As the next session of ATDChi's Workplace Learning & Performance Institute is approaching, we have an interview with a recent graduate here on the blog. Ben Cardenas, Leadership Development Specialist at Lexington Health Network, completed the program in 2016. Ben and has shared his experience with us. Thank you, Ben!Q: Please tell us a bit about your experience and why you decided to pursue WLPI.
A: At the time when I decided to pursue WLPI, I had recently transitioned back into learning and development. I spent most of my career in the banking industry and have held various positions such as retail banking manager, banking operations, and learning and development. I wanted to expand my knowledge in the field mainly to understand training and learning theories further.
Q: What was your biggest "aha" moment in the program?
Attending WLPI was such a precious and rewarding experience. I learned a great deal of new industry specific information but also discovered how to continue to stay current with trends in adult learning. During WLPI I learned more about human performance improvement, I discovered different methodologies and approaches to learning design and incorporated new techniques into my facilitation style. WLPI was more than just a seven-week program; it was an experience that has served me and will continue to help me to grow in our field.
A: During WLPI my biggest “aha” moment was realizing that a trainer is more than just a trainer. We are consultants and designers; I learned how to shift my mindset and my approach from a facilitator/trainer to the mentality of a consultant that can facilitate but also discover and recommend learning solutions.
Q: It's been over a year since your WLPI graduation, how has this experience influenced your work/career/professional trajectory?
A: WLPI influences me on a daily basis. Having the opportunity to spend seven weeks with learning professionals gave me the chance to build a reliable network that I can tap into for advice. WLPI has also given me the tools to continue to grow in my career; Since then, I have transitioned into a role that focuses on the development of leaders in my organizations. I have the tools and confidence, thanks to WLPI, to identify training solutions and influence leaders to continue to learn and develop. Since my WLPI graduation, I have also been pursuing other opportunities to continue to learn and grow professionally. I am now working on my APTD certification.
Q: Were there any other benefits of the program not directly related to what you learned/skills your acquired?
A: An opportunity to join the ATDChi Board!
Q: Any advice you would give to those who are considering WLPI?
A: Have an open mind, have fun, and participate. Anyone who attends WLPI regardless of their background, has so much to contribute that can help other attendees learn and grow. Take advantage of this rewarding experience. Even if it’s only a refresher for you, it will give you a chance to meet many talented and wonderful professionals.
I am a believer that learning never stops; regardless of our roles in the professional industry we always have the opportunity to learn and continue to develop our skills.
Learn more about WLPI and register here.