A day in the life of an HP Technical Trainer - ‘I love seeing people improve’

People who’ve attended our education courses know that our training team are passionate about ensuring that everyone gets the most from them. To understand what goes on behind the scenes, I asked one of HP Software’s Technical Trainers, Marc Smet, about a typical day, what they love about their jobs, and their tips for people attending training. I found Marc’s responses below to be really interesting and I’m sure you will too. Over to Marc:

 

Taking training to the customerHP Technical Trainer - Marc Smet.jpg

They say: ‘join the army and see the world.’ The same is true for an HP Technical Trainer. I spend a lot of time travelling to meet customers to deliver Instructor Led Training. The travel is great – I love to see different cities and meet customers from across the world.

 

I also run Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT). VILTs offer the same content as an instructor led session but enable people to be trained remotely. VILTs are popular so when I’m not on site, I’m training online. The rest of my days I spend planning my travel schedule, talking to customers about forthcoming training, and responding to previous students who email me with questions.

 

Plan to succeed

It’s very much a case of planning to succeed when it comes to training: I spend a lot of my time making sure I know how a customer plans to use their software and tailoring content accordingly. This makes a huge difference in ensuring that my students leave ready to get the most out of the software. The night before a session I do the housekeeping – making sure my desktop is clean with just the client’s folder ready to be opened to start the training.

 

Getting to know everyone

Courses typically last four days. We kick-off at 9:30 am on day one and 9am on subsequent days. We usually finish around 5pm. We teach as far as we can in local language; I speak German, Dutch, English and French. We start with intros and share objectives. I make sure I’ve noted everyone’s name and aim to address them personally from the start. I also encourage students to ask questions – questioning helps people to learn faster.

 

Over the years we’ve refined the pace of the course so it fits most learning styles and we like to keep class sizes to around 10-15 people. I pick up quickly which people need more help and I’ve plenty of time for one-to-one tuition. We include a lot of practical lab-based exercises, Q&As and simulations – with around 60 percent of content based on exercises. This helps people stay sharp and learn better. Of course coffee and lunch breaks are important too. I spend these breaks with my students. It helps me to get to know them better and I can answer any questions. At the end of session participants leave with easy-to-use tutorial content and my email address: I’m always available to previous students if they need my help.

 

The online VILT sessions also run for four days. The content includes the same demos, simulations and exercises as face-to-face training. It’s really well put together and customers have said to me time and again how impressed they are with the quality of the training.

 

Training the trainers

I love to learn too and I regularly attend HP developer conference calls and meetings to know what changes are planned for software and ensure my content stays fresh.

 

Hints and tips for learning

People often ask me how they to learn better. There are two things that I think are really important to help people take in as much information as possible:

 

  • Be inquisitive: Ask as many questions as you can.
  • Work hard: Do all of the exercises and lab-based simulations that are designed to help people learn by doing.  

 

What I love about my job

To be a trainer you need to love to teach and be a ‘people person’. I was a consultant for years but back in 2003 I asked to become a trainer. It was the best thing I ever did: the sense of accomplishment when you help someone get ready to do their job better is worth a huge amount. As author Napoleon Hill said: It’s literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”

 

Susan says: There’s more to come

Our day in the life series of blogs will continue with two new posts to come soon from:

  • One of our Education Solution Consultants – focusing on how we help customers plan their approach to training. 
  • And one of trainers who designs customized education courses, looking at when you need a customized programme.

 

Do you have any training hints and tips you would like to share? Or if there are blog topics that you’d like us to cover please leave a comment below.

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