What do you do?
I facilitate fun, experiential workshops on design thinking and change so organizations can put end-user desirability at the heart of their innovation initiatives. I also enable others to do the same through train-the-trainer workhops then support them on their facilitation journeys. My job title is Master Facilitator and I’m with ExperiencePoint.
How long have you been in this field for?
I’ve been doing various forms of training for about seven years and have been in my current job for two years.
What inspired you to pursue this career?
When I was a child my dream was to be a teacher. I ended up taking a different path which led me to become a flight attendant. On my first day of flight attendant training I saw the instructor at the front of the room and thought, “I want to do that!” Several years later, after working in different roles in the airline and taking a five-year hiatus to be a professional musician in Mexico, I ended up in my dream job as an instructor. When I delivered my first course and realized it was possible to combine fun and learning, I knew I had found my calling.
What was the biggest hurdle in attaining your career goals?
Although not explicitly required, I thought having an MBA would help me in my profession. Both from a learning and a credibility standpoint. I had a fantastic experience in my MBA program and I’m glad I did it, but studying full-time for 12 months was a challenge on several levels. For one, it was a financial sacrifice. Although I had a scholarship and worked on weekends, money was tight. Tied to my scholarship was a requirement of maintaining a high average so I spent lots of time reading and doing coursework. I also participated in extracurricular academic activities such as case competitions and the MBA Games. All of this took away from the time I could spend with my family and I am thankful to have had my wife’s support during the program.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Seeing the ‘a-ha’ moments when participants grasp a new concept, especially when they come to it through an experience, and even better if it involves laughter.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
Constant travel. I am usually in a different city for a couple of days every week. Usually in the States, occasionally elsewhere in the world. It’s tiring. And when I miss my son’s milestones it’s heartbreaking.
If you weren’t a master facilitator, what would you be?
I can’t imagine doing anything other than facilitating or teaching. If I weren’t in my current job I would likely be doing something similar elsewhere. If I had to choose something totally different perhaps I would open a restaurant. I love to cook.
Name one hobby you have that’s not related to your work.
A few months ago I started making pens out of wood, a hobby known as pen-turning. It’s a hobby I share with my father, we’ve amassed quite a few, and intend to sell them online.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
This depends on whether I’m at home or on the road. On the road I check my phone notifications. At home I watch my three-year-old son sleep for a moment before beginning my day.
And last thing you do at night?
Again this depends if I’m at home or on the road. On the road I iron my shirt for the following day. At home I give my son a kiss on his head before I go to sleep.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy your work.
9, which is an average of two components. If we’re just talking about the work it would be an 11. Travel would be a 7. I think there are tradeoffs in any job and my tradeoff for being able to do work that I’m passionate about is missing my family when I’m away.