This story is a part of our ‘A Day in the Life’ series that highlights the career journeys of 2U employees across the world. Throughout February we’re celebrating Black History Month and featuring members of one of our Business Resource Networks: the Black Engagement Network. Andrea Walton believes in people because she believes in herself.
Andrea was 15 years old when her first daughter was born with a radial club hand. Within a matter of hours, she went from being a teenager to the mother of a special needs child. She dropped out of high school to support her family to make ends meet.
With her mind set on continuing her education, Andrea went on to earn a GED and, after her second daughter was born, graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
She didn’t stop there.
Through pure grit and determination, Andrea accomplished a goal that she never imagined attaining: an MBA. Shortly thereafter she was introduced to her dream career of human resources.
Since then, Andrea has spent more than 18 years working in a wide variety of HR roles at The Coca-Cola Company, Target, and Nestlé. And now, she’s here at 2U, Inc.
What’s it like to be new to the company and how has being a part of 2U’s Black Engagement Network kept her inspired? Read on for a day in the life of Andrea Walton.
What is it about 2U that made you want to work here? What attracted me to 2U is its commitment to help people achieve their educational goals. I love that! I went to the University of Phoenix for both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Although most of my classes were in person, a good percentage of them were online. I was able to work, be a good mom, and finish school. That’s what 2U aims to do, too–provide the opportunity for more people to access great education no matter where they are in their lives.
How would you describe your job? My role is to enable employees and leaders to bring their whole selves to work and then to achieve the goals of the company. I do that by connecting business goals to the talents and capabilities of our people. Do you want to achieve the impossible? Inspire, grow, and challenge your team.
What is it about HR that gets you out of bed each morning? People. We all have a story of what has brought us to 2U. Some were recruited, some applied, some came through a partner. Whatever our paths, we bring that drive every day to work, together. I am inspired by employees who fight for their personal and professional goals.
What do you find most rewarding and challenging about your job? As a relatively new hire, learning the company and leading at the same time. That is a balance.
Why did you join the Black Engagement Network? I love belonging to affinity groups. I led and was part of a couple at Nestlé. For me, it is about connecting with those that I identify most with and those who are allies for what I stand for.
Black History Month started this week. What does BHM mean to you? Although I celebrate being an African American woman every day, BHM offers a time for our country and communities to celebrate the countless contributions of African Americans. I am my ancestors’ wildest dream.
What makes you proud to work at 2U? I’m proud of our ability to provide access to education that ultimately changes the lives of thousands of people. That is what education has done for me and why I’m proud to work here.
Interested in learning more about job opportunities at 2U? Check out our Careers page.