Jessica Del Rosario
Learning Experience Designer
Bachelor's degree, business administration and management (Azusa Pacific University); master's degree, instructional design and technology (California State University, Fullerton)
"Don't criticize yourself while you're creating." —Adam Grant
If you want to know where the trendy food spots are in Orange County, California, ask Jessica Del Rosario—she loves to try new things. Her L&D career also started out as an experiment. Yet, in her first L&D role at Azusa Pacific University (APU), she said it felt right from day one, and it's been full steam ahead since. In September, she accepted a learning experience designer position at Channel Bakers, an e-commerce and retail media agency. Her experience includes supporting the learning function in the higher education, healthcare, and marketing and advertising industries.
How did you get started in talent development?
When I became the student training manager for APU's tech department on campus, I designed new-hire orientation training decks for student employees. It was then that I realized that I loved the individual learning journey, from the first day as a new hire to flourishing within the role. After graduating from APU, I researched more into the talent development field and found the master's in instructional design and technology program at California State University, Fullerton. Completing the CSUF program solidified my passion for the adult learning experience and helped me land my first job as an instructional designer.
How do you feel L&D influences organizational culture?
I would say it's the opposite. One of my mentors once told me that L&D is a byproduct of organizational culture. It seems that the pandemic has shifted organizations' focus to a more human-centric approach to employee development. For example, instead of offering development programs centered on completing job tasks, companies are now shifting to development centered on upskilling employees. I genuinely feel that if an organization cares about its people, it will be noticeable in the types of L&D programs they develop, maintain, and innovate.
How do you manage your own professional development and stay abreast of the latest L&D trends?
Staying up to date with learning trends and professional development go hand in hand. At the beginning of the year, I conduct a self-analysis and create a half-year checkpoint for my professional goals. Also, I carve out at least one hour each day to learn something new. Then, I take what I've learned and write a small summary about the topic, or sometimes I'll apply what I've learned to one of my portfolio pieces.
What career advice do you have for up-and-coming L&D professionals?
Don't let task-oriented days deter you from constantly innovating yourself and the learning solutions you create. Also, always remember your why. Why did you go into the field? Let that drive you forward in your career.