ATD Blog

My Story: Finding a Course That Gives You a Jumpstart in TD

Monday, June 8, 2020

This is a personal story that I am sharing for the first time.

Since talent development is considered a new field, it is common for fellow training professionals to ask “What is your story?” because all of us have had some kind of a struggle with finding and building our way into the field. It’s always fun to share stories and hear from others who made it here.

Yet it was always difficult for me to answer the same question when it came from an enthusiastic person who wanted to become a talent development professional. I remember when I was in awe and asked a trainer how she became who she is today and how she learned all this. Her answer was, “It happened by chance. I was lucky.” After hearing that response, I felt like the unluckiest person and was about to lose hope. But I promised myself that when I made it into the field I would never give such an answer. Instead, I would guide people and help them to find their ways.

I made it and slowly climbed my way into the learning and development field, but I couldn’t answer that question in an effective manner, my answer was complex, and I was never confident enough to answer the million dollar question, “Is there a course or a program that you attended to learn about L&D?”


The answer was always no. I had to learn by trial and error, observing others, surrounding myself with a good community of practice, falling into trouble and having to fix my own mistakes, plus decide which area of L&D suited me best by reading about them. Do you want to be a trainer or an instructional designer or a business partner? That sounded like the answer that I received when I was younger, exactly like, “It happened by chance. I was lucky,” and it always bugged me. I would sometimes shyly recommend a course or a train the trainer certificate, but I knew that wasn’t enough to get the whole picture. It always sounded ironic that those who are supposed to make training happen do not have a training of their own.

Now I am happy to announce that I finally found the answer to the question, and I can confidently recommend a holistic course that would give someone with little to no experience in learning and development an idea of how it works, what is involved, and what a talent development professional needs to know to excel.


The Adult Learning Certificate by the Association of Talent Development (ATD) has everything that I wished I knew when I was starting my career shift to learning and development 12 years ago. It provides a flavor or a broad picture of the different roles involved in L&D as well as brief ideas of the latest best practices in the global market. It puts people on the right track. I have the pleasure of facilitating parts of the online on-demand version of it, and I am enjoying it like nothing before. I have been testing it for three months to be confident enough to share this, so don’t think that this is some kind of ad. I just thought to myself,

“I wish this course existed 12 years ago. It would have given me a jumpstart.”

About the Author

I am an enthusiastic  training professional living in Saudi Arabia. With 10+ years of experience in managing training projects and Learning activities, designing and delivering trainings that vary between soft skills and technical topics based on the trainees needs and annual training plans. Working with external training providers, internal instructors and SMEs. Have a proven record of interpersonal skills, and achievements across seven countries. 
My passion is working with people, always aiming for the deepest impact with highest engagement.

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Beautiful and heartfelt story, Aya! Thank you.
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