PROGRAM COORDINATOR (2017 - Present)
“Real” job position: Product Learning Lead, Dealer.com
How did you first get into the learning and development world?
I worked for Starbucks for 8 years after college, where they have a strong learning culture – both to keep up with the latest beverages and processes, and to expand employees’ knowledge of how they select, buy, roast, and pair coffee. After taking on the role of learning coach, my favorite part of the job became helping other employees learn the art of making perfect foam, how to knock out 25 drinks in less than 5 minutes, or how to deescalate a challenging customer situation. It prompted me to pursue a masters in Organizational Learning and Development, which has allowed me to work for innovative companies like SumTotal and Dealer.com/Cox Automotive. Now I just make lattes in my kitchen and fully focus on creating learning experiences that help people improve their engagement and effectiveness in their jobs.
What is the must have book or resource sitting on your desk right now?
Likely on a trail with my boyfriend and our dogs. We love finding local, less traveled places to explore but are also working on the NH 48. If there is a stream, a swim hole, a view, or just some crazy shaped boulders, we’re in.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to someone just entering this line of work?
Grow your learning toolkit – get as much exposure to different training and delivery techniques as possible. Take free or cheap online courses, look for example eLearning courses and templates, research games and activities, and attend in-person lectures, seminars or even presentations at your own company. Don’t be afraid to emulate what works well and intentionally avoid doing what doesn’t. When you have a diverse set of ideas of what learning can look like, and you develop the skills to build them out, you can approach each learning/training opportunity with a focus on what’s best for your audience. If developing online tutorials is all you are comfortable with, each problem might look like it could be solved with an eLearning. However, if you’ve been exposed to things like gamification, videos, microlearning, interactive webinars, virtual and augmented reality experiences, social learning, etc. the sky’s the limit.