Smruti N Sudarshan – L&D Specialist, LinkedIn
It all happened accidentally during her internship tenure, when her mentor asked her to take up a learning designing project for Accenture and thereafter there wasn’t looking back. Something which started 5 years back is now giving Smruti all the recognition and motivation to grow in the space of learning and development. She was so engrossed and excited with her new found love for L&D that she started freelancing at a young age, even before completion of her engineering.
This computer science Engineer had assisted a global MNC to develop eLearning courses for Customer Support employees. And has also worked with US clients in creating several learning programs using unique learning strategies. One of her best experience has been working with an NGO in Australia to develop courses for personality disabled employees and workers. Since entering this field a few years ago, she enhanced her skills b learning eLearning authoring tools, the Adobe Suite, front-end web development and xAPI. This Bangalorean very clearly states her role and identifies her role as,
“My expertise lies in data driven approaches for eLearning and making it as learner-friendly as possible. My vision is to encourage everyone to be self-directed learners using technology to their advantage.”
Currently employed with LinkedIn as L&D Specialist, she has previously been engaged with companies like Dell, Tesseract Learning, and Mindtree, sharpening her skills in data driven strategies. According to Smruti, data driven strategies makes learning more personalised as a result corporate learner can create his/her own learning path. Through digital strategy one can capture digital footprints of the learner on a Learning Management System(LMS) and can point out to the instructor/facilitator where the learners are failing due to wrong learning strategy. For the learners, it shows why they are failing and what are their next remediation steps.
Smurti feels that L&D has a huge scope. The future aspect of the strategy is to implement AI to make learning an experience. The ability to be creative and analytical at the same time encouraged her to take up L&D as the main career. Today after been there for almost 4.5 years she is successfully moulding herself as a “though leader” in this field. She draws inspiration from her learners, who also acts as her idol. She feels that there’s lot to learn and be inspired by each one of them.
As a newcomer in this field she had to face a lot of resistance. Initially when she proposed the data-driven strategies, L&D industry weren’t ready and was very rigid in terms of using data. The industry had very orthodox and stringent practices like using only video-based learning or having a 5-day training which did not do anything to retain knowledge. Hence, to bring in something new that generated results was a bit of struggle that Smruti went through. On asking the opportunities and skills required to shine in this field, she says,
“There’s huge opportunity and I could gauge that while interacting with corporate learners and understand their needs. And as an individual if you want to make it big in this field, then knowledge of L&D and HTML5 and a brief knowledge of LMS is a must.”
She is a recipient of Brandon Hall Award for best certification program, besides being awarded for Excellence in Digital Transformation by GTF India. Also, she is the first Indian to speak at the eLearning Success Summit 2.0. With so many feathers in her cap at such a young age, undoubtedly Smruti is flying high and advices young aspirants to believe in self and have confidence in their own idea, only then success is bound come in. Corporate learning is a huge industry as they are into “up skilling” and she has rightly got into it and smoothly sailing through. With great technical knowledge, she also is equipped with persuasion skills, which is probably her success mantra.
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