Dare to Change
Today we shine the spotlight on Jennie Yeo, Senior Learning Specialist at the dentalcorp Support Centre. Jennie tells us about her hidden musical talents, her decision to change careers, and why we should never be afraid to think outside of the box.
Tell us about your background – how long have you been with dentalcorp and what were you doing before you joined?
I’ve been with dentalcorp just shy of three years (this February will mark my third anniversary). Prior to joining dentalcorp, I completed an internship at RBC as part of my postgraduate HR studies. At the time, I had just embarked on a career change from program management, and dentalcorp was my first permanent job in my new career in HR!
Have you always wanted to be a Learning Specialist? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I was that kid who changed their mind every other year because I wanted to do it all! After graduating with a degree in Political Science and East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto, I entered the world of program management. When I was about three years into my program management role at a market research firm, it dawned on me that I was creating a lot of internal training materials, and that I really enjoyed producing them. I continued to develop new training materials and ultimately became the designated trainer for new systems. In my research, I came across the field of HR and was surprised at how segmented it was and I was naturally drawn to the training sector. So, I signed up for post-grad studies in HR and here I am today!
Can you tell us a little bit about your role on your team? What does a typical day look like?
I think it goes for any role here at dentalcorp that there isn’t a typical day – each day is unique! Generally speaking, however, if I’m not troubleshooting courses for our Practice team members, administering our learning management system (LMS), enrolling new hires into respective training courses and learning plans, provide administrative support for all our DCI programs, setting up new courses in our LMS, then I would be spending time engaging with our stakeholders on new initiatives and designing and developing new courses and programs.
Tell us something about yourself that your co-workers would never guess?
I consider myself quite competitive and, while I can never commit myself to a gym membership, if there’s an opportunity to join a team-oriented sport, I won’t hesitate! I’ve been playing softball for about seven years now and I’ve recently started rock climbing with a group of friends who inspire me to keep climbing higher and achieve a personal best. I am also a choir director at my church and have sung at many of my friends’ weddings!
What are your aspirations for personal and professional growth? Do you have a 5-year plan?
Before the pandemic, I would always have a long-term goal and then build many short-term goals that would help me reach that ultimate goal. However, as it was the case for many others, COVID-19 threw a huge curve ball, and I got knocked off track with my goal planning and aspirations. I’ve been pulling myself together recently, however, and I’ve been exploring things that I wouldn’t have in the past, so I think it’s a work in progress for me. I believe that there’s still a lot to learn in this field of Learning & Development, so I’m excited to see what the next five years bring.
What advice do you have for new team members joining dentalcorp’s Support Centre?
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. While it may seem a bit frightening to challenge the status quo, I think a fresh set of eyes and new perspective often brings more innovative ways of doing things and help us prepare for the unexpected - which is one of my favourite values of dentalcorp: we innovate!