When I applied to work at ICOM in 2012, I didn’t fully appreciate what a great fit ICOM could be for me. Like most people, who walk into our office for the first time, I was drawn to the buzz of the culture on the development floor. After all, who wouldn’t be with a wide variety of Nerf guns, brightly colored walls, ping-pong tables, and videos of kittens playing on the projector? In some ways the company was not so different from the middle school classroom I initially envisioned myself teaching in post graduation.
When interviewing for the Instructional Designer/Project Manager (IDPM) position I learned more about ICOM’s unique culture – flexible working hours and the beer cart on Friday afternoons… I was sold! Although these perks and aspects of the culture have become a cherished part of my ICOM experience, I soon realized that there was much more to my development at ICOM that would reflect the changes I have seen within myself from the day I started as an IDPM that have made this company a great fit for me.
The most significant part of my ICOM experience lies within the projects I work on and the teams of talented individuals and subject matter experts I collaborate with on a daily basis to create our products. Each project comes with challenging objectives that require a lot of coordination, planning and knowledge sharing. I never imagined I would be designing courses for Medical Staff, Mine Processing Workers, Teachers, or the Canadian public. With each project I have learned to embrace new challenges with a sense of optimism and care; think outside of the box, share ideas with my peers, and to consistently look for ways to improve my approach to my role.
One of the biggest changes I have seen reflected in me stems from our 2013 theme: Be a Leader. ICOM has taught me the value of sharing ideas and taking ownership of them. So when I approached our President, Greg Surbey with an idea of giving back to our community by developing e-learning courses for smaller organizations that may not have the funding to build them, Greg loved it, and within a few weeks we created the Inspire Change initiative at ICOM. The Inspire Change initiative is currently working with some incredible partners across the country to create awareness of the challenges and provide support to the 40% of youth in the shelter system that identify as LGBTQ.
I continue to grow and embrace new challenges with optimism; and at the end of every week I get to celebrate our successes with an ice-cold beer.
Dan Mannix is an Instructional Design and Project Lead with ICOM Productions and is based in Calgary, AB.