Late last year we had the opportunity to interview one SkillStore user. Her name is Ha Hoang, and she is an Account Executive in the West Region of Western Union. She has been using SkillStore since Western Union launched the second round of the Performance Management Fundamentals program.
We asked to interview her to learn more about how she’s using the app. She shared some valuable tips, inspiring stories, and exciting ideas. Her input got us talking at the office, so we thought we would share. Our Senior Director of Customer Success, Peter McLaughlin, conducted a phone interview with her.
Peter: Thanks for agreeing to talk to me today. Can you tell me more about why you chose to enroll in the program?
Ha: My purpose is to increase my personal development. Because I work out in the field, I want something that is convenient. I want something with flexibility rather than something where there are limits to the learning. When SkillStore’s mobile app was first introduced, I got interested and nervous at the same time. I wasn’t sure about the video and role-play.
Peter: You mentioned ease of access; when are you accessing SkillStore modules?
Ha: I find SkillStore perfect for any position, especially for people out in the field, like myself. There are times when I have to wait for the clients to come. Instead of losing time while waiting, I can use my mobile phone to review SkillStore modules. The activities are brief too, so I find it very convenient.
Peter: You mentioned you were initially nervous to engage in the video recordings. How do you prepare for them?
Ha: First I review the lessons and take notes on the lessons — I want to be sure I capture everything. When I take notes, I review them and reflect on my past experiences along with the lesson content, and prepare how to respond to the practice scenarios. This process helps me absorb what I am learning.
That’s what I think is great about SkillStore. With other more traditional learning, when you’re not going to be actively practicing learning, you don’t take notes or review it. With SkillStore, it requires you to take notes and reflect before practicing.
When I’m ready, I typically record at home or in the office. Before I record the video I put a jacket on to make it look more professional. And I have my notes in front of me. Those notes really help.
When I recorded my response to the practice scenarios on the first modules I actually had to record it several times because I wanted to make it perfect. But once you get used to it, it is easier. Now I only record one or two times before submitting. It has become the norm and I am now less nervous.
Peter: It’s good to hear that you’re getting better at the recordings. Do you see a difference on the job?
Ha: Oh yes. SkillStore has helped me so much. I can quickly respond at work with no hesitation because it has become easier to resolve issues. With the practice that I do in the SkillStore scenarios, I have become more of an expert. The video-based practice helps a lot. I am now more involved with the team. I can share ideas with no hesitation, so it helps.
Peter: Of the topics that you have covered, which ones have been the most valuable?
Ha: Currently I’m getting my MBA and we’re talking about valuing your strengths, so I really enjoyed learning about that topic again. One thing I like is the concept of managing weaknesses. That’s something I haven’t learned before. The content encourages me to not hesitate or withdraw; it gives me more confidence that I can advance my career. It also helped me recognize that it’s important to be engaged in the team as we complete our tasks.
The module on emotional intelligence was also important. I feel like I’m pretty conservative. Sometimes I have a sensitive manner. Going through the module on emotional intelligence made me realize I need to be more patient, listen to others, be more responsive, and put myself in other’s people’s shoes. That’s something I need to practice more. The module shows you step by step how to do it. So I especially liked that module. It’s very beneficial for anyone to learn, regardless of the position.
Peter: You said you’re getting an MBA too; how do you find time to complete the modules?
Ha: I’m pursuing my MBA and learning Spanish, and I’m in an internship program. I also have three little kids. So it’s a lot. I create a chart to help balance my time. Mornings and evenings are my time to complete these activities.
It has become a habit. In the morning, I log into SkillStore/PMF and then do the modules one by one. Let’s say in the morning, if something comes up that requires me to be out in the field, I will go out in the field and then find another hour or so that I can fit in to complete the learning. It’s quick access too; I find it very convenient.
Peter: Have you observed the recordings from your colleague’s practice sessions? What did you think?
Ha: It’s helpful. It’s good that some of them share their experiences. For instance, one of the videos asked them to share their strengths. I found it useful to see how they share their strengths. So it helps!
Peter: What is the most valuable part of using SkillStore?
Ha: The most valuable part is the flexibility and convenience, especially for people on the go.
Peter: What would you say is the biggest benefit of engaging with the SkillStore modules?
Ha: The biggest benefit is that I have improved my networking and become more engaged with my team. I am able to use my strengths to communicate effectively with my clients. My work relationships have gotten better and I can resolve issues faster.
As an introverted person, it has helped me learn and improve my openness and communication.
Thank you, Ha, for sharing your experience and expertise. We learned so much from listening to your story!
SkillStore is used in over 40 countries to build soft skills and improve performance. Want to learn more? Request a demo below to see how SkillStore can improve management and leadership programs at your company.