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"Learning has intrinsic value that will sustain you throughout your life..."

Published Tue Oct 11 2022


Who are the more than 4,500 talent development professionals who have earned the APTD or CPTD credential? Get to know the talented and diverse community:

Suzanne Wagner earned the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD®) credential in 2011.


Why did you pursue the CPTD? I wanted professional credentials to further establish my credibility in the talent development field and to fill knowledge gaps to ensure I was a well-rounded professional.

How have you benefited from the credential—professionally and/or personally? My credential allowed me to demonstrate proficiency in talent development at a time when it was a new career for me professionally. I’ve capitalized on what I learned during the certification process and expanded my career potential many times over since becoming certified.

Because I highly value learning and being able to continuously improve, I’ve taken on new roles several times and continue to draw upon the expertise I gained thanks to my certification. I have also shifted from a learning and development role to working in human resources.

I also find personal satisfaction in applying that same skill set to volunteer activities and being able to give back to the ATD community and other nonprofits.

What advice would you share with others considering certification? I would absolutely encourage them due to the many benefits of certification, but I would also advise anyone considering certification to carefully reflect on their level of commitment to the time, effort, and expense involved to ensure they’ve thoroughly thought through what is required. I am a strong supporter of certification as long as the individual meets the certification requirements and has the growth mindset to take on the challenge. The rewards will be well worth it!


How do you think certification helps the talent development field? It immediately distinguishes the field as one that has high standards and a formal approach to ensuring its professionals are well-versed in the various facets of the field. It also provides excellent networking opportunities!

How did your employer support your pursuit of the credential? My employer agreed to fund the costs as well as allowed me to submit a work product (a requirement at the time I was pursuing certification), which was related to my job role. I’ve also had employers willing to pay for the certification renewal fee and ATD membership fees. It’s fantastic when an employer supports their employees in this way and invests in their learning!

What does having your credential mean to you? It means I can truly present myself as a competent talent development professional who has demonstrated knowledge and expertise in my chosen field and be recognized as such. It helps me put my best foot forward when meeting others for the first time.

How did you get into the talent development field? I transitioned from restaurant management, where I focused on training staff and developing standard operating procedures, to a talent development role for a medium-sized financial services and business consulting firm.

From there, I moved into a learning and development management role at a global consumer services company and then transferred into human resources director and business partner roles for the same organization.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Learning has intrinsic value that will sustain you throughout your life, so always keep an innate curiosity for the world around you. You’ll be rewarded with the joy of new discoveries no matter what road you take.

What is a great book you’ve read recently? The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon for fun fiction, Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar for personal and professional development, and several books related to history: When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney about Egyptian history, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris about the Holocaust, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

What is your favorite hobby or pastime? Learning about historic stories of the human capacity to survive and eventually thrive

What is the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had? I’d say it’s my current role of human resources transformation project manager because I'm continuing to learn new things all the time, which keeps it interesting! My favorite part of my HR transformation role is working with operations and cross-functional teams in a new capacity that allows me to better understand their challenges and how to solve them. After 11 years at this company, I’m now a versatile HR resource with deep institutional knowledge and varied subject matter expertise. Having supported many lines of business, I have the functional expertise to lead the HR transformation team through operational challenges and implement effective solutions that add value to the bottom line. With the coming acquisitions and continued merger and acquisition activity, I’m excited to apply my unique perspective and diverse experience to support the change management efforts of our growing business every day.

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

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