONEOK for a little more than eight years, started his Master of Business Administration studies in the spring of 2014 while working in Pipeline Integrity in Tulsa. Soon after, an opportunity arose for him to assume a new role in Mont Belvieu, Texas. After taking a few semesters off from school to settle into his new job in a new state, Oyewo resumed his MEB program studies in the fall of 2015. When an opportunity to move to Hutchinson, Kansas facility came up, he lacked only one course. Most classes were online, but he had to attend residency seminars in person.
"The support and encouragement from my supervisors also contributed to making the tuition reimbursement program application a worthwhile experience," Oyewo said. "The financial assistance, as well as the support of my family (pictured above), supervisors and teammates across the three roles I have had during the program, helped me to keep a steady pace."
We hope Oyewo’s story inspires you to pursue your education and career goals. At ONEOK, we know that providing the time, resources and opportunities for our employees to build upon their strengths and skills is essential to our success as a company. It’s just one way that, we retain a dynamic workforce and attract potential employees to our team who will fuel the future of ONEOK.