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Global Leader G4S and AMU Team Up to Educate Security Employees

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By Melanie Conner, APUS Alumni Affairs Liaison and Joshua Rich, AMU Graduate

G4S is one of the world’s leading, integrated security companies, specializing in providing security and related services across six continents. The UK-based company is active in about 90 countries and with over 570,000 employees, it is the largest employer on the London Stock Exchange and has a secondary stock exchange listing in Copenhagen.

With over 25 percent of its employees being veterans and a large number of current Reserve and National Guard employees, G4S was already familiar with AMU. When company executives examined the overall cost and advantages to their employees, they agreed to partner with AMU in 2017.

That gave G4S employees the opportunity to take advantage of tuition benefits and earn certificates or degrees online, and there are a number of G4S employees taking advantage of the partnership.

G4S Employee Joshua Rich Soon to Earn His Master’s Degree in Management

Joshua Rich G4S final
Joshua Rich

Joshua was recently promoted to Senior Manager, Training & Development at G4S, and he is now finishing his master’s in management. He will be the second graduate from the AMU/G4S partnership and the first graduate from a master’s program. Benefits of the partnership include a dedicated admissions team, a prior learning assessment for academic credit, a convenient online format and experienced, respected faculty.

Joshua decided to pursue a degree in management with organizational leadership as his concentration. He is a firm believer in the adage, “Education is a lifelong journey.” After Joshua completed his undergraduate studies, he felt prepared to tackle job opportunities head-on, but a certain level of work experience was often needed for some of the roles he desired.

Joshua says, “I’d gained career experience, but I felt the need to learn some additional educational theory behind management best practices. I decided to pursue a master’s degree in management with organizational leadership. I believed this degree would provide the right balance of educational theory with a blueprint for practical application to my current role and continued career aspirations.”

As the senior manager of training and development, Joshua’s responsibilities include assessing training needs, developing customized curricula, conducting training seminars, facilitating virtual instructor-led training certifications, proposal support, and writing/editing publications to support learning and development. Additionally, he is the training center coordinator for G4S Secure Solutions (USA)’s First Aid, CPR and AED training program. He provides support and guidance to instructors within the organization’s field offices and national headquarters.

Joshua was inspired to start his career in training and development due to the mentors he had at every stage of his career. He notes, “Admittedly, I did not always grasp the lessons my mentors were sharing at the time, but in retrospect, I have a better understanding today. While I believe we all have potential for greatness, that potential can go untapped without the proper resources and opportunities. Teachers and trainers made a difference in my life. I wanted that opportunity to do the same for someone else.”

The Importance of Embracing the Career Journey

Joshua’s advice to others is to embrace the career journey. His career path was unconventional; he started as a high school substitute teacher and later transitioned into the private security industry. The security company that he worked for had a job opening for a trainer and wanted someone who had prior teaching experience.

Joshua says, “I applied for the job and my career path seemed to ignite from that point forward. Without that perspective, I would not be as relatable to people who are either starting their careers or making career changes. Those experiences have helped me to become more in tune to the benefits of both training and professional development opportunities.”

Joshua also notes that the knowledge he acquired for his master’s degree has been helpful. Although, he knew his management degree was relevant, initially, he was not sure how his degree would fully translate into his day-to-day responsibilities. However, after completing his first class, the correlations between his career and AMU coursework were evident.

Subsequently, Joshua shared that he was able to view projects and staff meetings through a different leadership lens; he developed a better understanding of the rationale behind many of the management policies and procedures. With this newfound knowledge, he recommended ideas that were in alignment, with industry best practices, and forward thinking.

He gives credit to Kim Slaughter, a senior admissions representative at AMU. Joshua says, “She is an incredible admissions advisor and counselor to speak with because I was very transparent about my apprehension to taking classes online. At the time, I was a new dad and working full-time; I did not have money to experiment with for education. She provided a detailed overview of how AMU’s program would work with my schedule and the expectations the university would have of me in turn.

“Everything Kim shared that day has come to fruition; the professors have been great to learn from and my interactions with classmates has been extremely beneficial. I quickly realized that many students are juggling heavy workloads and personal responsibilities. We’re all pushing towards completion of the program and advancing our respective careers.”

At present, Joshua is working towards the completion and publication of his first book by 2019. The book highlights the benefits of mentoring programs within K-12, college and career settings. Additionally, the book explores how a company’s focus on corporate social responsibility can in turn have an ecological domino effect upon improving employee and student retention rates.

Melanie Conner is a Student and Alumni Affairs Liaison at the university. Having worked in higher education for almost 10 years, Melanie enjoys cultivating relationships with students and alumni. She has undergraduate degrees in education from Germanna Community College and in sociology from the University of Mary Washington.

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