Nikki Batchellor, who joined the Lucidworks Training Team in May 2019, is being recognized as one of the Top Emerging Training Leaders of 2019 by Training Magazine.  

Nikki has almost a decade of experience in developing curricula that train and educate employees and customers in a variety of industries, and consciously moved into the world of tech to challenge herself, expand her talents, and be a part of the future of how we live and work.

During her time at Lucidworks, she’s already tackled major initiatives, including producing a 2-day open source Solr training during an international conference hosted by Lucidworks in Washington, D.C..

Read on to learn more about her experience as a woman in tech, what motivates her, and how she continues to grow.

Hi Nikki! So, what exactly does a Training Manager do all day at Lucidworks?

I manage the training team here at Lucidworks! Right now my team and I are revamping our training to create active learning experiences that foster critical thinking and empower learners to apply their skills immediately. 

Most of the content we’ve created up to this point has been focused on instructor-led training, so we’re implementing new ways to develop fully-interactive, self-paced courses. We believe the best way to honor our learners is to create engaging and dynamic training that meets their needs. To do this, we’re creating an eLearning Academy that includes microlearning videos and full eLearning courses. 

Is your role at Lucidworks similar to positions you’ve held at previous companies?

One of the greatest things about working in training is becoming an expert in a wide range of topics. For example, I used to develop training for landscapers on how to operate forklifts safely, and for newspaper editors on how to become effective leaders without working their reporters to the bone. 

Now at Lucidworks, I’m still developing training, but I’m focusing on explaining to our customers (and employees) how our products help to create more personalized experiences for users — whether that’s customer support staff, people shopping online, or employees working within their company’s intranet. 

What motivated you to choose Lucidworks for this next big step in your career?

After working predominantly on soft-skills training for three years, I knew I wanted to work with more technical skills and information. Finding a company like Lucidworks that’s doing something really forward thinking, something that challenges me, that’s exactly what I was looking for. When I interviewed with Guy Sperry (Director of Knowledge Services and my current boss), I realized this would be the most challenging role I’ve ever had and I was excited by the opportunity to really stretch myself. 

What project are you most proud of that you’ve done so far at Lucidworks?

As soon as I started at Lucidworks, I took on a major project developing training content for Apache Solr — an open source technology that’s the foundation of our flagship product, Fusion, but something that I had no familiarity with before joining the company. We produced a 2-day training, with nine one-hour modules, for Activate — an international conference for developers, business leaders, and AI enthusiasts hosted by Lucidworks in Washington, D.C.

We were able to completely redo the training in a way that really benefited the audience. Their feedback was incredibly positive and it was an awesome training challenge to tackle right out of the gate. 

So, your first role with a tech company! What are three pieces of advice you’d share with other women looking to go into the STEM / tech industry?
  1. Never stop learning. Learning is never ending. Especially in technology, everything is constantly changing and evolving, and so must we. Too many people have a fixed mindset. They believe that they know all they’ll ever know. We need to encourage both men and women to go through life with a growth mindset, where life-long learning is an expectation.
  2. Go after what you want. If there’s anything that I have it’s a lot of unearned confidence; you have to believe in yourself first. But also, be prepared. Once you decide what you want, you need to make a plan for how to get there.
  3. Challenge yourself. I think we’ve all worked in a position before where we felt stagnant and uninspired, and that can make it difficult to stay motivated. Inspire yourself! Create your own opportunities to develop, add value to your organization, or guide others.
Congratulations again on your award from Training Magazine! One last question, as a leader in the field, what trends can we expect in training for 2020?

One of the things that I’m starting to see in my studies of adult learning theory and training adults is the use of stories. This is relatively easy to do in leadership trainings where you can talk about people and give examples. But it’s even more important to develop a compelling story when you’re dealing with concepts that are abstract and harder to insert a human element. This is our team’s focus. 2020 will be all about storytelling and Lucidworks training will incorporate stories and real life use cases as we create experiential learning.

Interested in joining Nikki and the rest of the Lucidworks team? Check out available job opportunities today!

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