Some of TechRepublic’s one million members have developed close relationships with their fellow community members—and some of those ties have been lucrative.
Wendy Finger is a member who has frequently contributed content to TechRepublic. Through contacts she made on the site, Wendy, a native of Louisville, KY, recently found herself in Denmark.
“I went to Denmark to provide ‘train-the-trainer’ workshops for a company called Damgaard AS,” Wendy said. “Damgaard is headquartered in Denmark but has a presence in many European countries, as well as in the U.S. Attendees represented seven European countries as well as trainers from the U.S. The Denmark trip was entirely the result of TechRepublic.”
TechRepublic e-mail leads to job
Wendy’s adventure began when TechRepublic member John Andrews, a concept-development manager with Damgaard, read and responded to an article she wrote about keeping students on track and in line.
“John and I began an e-mail correspondence,” she said. “We met in Atlanta in August and finalized some things. A contract was signed, and I was on my way to Denmark.”
Wendy provided training insights to Damgaard's business development group. She gave a “fundamentals of training” workshop, and a “learning preferences/best practices” workshop. She also presented a "State of the Training Industry" speech to frontline professionals who worked with Damgaard's business partners to market and support Damgaard products.
“The first workshop started out in a rocky fashion, with language and logistics being my biggest obstacles,” she said. “The second workshop went much better and was well received. The next day, I spent eight hours using an MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) model to discuss training strategies. This was very energizing for me, and I believe the participants liked it as well.
“The most rewarding part of this experience for me was the ability to watch IS professionals dedicate so much time and energy to learning and honing training skills.”
The draw to TechRepublic
As a team/project leader in the high-tech industry data and systems group at William M. Mercer, Wendy oversaw the data and survey analysis of human resources issues within the technology industry. She used TechRepublic as a research tool. Wendy said she thinks TechRepublic is different from other IT Web sites due to its unique content.
“I like—in addition to the typical IT/IS articles—that TechRepublic takes general business topics and gives them an IT spin,” she said. “I like the Support and IT Manager Communities. There is good straight talk and reality-based information.
“I also really like the Gartner research bites,” she continued. “Most of what I did for Mercer involved research, so it’s nice to see what others are doing.”
After she became acquainted with the site, she became a contributing writer, sharing her expertise with her fellow TechRepublic members. Wendy’s recent contributions to TechRepublic have included:
- "How to keep your dream job from becoming a nightmare"
- "Use a needs analysis to close the skill gap"
- "Head of the class: Creating dynamic training programs"
- "Helping a new trainer with class development"
Wendy’s expertise is in high demand. Due to an overwhelming request for her services, she recently made the decision to leave Mercer to pursue freelance work.
“I am targeting my marketing toward high-tech firms,” she said. “I believe that these firms, especially start-ups, are looking for ways to grow and maintain growth. So far, the strategy is paying off.”
Her recent projects have included:
- Executing market analysis and benchmark research.
- Conducting needs analysis/task analysis to determine training (and other) needs.
- Creating training plans that complement business plans.
- Securing governmental or academic assistance toward funding training initiatives.
- Producing customized in-house training programs.
- Providing outsourced solutions to support new product rollout with training and procedural documentation.
- Providing leadership development, team building, and other related training programs to corporate clients (as an independent consultant and as a subcontractor with Type Resourcesä).