Kirsty Chadwick, e-learning
Woman Online interviewed Kirsty Chadwick, who tells her story of her career with regard to e-learning.
Please introduce yourself and tell us about the path that led you to where you are today.
My name is Kirsty Chadwick and I’m the Executive Director and Founder of the e-learning design and development company, The Training Room Online. I started my career off as a teacher in New Zealand in 1996 and a few years later I moved to London, where I began a company offering independent, whole- of-market mortgage advice. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in developing people and helping them grow. It’s while I was in London that I was introduced to the possibilities of e-learning.
Tell us about your business.
I founded The Training Room Online in 2008 when I saw a need for alternative training solutions in South Africa. Using the latest cutting-edge technology, we provide customised e-learning solutions to both the private and public sectors. Our teams of creatives work closely with each client to provide a tailor-made product. The e-learning industry is a rapidly expanding sector and, according to statistics by Certifyme.net, is currently valued at around R500 billion and likely to double by 2015. The use of e-learning, rather than strictly text-based or instructor-led training, has proven to increase the retention of information by up to 60%.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where you are today?
Learning to understand corporate business in South Africa, as opposed to the UK, proved to be somewhat challenging. Like most things, however, once I started to gain an understanding of how things work, it became easier.
My family gives me tremendous strength, and not having them with me in South Africa has been very hard.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Five years from now, I see myself hopefully having expanded the footprint throughout Africa for The Training Room Online and The Creative Technology Hub. By that stage, I would like to have made a significant impact on creating employment within the technology sector. Ideally I see myself being able to spend a lot more time with my son too.
Who would you say has been your greatest role model and why?
My greatest role model has always been my mum. She was a remarkable woman with an incredible work ethic and an infallible determination to make things happen.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Most of the spare time I have is spent with my son. We enjoy watching live music shows together and he absolutely loves it when we go for walks on the beach. I also enjoy socialising with good friends over a glass of wine when I get the chance.
What advice do you have for other aspiring business people?
Sometimes things can get lonely and you can find yourself in a position where you aren’t sure what to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice – there are always people who you can turn to, people who are able to offer great advice through challenging times.