Trainer Spotlight: Jackie Utter


Chittenango, New York

Describe how your career as a trainer started.

My ‘trainer’ days began back in 2001. Most of the training has been with K-12 student management systems. Although, recently, I have been a trainer of a module of SAP for a large retail store new software rollout. I have also worked as an end-user trainer for ACE POS software for grocery stores.

What has been your favorite moment as a trainer?

My favorite moments as a trainer is seeing the lightbulb go on for the participants. I love to see the moment of understanding!

I stopped in about 3 months later and she stood up and quickly gave me a big hug. She said, “I don’t know how I lived without this thing!”Jackie Utter

Please give some tips to a person about to train a class for the first time.

First time trainers—Hmmm…know your topic! Be yourself! Look participants in the eye…..They like to be acknowledged!

I would also recommend involving the participants in the session. Call them by name and ask them a question that has already been presented. Include a little humor in the presentation—even if it is a one-on-one session.

What topics do you love to teach?

TeacherGradingWell, since I’m most versed in student management system software, I would have to say Teacher Gradebooks.

I also love the retail store industry. POS systems are fun for me as well.

What do you do to go the extra mile as a trainer?

First thing—I bring food to the session! I always tell the participants that I’m available for them during breaks and after the session. There are many times when participants don’t feel they can voice their questions or concerns in front of the whole class.

When applicable, I provide a phone number or email for participants to contact me afterward.

Do you have a funny training story to tell?

Funny story?! Of course I do!

This goes way back to the late 1980’s…. I was installing and training municipality software at a very small town clerk office. TownHallThe software was a word processor, A/P, A/R, G/L and water/sewer billing. The first couple days I was working with other employees at the office. The mayor’s secretary was saying “I’m notgoing to use it and you can’t make me.” It came time for me to install the work station and train the mayor’s secretary. The night before, the mayor took her typewriter away and left the cover on her desk.

I was there the next morning when the secretary came in and she was livid. She threw the cover on the floor and stomped on it. She was adamant that she wouldn’t learn a thing and she would never be able to learn a thing.

In comes Jackie! By the end of her two days she was able to open the word processor, create a document and print it. YAY!!!!!

I stopped in about 3 months later and she stood up and quickly gave me a big hug. She said, “I don’t know how I lived without this thing!”

Made my day!

Anything else that you’d like to share?

I’m a short person that packs a big punch!