It takes a community.
In celebration of our 10-year anniversary, we are highlighting some of our best people, partners, and instructors. Over the next few weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to be inspired by some incredible stories that have driven the success of our enterprise business.
Keep reading to meet Ian Stirgwolt, one of our client success managers, who works on several social impact projects within GA, including Code for Good and our community reskilling efforts in Louisville and Sacramento.
GA: Where are you located, and what is your role at GA?
Ian Stirgwolt: I am a client success manager. I am living in sunny Los Angeles.
GA: Can you tell us more about your role?
Ian Stirgwolt: I like to think of the client success manager as the center of our Delivery team. We act as the conduit between our client and all of the different other services that GA offers, such as our Learning Experience Architect team, instructional designers, instructor managers, or operations.
My focus is on figuring out what our clients need after we’ve signed a contract and then continuously checking in with them, making sure that we are on the right track, and helping to lead our team internally to make sure that we continue on the right track.
GA: Talk us through keeping clients on the right track through a program.
Ian Stirgwolt: A good example is putting together a workshop. A client might think, “Hey, we really want a marketing workshop, and we don’t really know that much about the pertinent details, but you, as the learning partner, are going to help us figure that out.”
Our Client Success team really can say, “I’ve seen this problem before at another organization.” I think the really great thing about the Client Success team is that we have that shared knowledge. It’s such a tight-knit team that works together to share our experiences, which helps us answer the client’s challenges and challenges that might exist underneath the water, the other 70% of the iceberg.
GA: You’ve had the opportunity to work with our clients on Code for Good, which is amazing. Can you tell us more?
Ian Stirgwolt: Code for Good grew out of a program called CODE: Rosie which we did with Disney. It was an effort to help organizations take people from within their company — who might be working in customer service or IT — who have had experience with technology before but are not hard technologists; we turned those individuals into software engineers. CODE: Rosie focused on bringing more female voices into engineering.
We have expanded since then. Code for Good now focuses on taking people from diverse and nontraditional backgrounds, such as women or people of color, into technology roles.
GA: What clients have been involved with Code for Good?
Ian Stirgwolt: The first cohort we ran went from May to August of 2020. The two clients involved were Humana and Guardian. I think that’s an important thing to highlight because this program focuses on bringing clients together. We wanted to create conversations between these two organizations, in addition to providing a reskilling opportunity.
Guardian signed on for the second year with Union Pacific — that cohort is currently in progress and will end in mid-July.
GA: How was the experience working with multiple clients at once?
Ian Stirgwolt: It was great because we could bring together both organizations to decide on the program itself and what that would look like. Being able to decide on a program that answered all needs can be a herculean effort.
Seeing cross-pollination within the classroom between the employees at these companies was really interesting. Both Humana and Guardian brought in speakers from their organizations to give students an idea of what they might be working on as they transition to new roles.
We’ve had people from within this program graduate and move into different roles within Guardian and Humana. Some people went into UX and focused on the front-end, while others have gone into data and analytics.
It’s exciting to see how the program and speakers influenced the careers of these participants.
GA: You also get to work on our community reskilling programs. Tell us about that.
Ian Stirgwolt: As COVID-19 set in, we saw a lot of people losing jobs, especially within the leisure and entertainment industries, so we turned our focus to reskilling communities.
We started partnering with local governments, such as Sacramento, local community partners, such as the Greater Sacramento Urban League, and local companies, such as Humana, who wanted to invest in their communities and upskill people who were losing their jobs during the pandemic.
Louisville is a really interesting example because Humana came with an identified need. They wanted to help those in their community who had lost their job during the pandemic get into a new career.
The first part of the program focused on awareness: How do we get people aware that digital- and tech-related jobs are available? That’s when we launched our on-demand programs to the community. The mayor and other community partners got involved in helping us spread the word.
The second part of the program focused on taking those individuals and getting them through a series of programs to ensure they capitalize on the opportunity. We then opened access to our classes and workshops.
Phase three took those individuals who participated in phase one and two of the program into our accelerators, including UX, digital marketing, and data analytics, to help them get the skills they needed to take the next step in their career.
Humana also saw a big need for more data skills, so we set up a data science course split into two paths: data analytics and data science.
GA: So, basically, you have one of the coolest jobs at GA. Tell us what your favorite part of your job is.
Ian Stirgwolt: I’m really lucky. The team here at GA is phenomenal. It’s a team where you feel supported. There is so much knowledge, effort, and energy on this team; it’s really inspiring to be part of it.
Another favorite part of the job is the ability to impact through community reskilling and social impact projects. I love working with my clients and helping them along this journey. The ability to impact someone’s life — through education — is inspiring to me.
Stay tuned for more incredible stories from our team and partners in the coming weeks. Want to learn more about how GA can make a difference in your business today? Get in touch.