Senior Learning ManagerFollow this author
By Kim Perez
As a kid, Jamie Doyle knew there were only two possible career paths for her: veterinarian or middle school teacher.
What she didn’t anticipate as a child was that she would find a career that allowed her to combine both of her passions.
Today, Doyle is the senior learning manager for Banfield Pet Hospital, the nation’s largest general veterinary practice. She leads a team that provides training for Banfield’s over 18,000 associates at more than 1,000 hospitals across the United States.
Her team of eight associates develops, delivers and supports multiple training programs, primarily focused on:
Doyle and her team facilitate and support all of the ongoing training sessions, working closely with field leaders to ensure the trainings enable hospital teams to continue to provide high-quality compassionate care to pets and the people who love them.
Veterinary Medicine AND Teaching
When Doyle was eight years old, a veterinarian brought a pony to her school’s career day and talked about veterinary careers. Doyle was hooked.
In middle school, she had an influential and impactful math teacher who made the subject so much fun that, once again, she was hooked. “I thought, if I could teach people like that – that’s what I want,” she said.
When it came time for Doyle to apply for college, caring for animals took precedent over teaching. She went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Florida. While still in school, she started her career with Banfield Pet Hospital as a veterinary assistant, spending more than four years in that initial role.
She was eventually promoted to lead veterinary assistant, then hospital leader, during which time she was responsible for training other associates within her hospital. She enjoyed and excelled at training, eventually receiving requests to support other Banfield locations in the area with their development needs.
When a position as field trainer for Banfield opened up, she jumped at the opportunity and it turned out to be a great fit. Over the last decade she’s worked her way from field trainer to learning manager to senior learning manager.
She’s thrilled that she gets to mix both of her early passions – working in the veterinary profession while also incorporating teaching.
“What gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing I’m making a difference and an impact,” said Doyle. “This is what keeps me engaged and fulfilled in my career.”
Part of that impact is to give people the opportunity to learn and grow.
Much of the training she oversees is related to onboarding, a process to educate new associates about Banfield’s culture and best practices. She and her team constantly re-evaluate the training process and look for ways to improve it – knowing that a good onboarding experience can help set the tone for how people feel in their careers.
Doyle feels so strongly about the benefits of training and development that she has this advice for readers: “Be intentional about your professional development, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Opportunity won’t always fall into your lap, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for opportunities that will help you learn and grow.”
Professional development doesn’t always come in the official training package. In fact, some of her own development happened because she was willing to risk working outside of her comfort zone.
Doyle was on a project that she described as “one of the experiences in my career that forced me to be okay with taking risks, without having everything figured out. I’m someone who likes to be strategic and deliberate. This project wasn’t always comfortable for me, it felt like a risk. But taking risks is so important. Yes, there is the chance that you will fail. That would have stopped me in the past. But that’s the way you bring new ideas to life and that’s how you learn.”
Doyle’s drive and determination probably comes from her family. Her mom came to the United States from Ecuador as a teen.
“I know about the struggles my mom and grandparents had when they moved here with nothing,” said Doyle. “Through hard work and perseverance, they made a life for our family here. I have so many opportunities they weren’t given.”
She has immense appreciation for her family, knowing there are so many other people who have similar struggles. For that reason, she joined Banfield’s Latinx diversity resource group, Unidos.
“Unidos is all about bringing people together to collectively look for ways we can better serve Hispanic and Latinx clients and associates,” said Doyle. “Unidos is really working to create change.”
And that’s exactly what Doyle does for her colleagues every day: she works to create change, and to help others access the resources needed for them to create change for themselves.