It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States. It seems all the most appropriate that I acknowledge those that kick-started my career in Instructional Design (in corporate America).
Soon after moving to the US (2006 – after a month working at Chick-Fil-A, which was my pleasure), I met Steve Brandau and Larry Howick who were marketing a revolutionary Technology-Assisted Language Learning program (appropriately named TALL) especially in the APAC market. My initial task was to write up a report (after a lot of research) on how their recently released program compared to others in the market (such as that one named after the famous tablet). It didn’t take long for them to recognize (some sort of) potential in me and I was hired as a trainer and instructional designer for their company. I got to design. develop, deliver training around the world. An amazing experience. Coming from a poor family in Brazil, I never thought I’d see Hawaii or climb the Great Wall of China, which I only saw on my 14-inch screen TV growing up.
Then came the ASTD conference in Atlanta in the summer of 2007. Karla Brandau, Steve’s wife, couldn’t attend the last day. I borrowed her badge then (not sure it was against the rules). In any case, I only had time to attend one last session that day: Charles Beckham, Karie Willyerd, and Kelly Palmer from Sun Microsystems (which I had heard of because of Java but didn’t know how big it was, coming from Brazil). Their session was titled “The Power of The People: Learning Revolution 2.0“, and in it, they described the paradigm shift social media and collective intelligence brought to the Web in the mid-2000s.
If you don’t believe in God, you have to at least admit that something special, a miracle, happened that day as the four of us met. I think God had a purpose for that day. I’m thankful for having met these human beings.
I came to the event with no intentions (sorry guys: not knowing who you were then – having come late, as a typical Brazilian, to the session, I missed the intro), enjoyed seeing them talk about my passion (social media – Charles was demoing Ning then)… I’ll never forget coming up to them and telling them about a lot of other websites I came to use throughout the years and how useful they could be for learning…
Then, a couple of weeks later, I came across a blog post by Charles… I was flattered by the title and its contents: “A Brazilian’s Take on Web 2.0“. I didn’t consider that Charles would remember me, let alone the list I gave him at the end of the session.
Then, months later, a call from Brandon Carson… he wanted me to fly into Denver, CO for an interview. That was around January of 2008 or so. MONTHS later, Charles, Karie, and Kelly had remembered me and told Brandon, the hiring manager (who then became my mentor) to interview me.
The story goes on. But to summarize it, in a few words: I feel so blessed to have met you all, worked with you over these years, having been giving a chance to further my career. You inspire me to give back to the Learning community and to the world in ways that I’ve been embraced by you.
… you gave me a chance to have the BEST JOB I’ve ever had…
|Karie Willyerd||Charles Beckham||Kelly Palmer||Brandon Carson|