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ATD Blog

"Professionally, it opened up career opportunities and promotions that may not have been available..."


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Who are the more than 5,000 talent development professionals who have earned the APTD or CPTD credential? Get to know the talented and diverse community:

Jamie Zamora is an Organizational Effectiveness Manager in the US. She earned the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®) credential in 2020.

Why did you pursue the CPTD?
I had the fortune of learning and growing in the training/learning/talent development space for the past 10 years of my career, and I absolutely love what I do. But I always knew that there was room for me to be a more trusted advisor and consultant to my clients if I had more formal knowledge of expanding people capabilities, beyond my experience alone. A few years after completing my MBA in business, I knew that I wanted to pursue a credential in learning and naturally started in the space that was a huge source of networking and resources for it, ATD. After attending an informational session hosted by other certificate holders, I knew that this credential would not only elevate my capabilities as a learning professional, but also help me validate my experience and personal credibility with peers and my business partners.

How have you benefited from the credential—professionally and/or personally?
I became a more competent, confident, and credible talent development leader after earning my credential. Professionally, it opened up career opportunities and promotions that may not have been available to me without having the credential. Personally, it helped me differentiate myself from others within the field by demonstrating that I had a breadth of experience and the credentials to prove it.

What advice would you share with others considering certification?
Don’t think twice about getting it, but don’t expect it to be easy. That’s what makes the certification so much more rewarding. Know that you are qualified to start the certification based off your experience and expertise in the field, but also know that you will be growing and learning so much more than you considered going into the program. Even with more than 10 years of experience in talent development, this certification validated the expertise necessary to excel in my career.

How do you think certification helps the talent development field?
This certification is extremely effective in validating talent development professionals as advisors and experts in growing employee potential. We are so much more than trainers and facilitators—and even that takes skill and practice. The credential adds a theory-based and practical approach to our recommendations and solutions.


How did your employer support your pursuit of the credential?
I had just started a new job when I decided to take on the journey of certification. Though my employer didn’t offer any financial support, my leader at the time was one of my biggest cheerleaders and advocates ensuring that I had the time and space necessary to study, step away, and have thoughtful discussions about the content for the credential.

What does having your credential mean to you?
Having my credential is my proof point that I have a fundamental understanding and true passion for how people learn and grow in their roles. It wasn’t easy for me, nor is it intended to be—I had to take my certification test twice to pass, which was a humbling experience. I was surprised to learn that after so many years in my role, I had so much more to learn and understand about talent development. Now that I’ve earned and maintained my credential, I have so much pride for the journey and what it means to me as a professional.

How did you get into the talent development field?
This was somewhat of an accidental career for me. Many years ago, I applied for a generalist position in HR with no mind or thought of where I’d dedicate my effort to for a long-term career. I didn’t end up getting that position but was asked to support onboarding and training for the San Diego region of a grocery retailer that I worked for, and I loved it. It was my first exposure to culture building, facilitation, and driving success through learning. From there, I’ve expanded into process training, learning and development, and ultimately talent development, which enables me to help others evolve and excel in their roles.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you’re afraid to do. This has been my mantra since I was little. If I hadn't taken the risks that have led me to where I am in life personally and professionally, I wouldn’t have accomplished half of the achievements that I’m most proud of. Life can seem scary, but I’m here to learn and grow from it.


What is a great book you’ve read recently?
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
Reading, watching Netflix, running, and walking for hours.

What is the most unusual job you’ve had?
Marketing specialist in the meat division of a grocery retailer—I learned so much about the different cuts and types of meat that we eat!

Have you earned the APTD or CPTD? Share your story with the community.

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