Title: Instructional Design Coordinator
Company: Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies—Pacific Maritime Institute (MITAGS-PMI)
Location: Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Education: MS, education, concentration in educational studies with graduate certificates in teaching the adult learner and leadership in technology integration (Johns Hopkins University); MS and BA, marine affairs and policy (University of Miami)
In her role at MITAGS-PMI, Sogor designs, develops, and manages maritime training curriculum for two cross-country campuses, ensuring their courses are in compliance with industry guidelines. In addition to curriculum development and management, she has a leadership role in the organization's new professional development initiative.
What excites you about the talent development profession?
I'm most excited by the opportunities to solve problems. Whether a specific instructor is looking to bring more creativity to the delivery of his or her course, or there is a need to fill a training gap in the industry due to new regulations, I look forward to collaborating with colleagues to brainstorm solutions and see these solutions through from their development to application to review.
I'm also excited by the dynamic nature of the profession. From new trending strategies to the invention of new learning technologies, this industry is constantly evolving and growing. I always have something to learn.
Her changing role
As my experience deepens and my skill set grows, it's imperative to recall that much of what I have learned about adult learning, leadership, technology, and talent development is relevant in a variety of roles. Specifically in the maritime industry, there is a connection among people, policy, and compliance that supports safety, success, and sustainability in global operations.
It is effective training, leadership, resource management, and communication in all roles that bring success for both shoreside and seagoing domains of the industry.
Staying current in the field
Online, I enjoy ATD webinars, reading industry blogs, and connecting with like-minded professionals on LinkedIn and other professional networks. I appreciate face-to-face learning opportunities by connecting with fellow alumni, attending conferences, and listening to colleagues' sea stories that bring the maritime subject matter to life.
Advice for new professionals
Take the initiative to learn about and experience the talent development field. I've had diverse experiences in traditional face-to-face learning, blended learning, and e-learning—both as a designer for and a student in these environments. That experience allows me to go beyond simply reading about blended learning, for example, and enables me to understand that specific practice from multiple perspectives.
Have an open mind and be willing to try something new. It's easy to become comfortable with a go-to strategy or tool, but it's imperative to be aware of other options that may improve or streamline operations. However, be cautious of trying every new trend or using technology for technology's sake. It's great to have a wealth of options and resources, but it's as critical to know what works most effectively for a specific project, audience, subject matter, etc.
I have heard the quote "One size does not fit all," as applied to learning, countless times. Whether applied to a small-scale course design or a large-scale company change initiative, it is a simple and true quote to be mindful of in the talent development profession.