TDS-U: Investing in future leaders

TDS strives to ensure their associates feel passionate, driven, and cared for within the organization. One of the ways iit fosters opportunities to gain business knowledge and career growth is through TDS Telecom University (TDS-U).

TDS-U is a three-year program developed to invest in associates who display the aspiration, ability, and attitude to be the next generation of leaders. A key component in the development of effective leaders is well-rounded insight and knowledge of multiple facets of an organization. Associates who are selected or choose to participate rotate annually through various company roles.

Today we’re highlighting one of those students, Dan Brown.

Dan was working as a talent development coordinator in Human Resources before he started TDS-U. However, the draw to gain knowledge of different areas, grow as a leader, and solidify future career interests made him pursue TDS-U.

“There’s not a whole lot of situations in a typical career where you can take three different jobs in three years. TDS indicated that there would be a lot of support in terms of mentorship and good opportunities at the conclusion of the program.”

Although he began his TDS-U journey in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, he knew navigating the trickiness would be worthwhile. “This program is touted and recognized for fostering people that are going to be the future leaders within our organization. So, I was eager to be a part of it.”

As a second-year student, Dan has gotten used to that “new associate” feeling. His first position was in Customer Care Operations (CCO), and over the course of a year he worked in three different areas. He moved swiftly from consumer sales to financial services and finished his first year in repair.

“I saw the gambit of how we sell our products to customers, learned about our billing processes, and how we keep our products and services working. I was lucky enough to be involved in many large and small scale initiatives during my time in CCO.”

After a short stint in IT as a systems administrator, he has spent this year in network operations as a supervisor. “In my current position I have some direct reports, which has been my first experience with leading people in a corporate sense. Additionally, it’s been a great opportunity to interact with some of our largest business clients,” Dan remarked.

When asked what about the program has surprised him the most, he gives credit to the leaders and associates on his numerous teams. “Trying to adapt to all these different jobs and situations has been a big learning opportunity. There’s no shortage of support in this program and that has been instrumental to my success,” Dan said.

Dan notes how working throughout the company allows one to better understand the intricate behind-the-scenes processes of each area. You get to see that, “…TDS really thrives on promoting people from within. Making connections and creating a network can lead to several potential jobs in the company.”

Finding opportunities to display your strengths and being willing to ask questions are key to creating a worthwhile TDS-U experience. For anyone interested in joining the program, Dan advises them to take everything in stride. “Be prepared to handle different ambiguous situations and take advantage of every resource at your disposal, because they are meant to help you.”

As he nears his third and final rotation, Dan is eager to continue growing his career. “Learning something new every day never gets old. I never wanted to pigeonhole myself into a certain career track, so it’s been fun letting fate decide my roles and seeing where that takes me.”

If you’re looking for your next career move, check out opportunities with us:


Written by Celia Reid

About TDS Guest Author

Official news and alerts from TDS Guest Blogger.
No comments yet.

Leave a Comment