Q&A with Kim Wyman, Events Manager at Virtual
1) WHAT DO YOU DO AT VIRTUAL?
I’ve been a Training Specialist at Virtual for five-plus years, I’m part of a team that manages the coordination and administration of the Global Certification Programs for one of our largest clients, a security standards council for the payment card industry. Recently I returned from Cape Town, South Africa, where I spent two weeks working on a training certification program.
The client’s certification program is comprised of events that train, test, and qualify organizations and individuals involved in protecting your credit card or payment information. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or JCB require all businesses to comply with the client’s 12 certification requirements. I also work with a team that plans and designs the Community Meeting, which is our client’s biggest yearly conference.
2) WHAT IS MOST EXCITING ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
My job here at Virtual takes me all over the world, including many beautiful, exotic locations. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to destinations such as — Australia, Indonesia, Turkey and all over Europe. —Adding new country stamps on my passport is a great perk of my job, but traveling provides me with so many insights that I’m able to apply to my work. I get to work with people from different cultures, learn creative ways to plan and execute training events, along with new ways to problem-solve.
3) WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CORE DUTIES, FUNCTIONS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF YOUR ROLE?
From start to finish, a successful testing and certification program is a complex process and a lot of variables have to be managed simultaneously. As a Training Specialist, I am responsible for planning the training class from start to finish, and my tasks can vary greatly. I work with both my client contact, events team and the class trainer to organize the training class. To do this, I need to combine the elements of an administrative wizard, a trouble-shooter, a problem-solver, a logistics queen and a customer service guru all into one job title—Training Specialist. Part of what I love about being a Training Specialist is that I often come up against challenges that are completely unexpected, so the solutions are equally surprising.
4) WHAT TYPES OF SERVICES DOES YOUR ROLE REQUIRE?
Overall, I have to ensure that we are developing a number of certification protocols and fulfilling a number of testing requirements. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, but the program demands that I work very closely with the trainer and that I provide that individual with all the tools needed to present a successful course. The same goes for my relationships with the events staff on-hand—together we work to provide our customers with a professional atmosphere and with all the tools they need to complete their training. My most recent event, was the Middle East & Africa Forum, and we received an overwhelming amount of praise from everyone involved, be the organizers or attendees. Altogether, there were almost 200 people at the Forum. To have an event that large, with so many people in one location for several days, is an undertaking that requires months’ of intense planning and effort.
5) WHAT PART OF THIS JOB DO YOU PERSONALLY FIND MOST CHALLENGING?
One of the most challenging issues is to ensure I am keeping pace with the newest and latest training course technologies. New technology is being introduced to the marketplace every day, I have to stay well informed in order to keep my clients up-to-date with the latest changes.
6) WHAT TYPE OF SKILLS ARE NEEDED TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS ROLE?
A strong training specialist has to work well with a large amount of data. Strong writing skills are also a necessity because communicating globally with clients clearly and concisely by email is critical. And last but not least, you have to be able to multi-task on a daily basis—and be extremely organized.
7) WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR JOB?
Being able to help a client successfully find and implement a solution to a problem continues to be extremely gratifying. I receive a lot of satisfaction in getting to know our clients and trainers as individuals. It’s rewarding to meet someone face-to-face after I’ve spent months and months communicating with them via e-mail and the occasional conference call!
8) WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS LOOKING TO GET INTO THIS TYPE OF WORK?
I genuinely enjoy working with all types of people and I love to travel. I mention the travel element again because you can’t just like traveling; you have to have a passion for travel. There are a lot of great things about travelling but as we all know, there are also the realities of airline travel (security, long lines, delays, lost luggage, cramped seats, etc.) and you have to be ready to deal with those as well.