It’s loving the work you do—Jess Finer
Begin or advance your career in instructional design, e-learning and performance improvement with this entirely online degree and certificates. The tools and skills earned through the program have been valuable for graduate Jess Finer.
I am Jess Finer. I earned a graduate degree in Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State University.
So I joined the military in 2005, and I was an intelligence analyst. That really set the foundation for who I am as a leader, which led me to have a career in IT. The program provided me the opportunity to approach challenges in a new perspective. And so I’m now not bound by the IT lens, but I now bring a new perspective to my current role. And then it provides me an opportunity to contribute in other roles in the future.
The skills and tools that the program provided has been huge for me because we’re able to take, okay I have a technical background, I can approach it this way. How do I bridge that with the soft skills and fill that gap? So the technical folks feel supported as well as our business stakeholders feel heard and they understand the communication that I’m translating back to them.
I’ve had a promotion come my way. I’ve had other opportunities as far as contributing in different ways that I haven’t before. Again, the perspective that the program brought me has set me up for success.
The most useful skills I gained throughout the program was definitely tenacity and determination. Be Agile because things continually change, whether that was in your personal life, your career life or your educational life. So being able to adapt and overcome, to continue to be successful, those were huge skills gained throughout the program.
I think additional skills that were regained were overall project management and executive engagement. I definitely leverage the backbone of human performance improvement in my day to day job to ensure that we’re driving towards a strategic initiative and making sure that we hit our goals. But also foundations like needs assessment and evaluation, those are critical.
I would describe this program as a program that combines a lot of project management and communication skills with the hard skills of being able to perform a needs assessment and evaluation, as well as instructional design.
So when you look at a problem now, you think, okay, what do they need? How am I going to evaluate this? And then ultimately, how can I mitigate the challenge? My job, I travel around the world and so I was still able to be successful, contribute to my coursework without having to take pause because, you know, we’re on canvas so you’re able to contribute and still meet your deadlines.
For me, that was huge. You will meet people and you’ll be with them throughout the program journey. So you’re in the trenches together. You’ve had hard times, you’re staying up late together and you’re watching each other succeed. And so even post graduation, I’ve been able to keep in contact with that network. So we’re able to support each other, even though we’re not in our day to day lives anymore.
That’s been huge.