To supplement his work at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), Samuel Paul recently earned his second master’s degree.

“I got my first master’s degree in engineering management from National University in San Diego, California, in January 2011,” said Paul, a test engineer at BCBSNE. “I got my second master’s degree in computer information systems from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, in June 2020.”

Paul used BCBSNE’s tuition reimbursement program to earn his Bellevue University degree. BCBSNE partners with the university to offer the Bellevue University Learning Advantage program (BULA).

BULA provides tuition reimbursement to eligible part-time and full-time employees. Program highlights include direct payments to the university and tuition reimbursement opportunities for employees’ immediate family members.

“I have to say that it is a great benefit our company provides,” said Paul. “Education is something that is very expensive in the USA, and this assistance program played a key role in my pursuit of a master’s degree in computer information systems.”

The tuition reimbursement opportunity wasn’t the only motivating factor to earn his second master’s degree.

“I was motivated to broaden my computer science knowledge and expand my skillset to further my career prospects and growth,” said Paul. “This master’s degree has helped me develop my expertise to design and build a database, build mobile applications and understand the concepts of cloud computing.”

He has been able to bring what he learned in the classroom to his work at BCBSNE.

“My work involves analyzing and understanding business requirements, executing test cases that cover a wide range of scenarios and ensuring the software built meets user requirements,” he said. “As test engineers, we are tuned to find gaps in the development process and improve upon it. My degrees have widened my perspectives and equipped me with the understanding to think from a developer’s perspective on how systems can be built.”

Even though balancing work, school and life was a challenge, he got it done.

“It involved dedicating weekends for completing assignments and reducing my Netflix screen time,” said Paul. “My wife was a huge support throughout the program.”

To read more stories like this one, visit Team Blue.