Welcome to become an idol. I'm Dr. Robin Sargent, owner of idle courses. This is the place where newbies come to learn and veteran share their knowledge
I have here with me today, Dina beavers, and she is a member of the fourth cohort of the idle courses Academy. And Dina is here to share her success story and her journey to become an idol. And so Deena, would you please do a better job of introducing yourself? You're doing a great job. Thank you so much. Well, I am Dina beavers, and I'm actually living in Georgia. Not too far from Atlanta, Georgia. I am a former teacher. I'm a former high school math teacher of 10 years. And so that is who I who I was who I was, I guess. And now I am a senior instructional designer and training specialists at Deluxe Corporation. Oh my gosh, okay. So you went from teacher to senior instructional designer? I'm sure everyone wants to know your story. Before you even enrolled in the academy. Tell them tell us about your like journey as like a teacher? How do you find instructional design? And then, you know, okay, what, what led you to the ITIL? Courses Academy kind of thing? Sure. Sure. So I had been teaching for really, maybe that was my ninth year of teaching then, and was getting, you know, ready to leave the classroom and said, Well, what else can I do? What else can I do as a teacher, I all my life, I had wanted to be a teacher actually. And later on in life became one. And but you know, you do something for X amount of years, and then you decide you want to do something else. And teachers usually the next path is system, principal principals, something of that nature. So I had actually taken some courses to become an assistant principal, and just kind of felt like that wasn't quite it. And one day, I literally Googled What else can a teacher do, and stumbled, I believe that it was just God ordained to be honest with you, but literally stumbled upon instructional design had never heard of it. I didn't know anything about it. And just started doing some research, and came across different opportunities of learning, I could have pursued another Master's degree. There were other training programs. And I said to myself, I don't want another Master's degree. At that, at that time. And I started looking at the different other training programs, there was about three or four of them. Two of them, I just didn't feel was, were robust enough, I felt like I needed knowing nothing about instructional design, I absolutely needed something that was going to walk me through the process of learning, everything that I needed to know.
Another Academy was just too expensive to be quite honest. It was, I believe, close to $4,000. And I just just did not have that. And then literally just came upon idle, looked into it had seen some good reviews about it.
I don't think you had you didn't have the five day back then if you did, I think I partook partook in that. But some kind of way, you know, just just was able to look at things and
and then just enroll. And as a matter of fact, actually, I sent you a message, and you answered my questions. And I just felt like it was something that I needed to do. Another component for me that was helpful was that you did installments in regards to the fees for the Academy. And that really, really helped. And then out of our conversations, you were kind enough to extend a partial scholarship to me, which enabled me even more to just say, This is what I want to do.
Hopefully that was enough. I love it. No, I want to hear the whole story. I'm like, go out and do tell. And so you enrolled and it was actually our June 2020 cohort, and that's our fourth cohort we ever opened for the Academy. Okay, so then you got started. And you had quite a journey from there. So tell us kind of what that looked like. What's your timeline was all those? Sure. So when, you know the academy is the way it's set up is for eight weeks. And so every week, you know, you had your sessions, you know other people had their sessions, your mentors had their sessions as well. And as I was walking through the academy, I was just learning and realizing that a lot of the principles and the theories and everything were aligned to what I was doing as a teacher
So as I was walking through all of that, I was like, Oh, wow, you know, this is familiar. And so what I thought was going to be daunting, and a lot of information that I would have to take in, it was just really just tweaking
some of the things that I already knew, in regards to, you know, education in regards to teaching, and just just applying it for adult learners. And to be honest, you know, a lot of times they say, oh, you know, children's, you know, children learn one way, and adults learn another way. And that's kind of true, especially in the earlier years, but our high school students, they're, like, you know, teach me what I need to know, and teach me what's going to be useful. You know, as a high school geometry teacher, I used to always hear, when am I going to use this in real life,
I would have to tell you, you're going to have to, you know, do some, some measurements for your home, or if you're going to have certain career paths. But in adult education, you know, when you're on the job, and you are creating these learning experiences for your learner's you want, they want to have something that they're going to use, they don't want a lot of theory and a lot of just information. And so that's what I discovered in the academy is that oh, a lot of this I already know, the person I didn't feel comfortable with walking in the door. What were some of the authoring tools that you know, that you have in your academy that you introduced, introduced us to, for instance, at the time it was storyline, but I think there might be is there another one that you have in the academy now? Well, we have beyond and we do some training on Camtasia, and, and captivate. So it keeps growing.
And that's, that's the one thing that I do like about it is that, and I'll circle back to lifetime membership. But that's how I figured that out. But when I was in the academy, you know, learning the authoring tool storyline, at first, I was like, Oh, my gosh, what is about to happen here. But again, it's a lot like PowerPoint. And the one thing that I like to tell when I'm telling my story to teachers, especially is I call myself like a regular teacher. And what I mean by that is, I was in the academy, and I would see people, you know, who were maybe getting positions, or whether I was in the academy, or in particular on LinkedIn, or whatever, I'd say, Oh, wow, you know, these, these people are getting positions. But they already had a background in graphic design. They already had a background in editing or something like that.
But I was just a regular hate, you're my only background is I knew how to crop a picture. I knew how to change, I
knew how to change some colors. I knew some basic, basic fundamental things. But from from what we learned in your program, it really just opened up, I learned storyline, you know, to a point where I can start creating these learning experiences using the triggers and things of that nature. And the thing I love about the academy, and I tell everyone, because some people like to kind of like, I'll just be honest, some people like to kind of like bash it or whatever. I'll say, you're okay, no, it's not a master's program. But you're learning so much that you can go out and you can get the other information, you know, once you introduced us to the, to the learning theories, you know, I could go out and I could explore even more about what that was all about. Once you introduced us to storyline and articulate and rise, you know, then I could go out and I had a foundation where I could begin to learn other things about all of the aspects of these tools, or the theories are just instructional design. And so I for me, the academy, what I needed was someone to walk me through step by step what it is you need to do, and also the accountability that it has.
We I remember Tabitha, and I think she was even living, I think she was living overseas at the time. Yeah. And he would say, Hey, I'm gonna have a work session, you know, Saturday morning at nine o'clock, whoever wants to join me. And so I was just on it. And I would go and I would go to these work sessions that were designed for you to just set aside time.
And that's one of the things that I like to convey to people when I'm talking about it, is you really DO have to set that time aside. But when you have, I mean, we would we would be on sessions with at least 15 people on a Saturday morning, where we're all just cameras off working, come back after an hour say hi, take a break cameras off going back to work. So there was so much support and there were just you know, I met I met other people, other teachers. I've got a couple of good friends now who are who are IDs are in on still on the ID journey.
And it was it was just a really wonderful experience for me. So how long did it take you to build your portfolio? Start applying for jobs? What was what was that like for you?
Okay, so as I was saying, some people can get it done in eight weeks, and then I get you're saying, but it's like, your time is your time, you know, if you take longer than the eight weeks, that is okay.
And so it took me
until January. So I started in June. And maybe January of 2021, is when I felt comfortable with my portfolio. I had a lot of it finished. But then school started, I started in June, like COVID happened in March, I came to you in June, this is how my timeline goes.
And then school started in August. And so I wasn't spending as much time, you know, because at the time I was a teacher, I had summers off, but that was okay. And that's what I like to tell other people to it is okay, if you do not finish it in the eight weeks, because you have, you know, the lifetime membership, you know, so you could come back to it. And that's what I kept doing.
I kept coming back to it. So in January, I felt comfortable, I was still working. And I was going to finish out the school year. And so I started applying for jobs really at about maybe April, because I had gotten wind, or had started noticing because I was on LinkedIn and seeing a lot of people doing what they were doing. I started noticing that it takes a long time for corporate America to decide if they're going to hire you or not.
And I didn't realize that, as a teacher I can. And I don't know if this is good, bad or indifferent. I can remember one time when I didn't get hired right away.
And so I wasn't used to that. So I started interviewing around April, I mean, put filling out applications. Um, I want to say I've kept an Excel Excel spreadsheet. And a couple of times, I didn't put the job on there, I'll say a few times, let's say maybe 15 or 20 times I'll even give myself that. But I applied to about maybe 80 to 100 positions. Wow. And that's that's not unusual, as I found when I was on LinkedIn, a lot of people, you know, you just have to just keep applying.
And you get discouraged, because you're like, you know, I feel like I'm ready, why isn't anyone interested?
So I applied, I applied, I applied. And in July of this year,
I had I felt a shift in my interviewing skills. Because all of that I have learned it had started to synthesize you know, all of it kind of is came together everything from from the Academy, and some other experiences that I had, and it just came together and I can just hear myself sounding better, and answering the questions better. And at the end, I actually had two offers at the same time. And if you've never heard of my company, and I don't know if you can edit this if need be but checkbooks, anybody who remembers checkbooks, my company is the company that started the checkbook. So they've diversified, blah, blah, blah. But if I named the other company, and I won't, but if I named the other company that was offering me a position as well, you would absolutely know who they were, I'll tell you who it's not it's not it wasn't Google or Microsoft, but
you're saying you just don't want to say
okay, I just,
I don't feel comfortable, say, but, um, but it's a company that you would know, and I say all of that to say that this is all because of everything that I have learned, you know, that foundation that I had learned that allowed me to go out and speak confidently, and also correctly regarding interviews and conveying what it was that I knew. And I like to tell teachers, you know, when you're in this interview process,
you can't hide the fact that you're a teacher. And that's okay.
Because that's a benefit, you know, you are able to talk about the learning experiences that you had, especially through COVID. Many of us have the virtual instructor led training skills, you know, some component of it, that allows us to speak on that. There are a lot of things that we did in the classroom, whether it was small group instruction, whether it was curriculum development, all of these things are components of what are needed in corporate America. And you can spot it.
When you're, when you're in the position, you realize, okay, this is what needs to happen and you see it, whereas I can see you know, I've been in situations not necessarily on my job right now, but in some interviews that I've had, and I realized, oh, no, you really don't quite understand what's going on. You know, in terms of the learning aspect
and you have that, you know, we have those skills. So I like to tell teachers to just, you know, not be afraid of it. And when you're walking through it you are afraid of and you are intimidated. And you do have impostor syndrome and all the things that go along with it. But don't give up. Just keep going. You had two offers, how did you make your decision? Oh,
it boiled down to money.
Really, it really did. And I'm glad you brought that up. Because as a teacher, I know how much money I was making I, I now have a it's over 20% increase. And I was making Okay, money. Like I know a lot of teachers out here in America are making way less than what I was making at 10 years. You know, I because first of all, unfortunately, it's public record.
And not that I was looking at looking up things, but I'm just saying it is public record, teacher salaries and everything like that. But I said all of that, because I know I've had conversations with other teachers, whether it was through idle or some other platforms. And I know they were working longer than I had been working. And I was making more. And I've, I was able to gauge like, oh, wow, I am making more than other teachers that are out there. So I say that, to say that when you come into this field, like, I remember, I had a mentor. And this was on a separate occasion. And she was like, You need to ask for this amount of money.
And I said, I do not feel comfortable asking for that. And she says, Well, this is what I pay my people. And when she told me the three, three Figure Figure, I almost lost my mind.
I literally almost lost my mind when she said that. I was like, Are you serious? Is are you serious? And she was like, yes, that you need to add, the figure that she was telling me to ask for wasn't three figures. But it was it was, it was high for what I was used to. And I won't I'm not gonna say what my current salary is. But I will say that is definitely a over 20% increase. And
even for those who are remote, I know some people are out there. And they are in remote positions where they don't live near a big city, I live near Atlanta. So you know,
you know that that may have some factor in it. But there are remote positions that you can qualify for, that are absolutely going to pay you more than what you're getting now. And you're going to use those transferable skills and, and bring them over into that new position. What's so interesting, too, is that not only did you land, an instructional design role, and you you know, increase your salary by a large percentage, you also have the title senior instructional designer. So can you talk a little bit about that?
Sure, I, I'm responsible, I'm on the talent management team. So my company, they have several ID teams. And so I'm on the talent management team. And I'm responsible for those type of learning initiatives. And so I work with sneeze. And I subject matter experts rather, and I talk with them and I script and storyboard. And I create, you know, the learning experiences in Articulate Storyline,
I make sure that they are relevant to the business. So it's not just about, you know, making a course it's about what business need are we meeting, I also have some LMS duties, learning management systems duties, which is the platform where you load the courses which allow you to track the learning, and allow you to integrate the knowledge checks that you have. And I go to meetings a lot. I never knew, I never knew you met so much.
in corporate America.
I know. And so I go to meetings, and I just feel like
being I feel valued. And I feel like what I have to say has value and and that what I'm contributing to
is not only worthy, but just that self worth so as a teacher on one side of the fence versus for some not for all. But but I've had many conversations just like you know, oh, I know, I'm doing something noble, you know, but a lot of times it doesn't feel that way. You know, and so I can say that as I've crossed over for as a senior instructional designer.
It's not status. That's not quite the right word that I want to use. But I just feel like I'm in the right place. professionally. Yeah. And so
Oh, they must have had. So when you applied, you know was it actually didn't say, senior instructional designer just like I was gonna throw my hat in there anyway, or it did say seen it had a slightly different title it but it said senior enablement something, they changed it slightly. But it did have the senior and so what made me feel like I could go after this position was,
you know, you talk about it in the academy and you say, you know, don't be afraid of those positions that have that you need three to five years experience. And I just kind of started really looking for those positions or applying for positions where I said, Okay, I have this skill, I have the skill, I may not have three to five years experience as an instructional designer, but I do have 10 years of experience as an educator. And so when you're, when I started applying for those positions, I just went for it, you know, I just, I looked through it, and I said, Okay, I can do this, I can do that. That's a transferable skill. And I started aligning
my resume to the positions that I didn't, that didn't quite come out, right. I didn't have my teacher resume, my teacher resume said one thing, I had to change the verbiage so that it aligned more with what corporate America put on your stand. And so, you know, those are the types of things that we learned in ITIL is to, you know, to revamp your resume to get on LinkedIn, and things of that nature. And I just felt like, I'm just gonna go for it, because they're always going to be destructive people who have done instructional design as a profession. And that's all they've done. And if that was my perimeter for applying for a position, I would never apply. Because I, you know, I wouldn't have, I don't have that experience, per se, that direct experience. So you can't look at it and say, Oh, I can't apply for that position, because they want three to five years experience, you just apply. And if you get the interview, then you go in and you know, you've blown out the water as best as you can. A lot of times through the interviewing process, you end up getting to the recruiter, the internal recruiter first. And so you have to say the necessary things to get past that person to get to the next person. And a lot of times I would have like a three, three interview process, you know, and I started, I started making it past the first ones and then the first in the seconds. And you know, do you just realize that it's okay, you know, for people to say no, because at some point someone is going to say yes, as long as you keep applying, like the lottery says you can't win if you don't play, you
have a better chance, you got better.
Oh, yes, that is so true. That is so true. And so now you are not going back to the you did not go back to the classroom this year. And this is your first time out of the classroom, isn't that right? It is it is the first time out of the classroom. i The timing was not great in terms of like for the school, but the timing was excellent for me.
It literally said it happened at the end of July. And
and I just I didn't go back. And my position is technically hybrid. I mean, I know we're all in COVID right now and everything. And we do have an office here in any Atlanta area. But I am working from home. And I am loving it.
It's It's so different, isn't it? It is it's very different. And especially as a teacher, you have what does that you have memory muscle, or muscle memory or whatever the word is,
for different times of the day for for different parts of the month, you know, different seasons and everything as as I'm going as I'm walking through this time, you know, it's it's almost like you're in this different phase or this this front stage or whatever.
And, you know, I heard a lot of teachers always talk about the teachers who had, who are who had already transferred over and gotten positioned, so I can go to the bathroom anytime that I want. And I can go and
eat lunch whenever I feel like it. And you're like really, and then you when you're in it, you're like oh my gosh, it's true.
You know, you're just not used to that. And the one thing that I'll say that you're not used that I wasn't used to, is you're always on as a teacher. And so when you invest in yourself and you decide to make this transition, you know,
and you go into a position that for me and I've heard this too from others, that pressure is not there. You know you're on from seven till to, you know, whatever your school day is, and that energy is always there. Well your energy gets to shift
Have a little bit when you're not working in that type of environment. And I'm just I'm just grateful to have had the experience to go through the learning experience that you offer. Oh my gosh. All right, Dina, well, this is an incredible story it, you know, you took kind of like the longer route what like it, like almost a year exactly,
though, and you're on a roll, but it sounds like it was just on pace with what you plan to do. You wanted to finish out the school year, and you wanted to feel confident in your skills before you started applying. And then it seems like once you started playing April, May, June, July, like just once you started playing like it just took a couple months after that. Yes, they did it did it. It didn't take long once I got the ball rolling. It didn't take long. And that was the thing, I had to get the ball rolling. And just keep applying for those positions. I kept my Excel spreadsheet. And you sometimes you'll sometimes you'll hear back from the people, sometimes you won't, but I just kept trying and kept trying. And I got my mother. You sure did. And so what is your best and final piece of advice for those that are wanting to make the transition to instructional designer,
to invest in yourself. Especially I'll speak to teachers, we invest in others so much. And that's what we do. That's that's part of the position. That's part of who we are. But if you are ready to make the transition out of the classroom, you can do it
through idol Academy, especially. And there's tons of support. I didn't even speak on the support, the mentors, all of the other people were in the cohort with you, the platform that she she uses so that you can communicate with one another. And then it's just fun. So that's, that's my advice is to just invest in yourself and do it. I love it. I am so happy for you. I am thrilled you deserve it. And you know, really, teachers, do you make some of the best instructional designers, you've got your heart of the teacher. But you also have all those skills that you've brought from your education background, and I'm just so happy for you. So thank you so much for coming and sharing your story. Thank you for having me. Thank you so much for listening. You can find the show notes for this episode at idle courses.com. If you liked this podcast and you want to become an instructional designer, and online learning developer, join me in the idle courses Academy where you'll learn to build all the assets you need to land your first instructional design job. Early access to this podcast tutorials for how to use the elearning authoring tools, templates for everything course building and paid instructional design experience opportunities, go to idle courses.com Ford slash Academy and enroll or get on the waitlist. Now get out there and build transcendent fortune
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