Building a culture of learning is one of our big goals at FULL. We encourage our team members to take time for learning at work, whether about topics directly related to their role or not. When people have a growth mindset, and are supported in learning every day, everyone benefits.
When Myeshia, a virtual receptionist who lives and works in San Antonio, Texas, joined our pilot program to include some learning time in each employee’s day, she embraced the opportunity.
“I love learning time,” Myeshia says. “It changed the way I dealt with people not just on the job, but outside work, too.”
For example, Myeshia recently moved to a new neighborhood. The owner of the corner store was a man named Milza, an immigrant from India. Normally, she says, she would have just gone about her business at the store without much chatting.
But Myeshia had watched some videos about India’s demonetization policy on AdaptiveU, our online learning platform, and decided to strike up a conversation. Now, each time she stops by the store, she says, she and Milza have something new to talk about.
The family that learns together
The local shopkeeper isn’t the only person Myeshia has talked with about her learning. Her four children have gotten into the act, too. “It starts a conversation in my house with my kids,” she says, “and a lot of the time they don’t know they’re learning along with me.”
After watching a video about Sir Isaac Newton on AdaptiveU, Myeshia had a conversation with her 9th-grade daughter about physics. Without learning time, she says, that probably wouldn’t have happened.
Learning has even led to some genealogical research. After one of her co-workers told her about ancestry.com, Myeshia was able to help another daughter with a family tree school assignment.
Since she herself grew up in foster homes, she says, Myeshia didn’t really know a lot about her family history. “It made me reach out to family,” she says, and she learned even more than the three generations required for her daughter’s homework. “It’s not completed or anything,” she says of her family tree project, “but it’s a start.”
Show me the Planet Money
Myeshia’s new favorite learning resource, she says, is the NPR podcast Planet Money. “I had never heard of it until I started working here,” she says. “It’s very entertaining and informative. I’ve gotten so much out of it.”
She was hooked, she says, when the podcast did an episode about Trading Places, the 1983 comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd. In the movie, the Murphy and Ackroyd characters win the day with a complicated scheme involving orange juice concentrate futures.
The podcast “broke down that scene and why it was good the way they did it,” Myeshia says. Since then, she eagerly awaits each new episode.
Writing it down
For Myeshia, learning at work isn’t just about reading articles, listening to podcasts, and watching videos. She likes to write, too. She’s written children’s books, plays, and even her whole life story, which she’s working up the courage to send to a publisher.
A badge in AdaptiveU about how to write a book was instructive, she says. “One thing I learned is, you have to read in order to be a good writer.”
Myeshia enjoys the variety of topics available on AdaptiveU, she says, even delving into videos on coding in Java. “I’m a jack of all trades, master of nothing at the moment,” she says with a laugh. “I like to learn everything. Some things you didn’t know you were interested in until you click it.”
Myeshia’s committed to being a lifelong learner, and she thinks other people should do the same. “All that stuff is free information that this job has offered,” she says. “You can go to college and learn it, but you have to pay for it. This job is pushing us forward, and paying us to move there. I found that to be amazing.”
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash