Title: Learning Specialist
Company: Children's Wisconsin
Brief overview of how you got into the talent development profession:
Prior to becoming a Learning Specialist (a.k.a. Instructional Designer) for a number of organizations in Chicago and Milwaukee, I was a video and multimedia producer several years. My initial introduction to training was through a multimedia production company; Media Dynamics, Inc.. Working with my mentors, John Platta and Ron Trilling, I gained some good best practices in this arena. I then went on to work with first instructional designer at a start-up company in Chicago that focused on industrial training. It was then that I realized that there was more to talent development. I eventually obtained my Masters in Adult Education from Capella University. Once I learned more about the science and methodology of engaging adult learners, I was hooked. Since then, I have had more mentors and colleagues that I continue to learn from every day. This includes my leaders Chris Jensen and Jean Young, and my fellow team mates in Learning and Audio Visual Services at Children’s Wisconsin. I love being in a field that continuously evolves and offers fulfilling opportunities in so many industries.
In what ways did you support our SEWI-ATD chapter in 2022?
As the Associate VP of Professional Development, I worked with Camille Parham to coordinate 4 impactful learning events for our members. I also provided feedback/coaching to representatives of United Way organizations for two sessions.
What did you learn from these experiences?
These experiences provided me with some great opportunities to network and demonstrate some of my strengths outside of my own organization. Connectedness was something that I was missing after becoming a remote worker in 2019. Working with SEWI-ATD gave me more opportunities to connect with my own coworkers as well as other colleagues in various areas of the talent development industry. I was able to gain experiences that helped me to become a better facilitator, strategic thinker and leader. It has also helped me to develop more self-assurance in areas that have challenged me in the past.
What recommendations would you have for someone who is thinking about whether or not to volunteer?
If you are someone newer to the talent development industry or you are considering making a change to another area of talent development, volunteering is a good way to meet people who can give you some insights and perhaps, even make a connection. If you are thinking about volunteering, but wondering about the time commitment, I would still reach out. Even if you are only able to volunteer for an event or two or offer your expertise in some way, the satisfaction of helping other professionals in our industry is worth it. Also, you never know who you will meet or where it will lead.