October 2021
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headshot of Kaitlyn Rice
TD Magazine

A Heart for Education

Friday, October 1, 2021

Kaitlyn Rice

Title
L&D Manager

Organization
PCCA

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Location
Houston, Texas

LinkedIn
linkedin.com/in/kaitlyn-mandry-maketrainingfun

Education
Bachelor's and master's degrees in human resources development (Texas A&M University)

Favorite Quote
"Do what's right, not what is easy." —Roy T. Bennett

Kaitlyn Rice's fascination with adult learning theories and human connectedness were early signs of a future career in L&D. She is the L&D manager at pharmaceutical company PCCA and collaborates with L&D practitioners and medical professionals. She has written the script for more than 300 educational events that, in addition to supporting overarching business plans, have helped learners achieve their personal and professional goals.

What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most and why?

In my role, I work with a lot of personalities—from doctors, scientists, and nutritionists to trainers, authors, and keynote speakers. Their unifying characteristic, though, is their love for educating others. To work with some of the world's most passionate people and create something meaningful to improve peoples' lives—whether personally or professionally—makes me feel connected to what I do. With presenters and trainees alike, I enjoy hearing stories about why they're here and how the content will help them.

What are some of the trends in talent development that you're most excited about?

Virtual reality is too cool. This innovation will someday open many doors for our organization whether it be virtual pharmacy compounding training or virtual tours of our facility when doing so in person is not an option. I am also excited by the emergence of adaptability and resiliency training. Considering the pandemic, those skills are more important now than ever to remain relevant and competitive.

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How do you keep employees engaged in internal training and development?

A robust communication plan is key to the success of our internal training and development program. I partner with our corporate communications team to inform and engage employees all year long. We use segmented meeting announcements, email campaigns, launch parties, video messages, bathroom "stall talks," and company newsletters to spread awareness about future initiatives and reinforce content from previous ones.

We also have infrastructure in place to further engage team members as an integral part of our feedback loop. Here team members can share what they have learned and how they plan to implement that learning and voice their ideas for program improvement and future initiatives.

What are some of the unique aspects of being a talent development manager in the pharmaceutical industry?

Our organization's mission is to make a difference in patients' lives through personalized medicine, and that starts with the people we hire. Our core values and 28 principles transcend recruiting, onboarding, and talent development activities to ensure staff are not only passionate about the work they do but also the patients whom we serve.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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