In the early part of 2007, I was preparing to graduate with a degree in modern and medieval languages and literature (interesting and enjoyable for four years, and something I still enjoy, but not something I wanted to make a career out of) and looking for a job.
What I really wanted to do was write. Me and half the graduates out there looking for work, apparently… So I had to cast my net more widely. It was then that I discovered the world of business communications and, more specifically, online learning.
I spent the first four years of my career on the supplier side, learning my trade – creating concepts, designing learning strategies and writing effective, engaging content about everything from financial management to data protection to sustainability. I juggled instructional design with project management and client engagements, with sidelines in writing website copy, live online facilitation, and a spot of coaching. Phew!
Along the way, I developed a love of online learning design, becoming the LPI’s first Instructional Designer of the Year at the IT Training Awards 2010. That same year, I discovered the power of social media, joining Twitter (follow me @stephaniededhar) and setting up this very blog. I’ve also given a fair few seminars and webinars for such illustrious three-letter-acronym organisations as the eLN, the LPI and the LSG.
I had a ball during those four years, but working for a supplier you only get half the story. So in 2011, I made the leap to my first in-house role and now I work as a learning and performance consultant within leadership development at BP. I enjoy the challenge of taking a ‘dry’ or ‘boring’ topic and turning it into something engaging and really useful. I also love exceeding people’s expectations of what online learning is. We’re doing some really inspiring and exciting things – so much more than what people often envisage when they hear ‘e-learning’ – and I love being a part of that.
According to various psychometric and personality profile reports, I’m a life-long learner. Since graduating in 2007, I’ve taken a course in fashion journalism (a pipedream, I realise, unlikely now to ever become a reality), got my MA in French literature, and become a Certified Online Learning Facilitator via the LPI. These days I can often be found withi my nose in a book (to find out which one, pop along to my other blog), learning Greek, or filling scrapbooks with interior design cuttings as my other half and I renovate our first house together.