Meet the Team
In February of 2020, after nine years of teaching, I decided it was time for a change--but when I first started my journey of leaving teaching and transitioning to corporate, I didn't really know what that meant!
I felt lost, as teaching was the only professional experience I had ever had, and I didn't know if I could do something else. Turns out, there are a lot of options out there if you have the time to piece it all together. That's when I realized there were a lot of other teachers just like me...ready to make the switch, but maybe felt as I did: overwhelmed, unsure of where to start, and frustrated that all the roads out seemed to have expensive tolls.
I finally did find my way, and after job searching for four months, I was offered a position as a Sr. Instructional Designer with a major financial institution, which began my journey through L&D where I have worked as an instructional designer, technologist, consultant, and L&D strategist. This journey inspired me to start a new volunteer initiative-helping teachers make the jump to instructional design by providing free resources and webinars to help light the path.
After getting an English degree focused on technical and content writing, I began my career in Marketing but found myself laid off amid the Great Recession and turned to teaching abroad. Later, I also worked in HR/Operations, coordinating training and client functions, before teaching English for nearly a decade in public school settings. My main passion and interests in teaching were always technology, curriculum design, and later leading projects and mentoring new teachers, so when I found instructional design, it was "love at first sight". Being an alt-career teacher, I believed I could make a move to a new field, and I did! TPLD helped me but also opened my eyes to how many teachers don't realize how translatable and valuable their day-to-day skills truly are, and I was inspired by Sara's passion and the work of her and many volunteers who came before me to join this team and support.
I'm currently employed as a Learning Experience Designer with Landmark Healthcare, which is a part of Optum/United Healthcare Group. I love that instructional design brings together my passions for technology, data analysis, storytelling, games, project management, cognitive science, human performance, and learning new things!
I am a Senior Technical Instructional Designer who creates digital learning experiences with purpose. After a decade of teaching in international schools around the world, I transitioned to an ID role in the financial services sector, before making the move to tech and joining a software company. My career has led me to diverse communities of learners from Antigua -> Quito -> Hong Kong -> United States.
I am an active advocate for DEI initiatives in the workplace, and I live those values by instilling authenticity and inclusivity into my work. Outside of L&D, I am a voracious bookworm and the member of a feminist community choir.
I work as a Senior Instructional Designer and spend my days creating impactful eLearning, microlearning, Instructor-led training, and job aids. I wake up daily excited to take on new challenges, interact with new SMEs, and work on new opportunities that improve performance.
However, the journey to get there wasn’t overnight. After ten years in higher education, I decided to try something new. New tools, new audiences, new experiences. Like many leaving education, I was lost about what that new could look like until I discovered Instructional Design. As educators, we master a skill set that doesn’t always feel like a 1:1 transition into the corporate world.
To accomplish my goal, I spent the next six months spending my nights figuring out what this career transition would look like and what people did during their 9-5. It was an eye-opening experience to see how many teacher-specific skills people could get hired for. After six months of learning, working out loud, networking, and putting together a portfolio I landed my first paid opportunity. Resources like the TLPD were invaluable in preparing me for my new role.
After 13.5 years teaching high school and college English, Jess transitioned to a contract position as a corporate training specialist. After a year and a half contracting, she accepted a full-time position at Caterpillar Inc. as a Digital Training Specialist, where she focuses on designing internal trainings on the digital products her team supports.
I am a former teacher and current Instructional Designer with 9 years of experience as a full stack developer of in-person, eLearning, and hybrid instructional programs. I thrive on designing effective learning solutions through creativity. My expertise lies in collaborating with Subject Matter Experts and stakeholders to build meaningful training materials aligned with learning goals. My product success is evidenced by metrics collected through formative and summative assessments, and ensured by using that data to drive design. I am a self-starter with the ability to execute project management in a fast-paced capacity while adapting to overcome challenges.
TPLD Team: Meet some of our volunteer mentors, strategists, and contributors