Inside aytm: Meet Emily Kelley, Senior Learning Manager

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Posted Jan 11, 2024
Trevor Brown

Emily is the Senior Learning Manager here at aytm, and has been a huge part of the way we educate both internal and external teams. We were thrilled to get an opportunity to learn from her about what she does both inside and outside of aytm. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do here at aytm?

I focus most of my time in product education. For each and every feature or product release, I create the educational materials that go up on our Help Center and Lighthouse Academy. This includes all the walk-through videos, articles, and on-demand learning courses that help ensure both our clients and our internal team have a thorough understanding of how to use all the tools available at aytm.

How did you decide to get into your field?

When I was considering next steps for my career, I first started looking into proofreading and technical writing. I found that Learning Management encompasses quite a bit of both—in addition to several other items that play to my strengths, like administration organization and video editing, to name a couple.

What’s something you’re passionate about?

Over the last few years, I’ve gotten really excited about supporting local farmers when possible. It started in early 2020 when some friends told us about a local farm that was starting a monthly delivery service of really nice cuts of meat. It was high quality, locally sourced, and helped reduce food waste by moving the remainder of their inventory. Plus, the price per pound was unbeatable—even at our local grocery store. Then we started asking ourselves what else we could find that brought us closer to our food source, and found that some other nearby farms were doing neighborhood delivery for their fruit and dairy products. That has led to more DIY food production; we tried (and loved) making our own bone broth, then my husband got interested in making cheese, so now we try to make a lot of our own stuff. Not just cooking at home, but making our own pantry staples, too. Not to say that’s what we eat all the time, but it’s a fun challenge, both to get more local with our food sourcing, and to see what’s possible to make ourselves instead of just buying from the store.

A big wheel of homemade cheese
A wheel of the Kelleys' homemade cheese.

Can you tell us about a project that you found to be particularly inspiring?

The projects that give me the most satisfaction are the little DIY things for my pantry like bone broth from leftover chicken bones, or rosemary salt, or mayonnaise.  One of my favorite pantry staples to make is granola. It’s a good rainy day afternoon project that doesn’t take a ton of effort. I can experiment with new ingredients with each batch, and it produces something that lasts a while.

How do you balance your career and personal life?

I’m so grateful for the flexibility to work remotely—it’s really allowed me to see my family more often, and travel more, since I can just take my laptop on the road with me. aytm also encourages self-improvement, so for the past year I’ve been part of a pottery studio! I love a challenge, and in pottery there’s always some way to improve, or some new form to master.

A ceramic mug
One of Emily's ceramic mugs.

What kind of ceramics do you enjoy making?

I like to try different things–I’ve completed a few slab projects, but find I’m more frustrated than inspired by that process, because it requires meticulous timing and some materials that I don’t have–but I most enjoy wheel-throwing! I’ve been able to replace most of the mugs and bowls I use at home with ones I’ve made. It’s funny though; because I’m always learning, and I’m not a “batch” producer, it’s not necessarily a matching set. I tried to glaze finish them in similar colors, but all the shapes are slightly different, which makes it so that we have two really good cereal bowls, two good yogurt bowls, two good soup bowls, etc…but no full sets of anything. 😂 It’s a work in progress. 

My most recent challenge to myself is to throw some oil vessels. I’ve completed two so far, and am really pleased with how they turned out, even if they are a little small :)

A ceramic oil vessel
One of Emily's more recent oil vessels.

Which aytm Core Value is your favorite and why?

Creativity! I love that we are encouraged to think outside the box as we approach problem-solving for our clients and our internal team. 

What advice would you give someone just starting out at aytm?

Meet as many people as you can! In a remote environment it CAN be hard to feel connected to coworkers, but it doesn’t have to be. Reach out to team members as you meet them in meetings and get to know them–it makes it easier to collaborate, and just more fun in general!

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