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Megan Pirrello

Megan Pirrello’s Journey From Admin to Instructional Designer

What were you doing before Instructional Design?

I am not a teacher turned ID. I actually come from an administrative corporate/higher ed background. I kind of fell into the ID track a few years ago, and I was lucky enough to get a master’s degree at the university where I worked. While I was doing my Master’s, a Learning & Development position in the University’s HR department opened up, and I got to start really applying some of that great stuff I was learning.

What made you decide to join Applied Instructional Design Academy (AIDA)? Did you have any hesitation about joining?

So you might be asking yourself – well how the heck did you end up in AIDA? My real passion is for e-Learning development and I was doing very, very little of that in my L&D role. I did the Instructional Design Jumpstart workshop in January of this year hoping to get some pointers on how to set up my portfolio for the few pieces of e-Learning I had developed, but I didn’t sign up for AIDA. I said to myself, “Let’s see how far you get without spending this money.” My Workshop Advisor was awesome. She said that my plan made a lot of sense and if I did change my mind not to hesitate to reach out. She was not pushy at all. So by the time March rolled around and the next jumpstart was starting, I had gotten to such a point of frustration with my portfolio two or three times where I had abandoned my efforts. I decided it was time to bite the bullet.

What was your experience like in Applied Instructional Design Academy?

 There are many reasons that AIDA turned out to be a great fit for me.

  1. The community is incredibly supportive of each other. We are all learning and we are all willing to share the knowledge that we have.
  2. The Success Advisor set up helps me stay on track, work through my road blocks, and gives me the prompt responses to questions that I need to be successful.
  3. My accountability partner is amazing. She acts as my sounding board when I feel overwhelmed or unsure of myself. We really lift each other up and provide each other lots of sanity checks!
  4. The group celebrates wins – big and small. I love going to coaching sessions and hearing about all of the awesome things people are doing.
  5. You can bring anything to the coaching sessions – resume, job descriptions, what to expect in an interview, samples, portfolios. Nothing is off limits and the conversations are always incredibly helpful.
  6. I’m feeling more and more confident that I could start my own business down the road, which is not something I would have ever considered before this program.

What are you doing now?

So now, a few months into the program, I’ve found a new ID role that is a better fit for me with more e-Learning development involved in it. I also worked with my Success Advisor in AIDA and realized that I not only want to start my own business, but that I want to ultimately try to be self-employed as an ID.

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