I have great memories of my time in the program.
Degree: TESOL MA (50% of the coursework in IP&T)
Thesis project: I created a guide for TESOL teachers to use to easily create and implement robust vocabulary learning.
Since graduation: I cut my teeth as a content monkey/instructional designer with a small Utah company called Career Step, moving up the ranks from individual contributor to project lead to team lead to Department Manager. While managing the department, I began the charge toward SCORM compliant, modular content development and delivery. After Career Step, I worked as a Senior Instructional Designer for American Express, which was 85% project management and 15% instructional design leadership. Following that, I did change management and training architecture and development for Bluehost in Utah- but Amazon called and we said yes. I’ve been a Senior Instructional Designer for Amazon for 2.5 years now, leading the Instructional Design efforts for a global digital advertising arm. Amazon is relentlessly challenging and I love it. I speak on panels about digital transformation and present to sales and manager teams globally. Also, I have five published novels with three more in the immediate pipeline. Most importantly, my wife and I of 19 years are happy and have seven crazy kids.
Future plans: In the process of transitioning to a new team in Amazon’s Recruiting Ops organization and will do serious instructional design there, leading strategy and execution. Eventually I’ll go fully independent as a consultant, developer, and speaker. Also, I’ll continue writing my fantasy and science fiction novels. See you on the bestseller lists.
Advice: Get skills. Experience things. Try stuff. Start a business and when (ok, if) it fails, learn from it. Your career is only part of your life and should be half or less of your identity, but it’s still worth doing with integrity, passion, ambition, and while staying true to yourself. Life is both short and long, so find adventure and say “Yes” to opportunities great and small and to chances to serve and lift others.