Whitney Lewis is a USU alumna with a Master of Science in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences. Lewis is currently working as a senior instructional designer at Intuit, where she and her team lead, design, and present training for customer support employees.
Lewis’s career provides insight on professional instructional design work in corporate, tech sector, and government areas. When Lewis first began at Intuit, she created the company’s electronic learning program from the ground up. She was involved in designing graphics, creating videos, meeting with subject matter experts (SMEs), and organizing everything into Articulate 360, an e-learning system.
As Lewis gained more experience and knowledge about the company, she moved into analysis work as well as team and project management. In her current position, she looks over data to understand the learning experience and then validates with SMEs to make sure that her solutions are informed by the users. She also oversees a team of designers, reviewing their work and managing the timeline across multiple projects.
Before pursuing her master’s degree, Lewis earned her undergraduate degree in professional and technical writing at USU. Throughout her college career, Lewis searched to find what she was passionate about. Her search led her through many different jobs, including marketing writing, website content writing, design work, technical support and website training, marketing management, an instructional design internship, and becoming a graduate research assistant in ITLS.
With her undergraduate degree in hand and a variety of job experience behind her, Lewis felt that her technical writing degree covered such a broad spectrum of possibilities that she couldn’t pinpoint where she wanted to go in her career. Eventually, Lewis decided that she would pursue a Master of Science degree in ITLS.
“If I got a degree in ITLS, then I could look specifically for instructional learning designer roles,” said Lewis. “It seemed much more straightforward to me. On top of that, I really like teaching-I wanted to be an English teacher for a bit-so I thought it would be a good fit.”
The ITLS department provided Lewis with many opportunities to flex her instructional design capabilities. “We worked with a programmer to develop reflection prompts that used natural language processing, I worked with the library to prototype an app that used location to guide someone through the building, and I did research with pre-teens on computational thinking,” she said. “ITLS taught me how to dig in and figure things out. It taught me how to learn what I needed to learn to do what I needed to do.”
Lewis stated that clear, collaborative communication has helped her advance in her career outside of the department. She advised future students in the field to practice those vital communication skills. “Being able to make everyone feel on the same team while still setting clear boundaries will take you far,” she said.
Lewis first came to Cache Valley nine years ago to complete her undergraduate degree, and she has been here ever since. She is married with two young kids and enjoys being outside with her family (preferably eating something).
If you are interested in pursuing a degree in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, or if you have any questions about opportunities in the field of ITLS, feel free to contact department advisor Janet Blad for more information.