Talking to Your Employer

Do Your Research

  • Look into your company’s policies on tuition reimbursement or similar programs.
  • Explore the backgrounds of those who will need to approve your request—do they have MBAs? Identify your advocates and relevant examples of success.
  • Be mindful of your organization’s budgetary timeframes.
  • Pay attention to program application deadlines.
  • Consider potential tax deductions that might affect your net cost.

Prepare Your Talking Points

  • Frame your case in terms of your organization’s interests rather than your own.
  • Consider some of the company’s challenges and describe how the skills—strategic thinking, a broader perspective, improved communication, fresh management and leadership techniques—you will enhance through the Carlson Graduate Certificates will help you address them.
  • Be specific: Mention particular plans or projects and tangible career development milestones that the Graduate Certificates will propel you toward.

Demonstrate Your Commitment

  • Assuage your employer’s fears that you will leave after finishing your degree, perhaps by signing a formal retention agreement.
  • Propose how you will change your schedule to balance your work and school without sacrificing quality or output. Make assurances that you will adjust your plan if anyone believes your work is suffering.

Take it Step by Step

  • Start with your closest workplace mentor and progressively move toward your target decision makers. By getting each person along the way to endorse your idea, you will build momentum and consensus that will increase your odds of success.
  • After you have received approval, be sure to follow up to ensure all formalities have been completed, thank all involved, and maintain the relationships you have established throughout the process.


Build your personalized case for sponsorship—download our sample sponsorship request document to guide your strategy.


Download Sample