‘It’s a gift,’ employee says of free Ivy Tech program

Author: Hilary Loso, Human Resources


Did you know that full- and part-time staff at Notre Dame can earn an associate degree of applied science in business administration, or a business administration technical certificate through Ivy Tech Community College free of charge?

Amy Walter, a former Building Services employee, learned about the program through colleagues at Holy Cross House a few years ago.

Walter did some research, met with the program coordinator, gathered her documents and enrolled in classes in 2016. Her first class was Business 101. “I was so scared, balancing working full time, family and the class workload,” she said.

Working full time, going to class and studying took a lot of sacrifice. Walter was gone from home two nights a week as she worked toward her degree. She even took on the third shift to make it all work. Her biggest supporters were her husband, Larry, and kids, Johanna, Paige and Cory (pictured).

Walter credits her Ivy Tech cohort as a source of support throughout the program. Seeing each other twice a week for class, they kept each other motivated. She recently started a Facebook group so they can all stay in touch and keep one another updated.

Following graduation, Walter transferred her credits to Indiana University South Bend. She is projected to graduate from there in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

With her associate degree in hand, Walter also began applying for office positions at Notre Dame, and she networked, making connections through Thrive!, an employee resource group.

It was during a Thrive! lunch pairing that Walter learned about a job opening in Development. She remembers looking up the position while at McAllister’s Deli on the lunch date and submitting her application from her phone before leaving the restaurant. From there, it was whirlwind, with phone interviews, in-person interviews and a job offer for the position of senior office coordinator, which she accepted in September.

Walter wants those considering the program to know this, “Look inside yourself. You are more than what you have become.” It’s a quote from The Lion King that she loves. (Mufasa’s ghost offers Simba this piece of advice.) Walter’s daughter, Johanna, decorated her mom’s mortar board with the quote.

Those interested in the Ivy Tech program are encouraged to attend an information session from 3-4 p.m., Wednesday, March 11, in W106 Duncan Student Center. To RSVP or to ask questions, contact AskHR at askhr@nd.edu or (574) 631-5900.

“It’s a gift,” Walter says of the program. She encourages others to take advantage of it. “You can do it.”

Originally published by Hilary Loso, Human Resources at ndworks.nd.edu on February 27, 2020.